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KDKA employee fired for captioning image of Tom Brady with title ‘Known Cheater’ during broadcast

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While most viewers would have found it funny, management at KDKA appear to have found it less amusing.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

For those that saw the nauseating images of the New England Patriots fan rally ahead of their departure for Atlanta earlier in the week, coverage of that broadcast was made slightly more palatable for those in the Pittsburgh area watching the 4 p.m news on KDKA-TV thanks to the efforts of Michael Telek.

Tasked with creating the graphics that would appear during the broadcast, Telek would produce an inspired graphic that would put a smile on the faces of the viewers, but ultimately cost him his job as well.

While the image would go viral, the laughs would not last long for Telek after it was announced by KDKA that he had been fired on Wednesday. As confirmed by the station to Dan Gartland of Sports Illustrated.

“While fans are entitled to have personal opinions, we have a journalistic responsibility to provide unbiased reporting. The graphic that appeared Monday violated our news standards. The individual who created the graphic no longer works for KDKA-TV.”

Acknowledging the mistake Telek made from a professional perspective, it is hard not to find the caption funny, with the response of KDKA to fire him appearing rather extreme. This is a Pittsburgh area station after all.

Thankfully, the news producer might not be out of work for too long, with offers of help to find him a new job already coming in.

Grateful of his efforts, a well-wisher has already set up a gofundme account, with $1,466 raised at the time of writing. But in the spirit of reconciliation, Telek has pledged to donate this money to a charity in Brady’s name once he has found a new job.

Given that Brady was suspended for four games for his involvement in Deflategate based on “substantial and credible evidence” that he knew that footballs were being deflated and because he failed to cooperate with the investigation, it is hard to find fault with the description of “Known Cheater”.

Although it is unlikely the Patriots or their fans found much humor in the joke, it would appear the rest of the football world did given how quickly the image went viral. We wish Mr. Telek good luck in his job hunt.