Showing footage of Brady during a Monday broadcast, CBS affiliate KDKA labeled the New England Patriots star a “Known Cheater” in a caption at the bottom of the screen, known as a chyron, outlets reported.
But even if it were intended as a humorous dig at the marquee player on the team despised by Pittsburgh Steeler fans, the bosses were not amused.
The person responsible for the chyron is no longer employed at the station.
“While fans are entitled to have personal opinions, we have a journalistic responsibility to provide unbiased reporting,” KDKA told Sports Illustrated. “The graphic that appeared Monday violated our news standards. The individual who created the graphic no longer works for KDKA-TV.”
“I mean, it’s Pittsburgh, we hate the Patriots, we hate Tom Brady, so it was a little wink for fans” as a reference to Deflategate, he said.
Brady was accused of purposely using deflated footballs to his supposed advantage in the AFC Championship Game in early 2015 against the Indianapolis Colts and was eventually suspended for four games for it. The scandal became widely known as Deflategate. Some of Brady’s critics believe he is also given preferential treatment by referees. But rarely does a mainstream news organization sum it up in such a way.
Brady and the Patriots will attempt to win their sixth Super Bowl on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta.
This article has been updated to include the identity of the fired producer, Michael Telek.