John Kincade, Kasim Reed get into Twitter war over Thrashers, Braves

Sports host John Kincade of the Fan got into a Twitter tiff with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com (left) and publicity shot (right)

This was posted Thursday, June 29, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

John Kincade raised the ire of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed yesterday by teasing him on Twitter that he had “lost” the Atlanta Thrashers in 2011.

The 93.7/680 The Fan afternoon host wrote on Wednesday on Twitter: “Imagine if at presser today at Philips he was able to announce he got back the hockey team he lost us!”

Not surprisingly, Reed responded: “Imagine if you were not willfully ignorant on this issue.”

Reed said it was the Atlanta Spirit owners who lost the Thrashers, not Reed. (The Thrashers franchise moved to Winnipeg.) He also said Kincade is doing this as “an act for the listeners.”

In an interview today, Kincade said he wasn’t placing total blame on Reed or his administration. He worked with the Thrashers for years and saw the ineptitude and incompetence of the Atlanta Spirit multi-owner structure first hand. “I liked every single owner individually but collectively, it was like watching the Three Stooges,” he said.

But he felt like Reed and his officials didn’t try to stop the bleeding until it was too late. “The mayor is not responsible for the team leaving,” he said. “But the mayor and others did not lift a finger to be aggressive or assertive in trying to broker a deal with local or outside interests to keep the team here. They were not responsible but they were culpable.”

Reed kept the heat on Kincade on Twitter, addressing other related topics: “When the Atlanta Braves change their name to something else, send me a tweet. And you probably don’t count our soccer team, but I do. #4

He also added: “He’s trying to get his clicks up. Under ‘s reasoning, Boston does not have a football team & neither does Dallas or San Fran.”

Kincade said the Braves are no longer in Reed’s jurisdiction although they technically still have an Atlanta address. So that counts as a loss.

And on Twitter, he said he is an Atlanta United fan: “Love They were just born too! We haven’t had a chance to lose them yet!” And oh, one more thing: “Don’t need to get my clicks up Mr. Mayor… Been a Top 100 Twitter follow in ATL for years.” (The mayor has 367,000 Twitter followers. Kincade has 46,500.)

The veteran sports host is more bemused by Reed’s comments than offended. “I totally understand why he would be defensive about it.”

Kincade said this isn’t the first time Reed has gone after him on Twitter. In fact, the ever feisty Reed has been targeting media types on Twitter for years and he’ll block reporters he doesn’t like.

MORE: A 2015 list of journalists Reed has blocked from Twitter

He said he doubts Reed is much of a fan of his. He has never opted to go no Kincade’s show, choosing to talk to Steak Shapiro in the mornings instead.

Nonetheless, Kincade respects Reed for engaging with him and likes a lot of what Reed has done. “He’s welcome any time on my show,” he said. “It’s an open door. I hope he takes advantage of it one day.”

I reached out to Jenna Garland, Reed’s spokeswoman. She said she’d check to see if she could get any additional comment from Reed about why he chose to engage with Kincade but didn’t sound optimistic.

UPDATE: At 3:16 p.m., Garland did send me a response, critiquing my story, implying that I characterized the interaction like an unreasonable person. She also felt like I was “playing to [the AJC’s] readership base outside of Atlanta,” whatever that means.

Rodney – you’ve got quite a few things wrong with your blog post.

You’ve mischaracterized the content of Mayor Reed’s tweet: he said the Atlanta Spirit owners made a business decision. He never said they “lost” anything.

Secondly, I’m not sure how any reasonable person can characterize the interaction as you did. John Kincade tagged the Mayor in his tweet – an action designed to illicit a response. According to your write up, Kincade “teased” the Mayor, but the Mayor’s “ire” was raised, and he “kept the heat on” and that the Mayor “has gone after him.” This is another example of how the AJC is playing to its readership base outside of Atlanta.

I hope you can recognize the imbalance, especially considering Kincade initiated.


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