CALGARY - A Calgary sports radio personality apologized Thursday for making what he called a "stupid and idiotic" on-air comment suggesting he hoped the Saskatchewan Roughriders' plane would crash and four of the players die.
Dean (Boomer) Molberg, a morning show co-host at Sportsnet 960 The FAN, made the comment Wednesday while discussing the Stampeders' upcoming CFL playoff game against the visiting Roughriders, said program director Kelly Kirch.
Molberg apologized on the air Thursday and in a statement on the station's website.
"It was an attempt at being funny, which in the end was neither funny nor appropriate. Not even close," Molberg said on the website. "It was clearly not thought out, for if it was I'd have never said it. There is no excuse for it, and I'm not in any way looking to defend my actions.
"This was in no way, shape or form a ratings ploy or an attempt to garner attention to myself or the radio station. I made a mistake."Story continues below..
Four members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders — defensive end Gordon Sturtridge, centre/tight end Mel Becket, guard Mario DeMarco and offensive lineman Ray Syrnyk — were killed in a plane crash in 1956 along with Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive guard Calvin Jones.
A total of 62 people died when the plane went down into Mount Slesse near Chilliwack, B.C., as players were returning from an all-star game in Vancouver.
All four Roughriders had their numbers retired by the club. The tragedy was the subject of the documentary, "The Crash of Flight 810."
There was no immediate word on whether Molberg would be disciplined by the station.
Kirch issued an apology on the station's Facebook page, calling Molberg's comment "offside."
"It was a misguided attempt at humour," he said. "Our station, our company and of course myself as the program director do not condone this comment. It was uncalled for and embarrassing for our entire staff here at the station.
"I would like to offer my sincere apology to go along with Dean's on-air apology that was aired today."
Stampeders president Lyle Bauer also issued a statement Thursday.
"On behalf of the Calgary Stampeder Football Club, I would like to state that we do not in any manner condone the highly inappropriate comments made Wednesday morning by an on-air employee of Sportsnet 960 concerning the Saskatchewan Roughriders," he said. "These comments do not reflect the views of the football club or of the Canadian Football League and we can not stress enough that they have no place in our sport.
"We pride ourselves on fierce rivalries and intense competition but also our great partnerships with the other Canadian Football clubs including the Roughriders. We look forward to Sunday's West Division semifinal at McMahon Stadium against Saskatchewan and know the contest will be hotly contested but played in the spirit of sportsmanship that we value so highly."
The winner of Sunday's game will visit the B.C. Lions on Nov. 18 in the Western final.
The Grey Cup will be played Nov. 25 in Toronto.
The plan crashed into Mount Slesse near Chilliwack, B.C., as players were returning from an all-star game in Vancouver. A total of 62 people died including four members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, defensive end Gordon Sturtridge, centre/tight end Mel Becket, guard Mario DeMarco and offensive lineman Ray Syrnyk and Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive guard Calvin Jones. The tragedy was the subject of the documentary, 'The Crash of Flight 810.' Source: CP
The tragic crash took the lives of the Manchester United football team. The plane crash shortly after take off because of a build up of slush on the runway. Photo: Manchester United fans take part in a minute's silence to mark the 52nd anniversary of the Munich air disaster before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Portsmouth at Old Trafford on February 6, 2010 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 a flight carrying 45 people including a rugby team crashed into the Andes. The movie Alive is based on this crash. People, Transport, Aviation Disasters pic: December 1972, Survivors from the 'Andes Flight Disaster' wait to be rescued, On 13th October 1972 a Uruguay Air Force plane crashed in the mountains close to the Chile / Argentina border, those left alive, after many days without food are thought to have survived by resorting to cannibalism (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
The crash took the lives of Russia's professional ice hockey team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, and coaching staff. It included Canadian coach Brad McCrimmon and former Vancouver Canuck star Pavol Demitra. Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation said, "This is the darkest day in the history of our sport." Over three thousand people gathered for a farewell ceremony at the Old Town Square on September 11, 2011 in Prague to pay tribute to Josef Vasicek, Jan Marek and Karel Rachunek, 3 members of Czech National ice-hockey team who died during the plane disaster that took the lives of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team. 43 people were killed September 7, 2011 when a Russian jet carrying hockey players of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to their first match of the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) season crashed on takeoff in the latest blow to the country's tainted air safety record. AFP PHOTO / MICHAL CIZEK (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)