Gregg Giannotti is not buying Michael Kay’s “performative” explanation.

Over the last week, ESPN New York has had a civil war between their morning and afternoon drive shows. On “DiPietro and Rothenberg” in the morning, producer Ray Santiago took a shot at “The Michael Kay Show,” saying they were on the decline. Kay came back with threats that he could have Santiago fired with one phone call. Kay later acknowledged being genuinely upset, but claimed the job threats were “performative.”

On WFAN’s “Boomer & Gio” Thursday morning, Giannotti said that it was “clear that Kay was legitimately angry” with Santiago. He didn’t buy Kay’s explanation that the threat to get him fired was a “performative” bit, and mocked Kay’s co-hosts Peter Rosenberg and Don La Greca for comparing people who thought Kay was being serious to those who think the same of pro wrestling.

Gregg Giannotti unleashed a savage rant on Michael Kay for threatening to get a producer fired.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

“Give me a break. You don’t have to sit there and bootlick him anymore. He’s gonna retire,” Giannotti said. “It doesn’t matter if you kiss his ass or not. It’s not gonna be the difference of you getting that job when he leaves. Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass. He was wrong! Call him out for it! He was absolutely wrong.

“It’s not performance art. You were pissed off. So how about coming on the air and saying, ‘You know what? I was wrong. I stepped over the line. I was really mad in the moment. I shouldn’t have threatened that guy’s job. I talked to him off the air. I’m sorry for doing that.’

“But instead I gotta believe it’s performance art? Are you freaking kidding me? And if it is performance art, why are you pulling back the curtain? Does the magician show you where he keeps the rabbit before he pulls it out of the hat? If you’re such a great performer, then continue your bit. But then you pulled back the curtain to tell everybody about it because you weren’t man enough to step up and say that you were wrong. And for someone to be in the business as long as he has to pull that kind of lie and bullcrap, to me, was embarrassing.”

Michael Kay said that threats to get a producer fired for taking shots at his radio show were "performative."
Michael Kay said that threats to get a producer fired for taking shots at his radio show were “performative.”
MLB via Getty Images

Giannotti said that if he personally ever goes on the air or through backchannels to WFAN boss Spike Eskin and calls for a firing that he should be punched “right in the face.”

He continued to mock Kay.

“Performance art? From Michael Kay? Performance art? What are you part of the Blue Man Group?” Giannotti asked sarcastically. “He’s about the least performance art person that I can think about, EVER, that I know.”

After this lengthy monologue, Esiason jumped in.

“You know what I think? I think that the producer should have his own show,” Esiason said. “And the second thing is yeah, I think he got trapped. I think he got caught up in the moment, got pissed off that somebody in his own building would take a shot at their show the way that that producer did, and totally understand why he would get mad. But that was not performance art. I agree with you. That was somebody trying to big time a lower level employee at that station.”



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Tyler Cowan