Michael Kay on The Michael Kay Show Photo credit: The Michael Kay Show

DraftKings made an awful marketing decision earlier this week when they offered a ‘Never Forget’ parlay involving New York sports teams on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The sports betting company has since removed the parlay promo and apologized, but the damage was already done, garnering just vitriol over the insensitive marketing ploy. Count ESPN Radio host and New York Yankees play-by-play voice Michael Kay among those who were appalled by DraftKings’ senseless decision.

Like many sports radio shows around the country, DraftKings is a sponsor of The Michael Kay Show. But Monday afternoon, Kay put aside any business interests he has and blasted DraftKings.

“I’m the guy who is the voice of the DraftKings ads here and DraftKings did something today that to me is incomprehensible,” Kay said. “They put out a come-on for people to bet and they called it a ‘Never Forget’ New York parlay and said bet the Yankees, the Giants and the Jets. ‘Never Forget’ to me is sacrosanct, it means something that for those that were in New York at the time, and for Americans, you don’t trivialize with something tying it to a sports bet. I’m shocked that there was somebody somewhere that worked with DraftKings that said, ‘this was a good idea.’

“They have since pulled it and they have apologized profusely, but to me, it’s incomprehensible that it ever gets off the floor. That somebody thinks, ‘Oh yea, let’s do this, a Never Forget parlay.’ It’s in such poor taste. I can’t believe it was done. I can’t believe it was allowed.”

Kay’s disgust was shared by many, but there are undoubtedly other radio hosts and shows with business ties to DraftKings who opted not to call out a sponsor. Kudos to Kay for ignoring his relationship with DraftKings to put the company on blast.

Amid the fallout from their attempt at turning 9/11 into a marketing ploy, DraftKings issued the following statement to The Boston Globe:

“We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11. We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.”

DraftKings is not the first company to make an ill-advised promo or tribute attempt in reference to 9/11. Last year, Fox was blasted for putting Baseball Night in America graphics over the 9/11 Memorial during a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox broadcast.

[YES Network]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com