Maine Radio Broadcasters Fired After Being Caught Body Shaming Girls at a High School Basketball Game

The two male sports commentators were recorded on a hot mike saying that some of the girls were "extremely overweight" and laughing

Diverse high school female basketball team playing a game
A high school basketball game. Photo: FatCamera/Getty

Two male sports broadcasters were fired after they were caught on a hot mike body shaming female high school basketball players on a Maine radio station.

On Jan. 14, Fred Grant, the owner of WHOU 100.1 FM in Houlton, Maine, said that he fired commentators Jim Carter and Steve Shaw for making derogatory statements about the players' weights while they were on-air.

Listeners heard the two men criticizing players on Central Aroostook and Easton High Schools' girls junior varsity teams, with one saying that there are "two girls out here, extremely overweight."

"How come you don't get uniforms that fit the girls?" said the other, before the two started laughing. They also identified a player by her number and said, "Wow…would you look at her."

Carter and Shaw weren't aware that their microphones were on as they watched the game while waiting to do a broadcast of a different game at Caribou High School, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Grant told the outlet that nearly as soon as Carter and Shaw made the comments, he started receiving complaints from listeners.

"I started getting phone calls immediately," he said the next day.

In a statement shared on Facebook, Grant apologized for the men's actions and said that he had fired Carter and Shaw.

"Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly — our students. Tonight, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated."

"… I apologize that the broadcasters failed to see this fundamental belief and I apologize for their behavior," Grant continued. "I know they are remorseful and I believe they, too, will continue to learn from their mistakes."

PEOPLE has contacted Carter and Shaw for comment.

Carter told the Press Herald that he felt remorse for his comments and apologized to the superintendent of the schools.

"I don't even know what to say," Carter said. "Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK."

The Press Herald said they were unable to reach Shaw.

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Carter is a former teacher and coach at Caribou High School, and Shaw was the athletic director at Easton High School until he retired in 2019. He was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in August, but after this incident he withdrew his name. Both were subcontractors for WHOU and hired in December.

"The idea of giving them a second chance never crossed my mind," Grant told The Washington Post. "There was no contemplation about it. … It was clearly the right decision for us."

And in his statement, Grant asked that people remove clips of the broadcast, which were recorded and shared online, from social media.

"I'm going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students," he said. "If you've shared the video post, I'm hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives."

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