Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is out for the year after suffering a serious arm injury this season. Former Bears wide receiver Tom Waddle, now a Chicago radio host, made a joke about that during a live interview with Hicks, and Hicks was not amused.
Hicks said during the interview that the Bears are working hard to turn their season around.
“We didn’t try to get ourselves into this situation, but we’re doing everything we can to climb out of this hole, so be supportive,” Hicks said.
After that, Waddle interjected, “You mean you didn’t put your arm in between those two Raiders and it popped out of joint on purpose?”
Waddle added, “I’m joking,” but Hicks was not amused.
“Hey, that’s a joke? You think that’s a joke? You don’t joke about somebody’s injury. No, no, no, I’m perfectly respectful, but I’ll tell you what, you will not joke about an injury,” Hicks said. “This is the last time I’m on this radio station.”
With that, Hicks hung up.
Waddle, who played for the Bears from 1989 to 1994, knows something about injuries: His final season, at the age of 27, was shortened by injuries, and when he announced his retirement the following offseason, he said his body couldn’t do it anymore. So he’s probably more sensitive to the plight of injured players than his joke would suggest. But it’s understandable that Hicks, who may not have known Waddle’s history, was not amused.