The man who took a shot at the GOAT is now a sacrificial lamb.
Remember that screenshot that made the rounds Monday? The one in which Pittsburgh's KDKA TV took a (seemingly) playful shot at Tom Brady during its 4 p.m. news show by labeling the New England Patriots quarterback a "Known Cheater" in its chyron?
Well, 27-year-old producer Michael Telek, the employee who made the graphic, has been fired.
"While fans are entitled to have personal opinions, we have a journalistic responsibility to provide unbiased reporting," a KDKA spokesperson told Sports Illustrated in a statement. "The graphic that appeared Monday violated our news standards. The individual who created the graphic no longer works for KDKA-TV."
While we'd rather Telek didn't call Brady a cheater, this seems a little aggressive.
But the story doesn't end there.
Because according to Telek, he had just purchased a house. And one of his pitying friends actually launched a GoFundMe page in his defense.
Hi there, I got fired for this joke. I just bought a house so that is putting a pinch on things. Once I land a job there will be a GOAT Giveaway where I will donate the money to charity in Tom Brady's name.https://t.co/KzXhpbuOpF
— Michael Telek (@mktelek) January 30, 2019
"Just days before the the graphic aired, KDKA ran coverage of a 10 year-old-boy who won his science fair competition by "proving" that Tom Brady is a known cheater (Great work Kid!)," the page reads. "Why is this no problem but a graphic labeling him as the cheater he is such a problem?"
Telek is even hitting the interview circuit and explained his bold move in a recent 1-on-1 with Deadspin.
"We get these packages that come down from corporate and it was just like, 'Here are the two teams in the Super Bowl, pretty boring.' So I wrote the intro about the six rings and then changed it up. I mean, it's Pittsburgh, we hate the Patriots, we hate Tom Brady, so it was a little wink for fans."
One day later, that wink cost him his job. Who knew two words would ignite such a firestorm? (We did ... welcome to the polarizing world of Patriots fandom.)
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