A host joining the Padres’ flagship radio station this week generated outrage on social media Monday evening with a promotional tweet viewed by many as insensitive to suicide.
Kevin Klein, set to begin a new show Thursday on 97.3 FM, sent out a tweet with a photo of the Coronado Bridge and the text “JUMP* … *to a new morning show.”
The response on Twitter was swift, with some users asking Klein to delete the tweet (he refused), while others criticized him for its inappropriateness.
Still others called on the Padres to address the matter, some suggesting the organization find a new radio station. The team opens the season Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park.
The Padres did not immediately comment. The station’s hosts are not involved with Padres games or pregame/postgame programming, although club employees could be guests on their shows.
Six hours after the original tweet, two other tweets were sent out with the same text but different photos — one of a local beach scene and the other showing an overhead coastal shot of the Torrey Pines Golf Course.
At least one Twitter user suggested it was an attempt to deflect attention from the original tweet by making it appear this was intended to be a series of promos with various San Diego locales. The context was much different with the other photos, however.
Klein’s tweet came the same day as a front-page story in the Union-Tribune about the unveiling of Coronado Bridge suicide-prevention prototypes. According to the article, the Coronado Bridge is the second-deadliest bridge in the United States for suicides.
More than 400 people have jumped to their deaths over the bridge’s 50-year history. There have been 98 deaths in the past six years, with 18 of them coming in 2017.
Kenney writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.