WFAN's Gregg Giannotti discussing mental illness

Two ignorant callers didn’t do much to prove they deserved an opportunity to speak on a 50,000 watt radio station Tuesday morning, but WFAN’s Gregg Giannotti justly addressed their social failings.

On Tuesday, WFAN took a call from Jerry in Commack, who said the station’s morning show should be called “Boomer and Mary,” adding that Giannotti must be hanging out with too many women, a misogynistic attempt at belittling the radio host. 30 minutes later, Bill in Connecticut called in to claim Giannotti was “soft,” citing a panic attack he had on-air last year.

“I had a legit anxiety attack that day,” Giannotti fired back. “That’s what was going on, so you’re taking on that thing? That’s the thing you’re gonna point out? You’re gonna go to the mental illness bucket and bring that one in now? No, that was a legit anxiety attack so give me another example.”

The ignorant caller proceeded to criticize Giannotti’s high school athletic career, also referencing the hamstring injury he suffered while playing on WFAN’s softball team a few years ago. “From my point of view,” the caller continued. “An anxiety attack like that, you know what, I’m of the mindset and I’m probably older than you, you just gotta suck it up.”

Giannotti, who has been open about suffering from anxiety in the past, was understandably set off by the caller’s blatant ignorance toward mental illness.

“Oh my God. Are you serious?” Giannotti said while throwing his hands up in the air. “You gotta suck it up? You know how many people have killed themselves because they were told to suck up their mental illness? Seriously? You know how many people? That’s the most insulting thing I’ve heard of all time. I’ve gone to therapy, I’m on two different medications. I’m trying my best to get through the things that I have wrong with me, and you’re telling me to suck it up?

“This is why you get a lot of people who go through real trauma that are out in wars and come back here and kill themselves, because they were told to suck it up! Because of guys like you, Bill in Connecticut, because I’m soft, because I had a panic attack. That’s a real thing, man. It’s a real thing. If you don’t want to believe it, then you’re not smart enough or intelligent enough to understand it. You’re soft because you had a panic attack? We have got the most idiotic, neanderthal callers out there. This is not 1945 anymore. Women are equal, and people have mental illness.”

“You’re a d*ck,” Giannotti later added. “We’re not soft. Got it? Those of us who admit that we’ve got issues, whether it be depression or anxiety and deal with it in our lives to get to be in a better place, are not soft. You my friend, you are the soft one! You are the idiot and you are the d*ck. Get that through your head.”

“The last thing that people are who confront their mental issues to have a better life for them and their families is soft. That’s the last f’n thing! I’m of the old school. No, you’re not. You’re an idiot. You’re an idiot who hasn’t developed.”

Giannotti went on to slam the desk, rip off his headphones and swat the microphone away in disgust. That wasn’t a radio schtick or bit, that was a raw response from someone who is dealing with anxiety while much of society unfortunately remains uneducated on the gravity of mental illness.

PSA: If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and needs help, the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline can be reached at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

[WFAN, CBS Sports 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