Serena Williams remark by sports radio host leads to his dismissal

March 25, 2021

A Buffalo, N.Y., sports radio host was fired Wednesday for making a comment about Serena Williams and other Black celebrities when talking about women he found attractive.

Rob Lederman, the now-former host of the “Morning Bull” on 97 Rock Buffalo, got into the conversation while talking with ESPN’s Buffalo Bills beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques. The conversation was about what level on the toaster everyone on the show set for their morning toast.

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“I have them to the attractiveness of women that I find to be attractive,” Lederman said. “I will never go to a Serena Williams level. But I’m very comfortable with a Halle Berry level.”

Louis-Jacques tweeted the clip and an uproar of Lederman’s comments followed.

“There’s already an unfortunate and undeserved stigma attached to dark skin – so for Rob to take something undesirable like burnt toast and compare it to the skin color of any person is reprehensible and feeds into that stigma,” the reporter tweeted.

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Lederman was subsequently fired from the radio station and lost his job as the arena host for the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team. The University of Buffalo added that Lederman would not be brought back to be its public address announcer.

Lederman told The Buffalo News he re-listened to his words and was “horrified.”

“I could easily see how someone could be offended by that. I get that,” he said. “It sounds terrible, and it is terrible.”

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He apologized for his comments and added they were not meant to be “hurtful.”