97 Rock morning host Rich “The Bull” Gaenzler has been relieved of his duties as UB football’s public address announcer following racist comments made by co-host Rob Lederman on the station’s morning radio show.
Gaenzler can be heard saying “K,” in agreement with Lederman’s comments comparing how he likes his toast to the attractiveness of Black women based on their skin tone.
“I may get into trouble for this, I have them [toast] to the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive,” Lederman said, referencing a scale he uses to determine how dark his toast should be. “So I will never go to a Serena Williams level, but I’m very comfortable at a Haley Barry level. I need a little bit of mulatto still coming through.”
“Is Gayle King not in your realm?” co-host Chris Klein asked.
“No, Gayle King is not even on my toaster level,” Lederman said.
97 Rock and parent company Cumulus Media have terminated Lederman’s contract. The companies have also suspended Gaenzler and Klein for their involvement in the incident.
UB Athletics released a statement Wednesday night regarding Gaenzler’s status as the football team’s public address announcer.
“The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics is committed to sustaining a culture of diversity and inclusion and strongly denounces racism in all forms,” the statement reads. “Rich Gaenzler is not currently under contract with UB Athletics. We will move forward with the selection of another public address announcer for UB football games next season.”
Pegula Sports & Entertainment also terminated Gaenzler of his duties as an in-arena host for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League following his role in the on-air conversation.
“All organizations across the Pegula Sports & Entertainment umbrella strongly condemn racism in all forms. We are deeply disturbed by the comments made this morning by a co-host on Rich Gaenzler’s radio show. They were unacceptable, inappropriate and there is no place for them in our community,” a tweet released by Pegula Sports & Entertainment released Wednesday afternoon said. “The Sabres and the Bandits, therefore have made the decision to terminate from his duties as our in-arena host.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also issued a statement on Twitter Wednesday night.
“The racist commentary made on ‘The Morning Bull’ show on 97 Rock is outrageous and intolerable,” Brown tweeted. “There is no place in our society for these statements or beliefs. I strongly condemn what these individuals said on the radio this morning.”
The UB football team, Sabres and Bandits will all be looking for new public address announcers following Gaenzler’s dismissal.
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. His words have appeared in outlets such as SLAM Magazine. In 2020, he was awarded First Prize for Sports Column Writing at the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards. In his free time, he can be found watching ‘90s Knicks games and reading NFL Mock Drafts at 3 a.m.