Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks has been out of commission since Week 5 after going down with an elbow injury.
The Waddle & Silvy show/podcast has featured Hicks as a guest for the entire seaso, and what began as a light-hearted segment turned very negative very quickly.
At first, they talked about Thanksgiving and pie, asking Hicks if he considered himself to be a “pie guy,” to which Hicks responded “most definitely.” They discussed pie and food a bit before asking Hicks how he felt about football on Thanksgiving. Hicks said he was a fan of the “tradition” of it all.
Former Bears wide receiver Tom Waddle asked Hicks what he was thankful for, and Hicks said “peace, understanding…patience.” Waddle followed up by asking “How patient have you forced yourself to be considering that the last thing you want to be is not playing?” Hicks said it was “frustrating” and “humbling” and noted that he felt bad his injury had to get brought up every week.
Waddle then asked Hicks about his recovery, and Hicks said he was feeling “pretty strong,” and sounded positive and also said that “we’re on track.”
The conversation then got a little bit chippy. Waddle asked Hicks how he felt about Tarik Cohen’s recent comments about disliking it when the home crowd boos them, and Hicks noted that as a fan himself, he doesn’t boo the teams he loves–he only cheers. He cited going to Laker games and cheering but never booing as an example. “What if the Lakers hadn’t won a championship in 34 years?” Silverman then asked, referencing the Bears’ current championship draught.
Hicks got slightly annoyed at that, and suggested that he sometimes wondered if the two hosts were really truly Bears fans. Then things got ugly.
Tom Waddle asked: “You mean you didn’t put your arm in between those two Raiders and it popped out of joint on purpose?…No I’m joking.”
Hicks did not like it. “That’s a joke?” he asked. “I’m perfectly respectful,” Hicks said, “but you will not joke about this injury.” Waddle apologized immediately, but Hicks was done.
“You have a blessed day. This is the last time I’m on this radio station,” he said before hanging up and ending the conversation. Waddle and Silverman seemed befuddled, mentioning that the argument and issue got out of hand quickly, also noting that it was a first for their show in terms of guests hanging up on them. “I certainly didn’t mean it in that manner for sure,” Waddle said afterwards.
Hicks then responded to the call on Twitter, saying he was “baited right into it.”
Hicks then suggested he didn’t appreciate anyone joking about a serious injury.
Waddle’s co-host, Marc Silverman, responded to Hicks’ tweet, saying: “We don’t ‘bait’ any of our guests. Not how we work. The relationships we’ve built w/Chicago athletes over the 13yrs we’ve been on the air is second to none. It was a simple misunderstanding.” Hicks responded to that by noting that the show’s past has no bearing on current events, and that he doesn’t believe joking about athlete’s injuries is funny.
Hicks has generally been a light-hearted presence on social media and in interviews, and his hang up was a rarity. Whether he’ll return to Waddle & Silvy as a guest in the future remains to be seen.