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Cowherd No Longer On ESPN

Jason Barrett

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Radio host Colin Cowherd no longer will appear on ESPN following comments he made questioning the intelligence of Dominican Republic players related to baseball one day earlier, the company said in a statement Friday.

“Colin Cowherd’s comments over the past two days do not reflect the values of ESPN or our employees,” ESPN said in a statement. “Colin will no longer appear on ESPN.”

Cowherd issued an apology later Friday via Twitter.

I did not intend to offend anyone w my comments. I realize my choice of words was poor and not reflective of who I am. I am sorry.

Cowherd had said Thursday that he didn’t believe baseball was complex, saying a third of the sport was from the Dominican Republic, which had “not been known, in my lifetime, as having, you know, world-class academic abilities.”

Major League Baseball on Friday said Cowherd owes Dominican players an apology for the remarks, and the MLB Players Association also condemned his comments.

Earlier Friday, Cowherd addressed his remarks from Thursday during The Herd.

“I could’ve made the point without using one country, and there’s all sorts of smart people from the Dominican Republic,” Cowherd said. “I could’ve said a third of baseball’s talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles. For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they’ve furnished baseball with so many great players.”

Cowherd on Friday also cited reports and statistics to back up what he said about the country’s ranking when it comes to primary education.

“I understand that when you mention a specific country, they get offended,” Cowherd said. “I get it. I do. And for that, I feel bad. I do. But I have four reports in front of me … where there are discussions of major deficiencies in the education sector at all levels. … It wasn’t a shot at them. It was data. Five, seven years ago I talked about the same subject. Was I clunky? Perhaps. Did people not like my tone? I get it. Sometimes my tone stinks.

“I think when you host a radio show, just like Jon Stewart hosts a show, I think sometimes I bring up stuff … that makes people cringe. I’m not saying there’s not intelligent, educated people from the Dominican Republic. I cringe at the data, too.”

Major League Baseball issued its statement after Cowherd’s show aired Friday.

“Major League Baseball condemns the remarks made by Colin Cowherd, which were inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game,” it said. “Mr. Cowherd owes our players of Dominican origin, and Dominican people generally, an apology.”

Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, also issued a statement in which he took issue with Cowherd’s response Friday to his original comments.

“As a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, I can assure you that our sport is infinitely more complex than some in the media would have you believe,” Clark said. “To suggest otherwise is ignorant, and to make an ignorant point by denigrating the intelligence of our Dominican members was not ‘clunky’ — it was offensive.

“These recent comments are particularly disappointing when viewed against the backdrop of the important work being done to celebrate and improve the cultural diversity of our game. Baseball’s partners and stakeholders should help such efforts, not undermine them.”

There were 83 Dominican players on Opening Day rosters this year, representing about 10 percent of all players in the majors.

The flap stems from Cowherd’s comments on Thursday, which were made while debating whether it was difficult for a front-office executive to take over managerial duties — using current Miami Marlins general manager/manager Dan Jennings as an example.

“It’s baseball,” Cowherd said Thursday. “You don’t think a general manager can manage? Like it’s impossible? The game is too complex? I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball’s just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities. A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have.

“Baseball is like any sport. It’s mostly instincts. A sports writer who covers baseball could go up to Tony La Russa and have a real baseball argument, and Tony would listen and it would seem reasonable. There’s not a single NFL writer in the country who could diagram a play for Bill Belichick. You know, we get caught up in this whole ‘thinking-man’s game.’ Is it in the same family? Most people could do it. It’s not being a concert pianist. It’s in the same family.”

Cowherd, who had been with ESPN for 12 years, announced earlier this week that he’s leaving the company for another business opportunity.

Credit to ESPN who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Steak Shapiro Apologizes, Says He Didn’t Think Stetson Bennett Criticism Was ‘That Inflamatory’

“You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history.”

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Wednesday’s edition of The Steakhouse was one Atlanta sports fans were waiting for. Late Tuesday night, Steak Shapiro took to Twitter to promise that he would address Stetson Bennett IV’s reaction to his criticism of the way the quarterback behaved at Georgia’s National Championship parade on Saturday.

“The notion is that Steak was basically roasted,” he said of the coverage the social media spat received. “He was put on the grill and taken to task.”

Shapiro had tweeted that he did not think it was a good look for Bennett to be on his phone during the championship parade and that his speech seemed more about settling old grudges than it was about celebrating the team or the fans. In a message on Twitter, which began by addressing Shapiro as “Mr. Med Rare”, Bennett explained that he was using his phone to play music in the car he was riding in. He was not ignoring the moment or the fans.

