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Steve Gleason accepts apologies of fired radio hosts

Steve Gleason, right, a former New Orleans Saints

Steve Gleason, right, a former New Orleans Saints NFL football special teams standout who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, demonstrates the newest technology for Team Gleason House, a residence he is creating for up to 18 people with ALS and multiple sclerosis, during a news conference in New Orleans. (Jan. 17, 2013) (Credit: AP Photo Gerald Herbert)

Three Atlanta-based radio talk show hosts lost their jobs yesterday over a cruel skit making fun of former Saints safety Steve Gleason, who suffers from the incurable disease ALS. After being fired, all three offered public apologies, and Gleason has accepted them all with the kind of grace and class that the rest of us can only hope to emulate.

Gleason, who communicates via a computer on his wheelchair by looking at words and letters on a keyboard, said on his Facebook page that he believes the apologies were sincere.

“Regarding the DJ skit in Atlanta yesterday. I would like to thank the public for their support. 'Defend Team Gleason' now has been officially redefined,” Gleason wrote in his post. “Additionally, the DJs have provided genuine apology. Received and accepted. We have all made mistakes in this life. How we learn from our mistakes is the measure of who we are.”

Gleason said he hopes the incident will serve as a catalyst for increased awareness and funding of ALS research.

“I think everyone can learn from this event,” he said. “Its clear to me that, on a national & global scale, ALS is not understood, which is part of why its under funded and largely ignored. In the past 36 hours lots of people have been talking. Lets talk about this... There are zero treatments for ALS. If you take any action as a result of this event, I prefer it to be action to end ALS. See what we are doing to change that @ teamgleason.org. SG”

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