WASHINGTON (AP) – Saying he’s a big Washington Redskins fan and will “go on any radio,” scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has agreed to appear on a Washington-based sports talk show to make NFL picks.
Ford, who last month was stripped of most of his mayoral powers after he admitted smoking crack cocaine while in a “drunken stupor,” told reporters in Toronto on Wednesday that he’s excited for the opportunity to appear on “The Sports Junkies,” a morning show on WJFK-FM.
“Why not? I’ll go on any radio,” Ford said. “They came to me. You are going to see my picks. I’ll bet any one of you guys.”
Ford was scheduled to appear Thursday at 8:40 a.m., and the station hopes that he will make weekly appearances thereafter, WJFK program director Chris Kinard said.
“We didn’t expect to get a reply and for him to agree to come on,” Kinard said. “We ask figures like this to come on our station all the time, and rarely does it happen, but we’re excited.”
Kinard said the program’s hosts plan to stick mostly to sports for Thursday’s appearance.
“If he’s interested in speaking about other things, we’ll have to see how that goes,” he said.
Ford admitted that he smoked crack after police said they had obtained a video that appears to show him puffing on a crack pipe as part of an investigation into a friend of the mayor’s. He has also acknowledged binge-drinking. Although he denies having a problem with alcohol, he says he has quit drinking.
Following those comments and a series of public outbursts, the city council voted overwhelmingly to slash Ford’s office budget by 60 percent and allow his staff to join the deputy mayor.
Ford attended a Redskins football camp as a child. He played football in high school and made his college team but did not play in any games.
He also said Wednesday that the Redskins nickname, which some consider offensive to Native Americans, should not be changed. President Barack Obama has said he would consider changing the name if he owned the team.
“To me, that’s ridiculous. What are we going to call the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Aboriginals?” Ford said. “The Skins are the Skins and I’d stick with the Washington Redskins.”
Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
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