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06/19/2013 01:04 pm ET

Fired Radio Hosts Apologize For Tasteless Steve Gleason Jokes, Former NFL Star Graciously Accepts

The radio hosts who were fired for mocking former NFL player Steve Gleason have apologized for their on-air antics this week, admitting their comments had been offensive and "stupid."

On Monday, Steven "Steak" Shapiro, Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini, hosts of the "Mayhem In The AM" show on Atlanta's 790 The Zone, were given the ax after they made fun of Gleason, a former player on the New Orleans Saints who is now battling Lou Gehrig's disease, during an on-air segment.

Specifically, the trio satirized Gleason's illness, with one person adopting a robotic voice pretending to be the former NFL star, who now speaks with a synthetic voice.

The backlash to the hosts' on-air shenanigans was swift and unrelenting, with many netizens taking to social media to lambast the threesome. By Monday afternoon, Shapiro, Dimino and Cellini had been fired.

The hosts have since apologized for their on-air behavior, and on Tuesday, Shapiro, an 18-year radio veteran, admitted to CNN that his comments had been "stupid" and "awful."

"I would have been offended," Shapiro told the news outlet, when asked how he would have reacted had he been listening in to the show on Monday.

On his part, Gleason, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (also known as ALS) in 2011, says he accepts the hosts' apology and only hopes this recent furor will serve to shed more light on ALS.

"I would like to thank the public for their support," the former safety wrote on the "Team Gleason" Facebook page Tuesday. "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."

ALS is "not understood…and largely ignored," he added. "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," he said.

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