The Portland Timbers have declined to end a contract with KXTG 102.9 The Game, their longtime radio broadcast partner, which has been under fire for hiring a talk show host who espoused extreme right-wing views.
In June, Dino Costa advocated running over Black Lives Matter protestors, a rant that took on new meaning this week.
"The Timbers have and will always stand for tolerance, acceptance and diversity, and we understand the reaction that many of our fans have had to some of the offensive and insensitive views and opinions expressed on The Dino Costa Show. In no way do we condone those views, as they go against our fundamental values and beliefs as a club," the statement read.
Timbers publicist Katie Simmons was reached by WW and asked to answer further questions. She declined.
"The statement is the statement," Simmons said.
Reached by WW, Randi O'Pool, an executive at the station's parent company, said that the Timbers have not sought to sever their contract. Neither have the Oregon Ducks, another broadcast partner.
"We are still under contract with the Timbers and Ducks and neither has requested to be released," P'Pool wrote.
In case you're just jumping into #Dinoghazi: Dino Costa is station's newish afternoon host. His June hiring was immediately met with outrage in progressive Portland. Costa's long line of transgressions includes railing against female broadcasters saying, "women have no place in the world of legitimate sports talk radio" and against the "gay and lesbian lifestyle."
Costa's journeyman career has seen its share of short stints, including just six weeks in St. Louis, a town typically considered much more friendly to extreme conservatism than Portland.
Pressure escalated for Costa over the weekend, after a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Va. allegedly ran over peaceful protestors with his Dodge Challenger.
Back on June 7, Costa advocated running over Black Lives Matter protestors on the air. Eugene Weekly appears to be the first news publication to post about Costa's June rant.
"You know these protests where they shut down the road, they lie in the road? If I'm the cops, I wave the traffic on," Costa said. "Listen, as soon as one or two of these sumbitches are run over you'll see the entire, in unison, everybody be up off the street. When people are being killed by 18-wheel trucks coming by, pickups, cars. Run 'em over!"
Since then, local media has been inundated with complaints about Costa.
In the team's statement, the Timbers said that they "are under contract with Alpha Media through the end of the 2018 MLS season" and that they will "carefully evaluate our radio home at that time."
The Timbers might not have any choice but to wait until the contract expires.
Then again, they might.
In broadcast media, it's fairly common to find "morals clauses" that allow one party to get out of the deal if the other party does or says something that will shock and appall the community.
The Timbers declined to answer WW's questions about any escape hatches in their contract with The Game.
Station management is standing behind Costa for now.
"The Game management team took immediate and aggressive action with him on the day of his June 7 broadcast," said P'Poole, the executive.
Costa, normally chatty on Twitter, did not respond to a request to comment there. However, he did follow-up with a tweet offering an Applebee's gift card to listeners of today's show.