ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (WFLA) — In the year since St. Petersburg, Florida radio station 102.5 “The Bone” switched from music to all talk, they’ve covered a lot of controversial subjects, but it’s what the station posted on its web site posted that’s getting worldwide attention.
The original picture, taken in 2007 of Adam Holland, shows him rooting for his Tennessee Titans.
“The Cowhead Show” on “The Bone” used a photo-shopped version, with the words “Retarded News” replacing Adam’s artwork.
His family is suing Cox Media, the owner of “The Bone” and other media outlets.
“He appreciates the fact that this was not, in his words, a good thing or a use of his picture. He doesn’t understand nor for that matter do we, or the parents why this was done,” said family Attorney, Larry Crain.
Crain says “The Bone” used Adam’s picture without asking, and used degrading descriptions.
“He’s become somewhat of a poster child for innocent victims of this type of behavior,” said Crain.
“UPARC” is an organization that helps about 250 people with mental or physical disabilities, every day in Pinellas County.
Its executive director says the term “retarded” is no longer used in today’s society.
“We would never find it acceptable if somebody used the “N” word in the current day, so it’s very much akin to that” said Sheldon Hersham.
He says the term brings back painful memories of young people being bullied.
“Why would you take a nice guy like that, whose obviously trying to be enthusiastic and betray what he’s trying to do just for their own sense of humor or whatever they think is in good taste” he said.
The folks from 102.5 “The Bone” are usually not shy from appearing on camera, but for this story they would not provide a spokesman.
Instead, they sent me a statement from corporate headquarters. It reads: “Cox companies are committed to empowering individuals and families, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion.”