After giving Bennett credit for coming up with a funny nickname, Steak Shapiro said that he was surprised that the quarterback took the criticism so personally.

“My job is to give an opinion. I didn’t think it was that inflammatory. I didn’t think it was that dramatic.”

He added that has no problem with Stetson’s disdain for the media. He just thought the parade should have been about the fans and the accomplishment rather than Stetson Bennett IV trying to settle old grudges. Still, Shapiro wanted to make it clear that he does not hate the Georgia quarterback. He remains one of Bennett’s most vocal fans.

“On three or four occasions, I was lambasted because I said I thought he was the greatest player in Georgia history, and I said that before he won the national title,” Shapiro said. “I said that when they had the undefeated regular season, and then people started saying ‘stop saying that about Stetson’ or ‘Stetson’s overrated’. I just kinda had his back the entire year and probably had his back the last two years. I just didn’t think Saturday was a great day. That is what I have been saying, and I stand by it. I just didn’t think it was a great-looking day.”

Steak Shapiro did offer an apology to Bennett. He said that if the quarterback was just trying to play music on his phone, that isn’t that big of a deal, and if he had known that is what was happening, his reaction may have been different.

“My bad,” he concluded. “You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history. You’re one of the iconic sports figures — maybe number one — in a town of Hank Aaron, and Chipper Jones, and Domonique Wilkins, and Matt Ryan, and Deion Sanders. You’re probably number one all time.”

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Sports Radio News

Brian Gebhardt to Serve as Program Director of Sactown Sports 1140

“Learning under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti helped prepare Gebhardt for the next step.”

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Sactown Sports 1140 has found their next program director. After an extensive search, GM Steve Cottingim and Bonneville Sacramento’s Group Director of Programming Chad Rufer have found their next leader in Atlanta, GA, tabbing Brian Gebhardt to guide the brand’s programming department.

Gebhardt heads west to join Bonneville Sacramento after enjoying over seven years of success at 92.9 The Game. He has served recently as the Executive Producer of the ‘Andy & Randy’ show featuring Randy McMichael and Andy Bunker. During his time with the Atlanta sports station, Gebhardt has learned under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti. Those experiences prepared Gebhardt for the next step, as did working with numerous on-air talents who have helped The Game become a model of consistency in Georgia.

“Brian’s experience working with both premiere talent and professional sports franchises will help us help the Sactown Sports brand grow both on-air and on-line ,” said Cottingim.

“Brian demonstrated to us a real passion for leading extraordinary talent,” shared Rufer. “We are very confident that he will help us grow Sactown Sports into Sacramento’s premiere sports brand.”

“I can’t wait to get started and I am beyond excited to be working with Bonneville,” added Gebhardt.  

The hiring of the Georgia native as new PD allows Nick Cattles to focus exclusively on hosting the station’s afternoon show, a role he’s wanted to invest more time. Cattles joined Sactown Sports in November 2021 and has pulled double duty since arriving in Northern California. He hired Ramie Makhlouf as his afternoon drive co-host and the duo have built a solid foundation in afternoons. Having the ability now to focus solely on the show should allow Cattles and Ramie to elevate their program even more.

The first day on the job for Gebhardt will be Monday February 3rd. Depending on what develops with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs, there’s a possibility he could be walking into two straight weeks of Super Bowl planning. Regardless, Gebhardt has a new market to learn, a new team to meet, a new company to deliver results for, and an opportunity to take a big step in his radio career.

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Sports Radio News

DNVR Sports Files Injunction Against Bonneville Over Denver Sports Brand

“We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community.”

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After Bonneville International unveiled new branding for its Denver Sports properties, digital outlet DNVR Sports has filed an injunction to stop the radio company from utilizing the brand and logos.

In a Twitter thread, ALLCITY Network CEO Brandon Spano claimed DNVR Sports has already seen listeners, viewers, and readers confuse the two brands. “We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community,” Spano tweeted.

“Our branding was created purposefully, to be different from the way sports networks traditionally looked,” he said in another tweet. “To represent the city of Denver in a simple way while removing us from the gloss and pretentiousness of sports media. To create something that brings people together.”

Spano added that ALLCITY sent Bonneville a cease-and-desist letter last week, but claims the company failed to respond, so an injunction has been filed.

The Denver Sports branding utilized by Bonneville — which encompasses 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver — features a black and white city skyline as well as the Rocky Mountains inside a hexagon with block lettering. The DNVR Sports logo is a rectangle, similar to the city of Denver flag, with the sun centered between the mountain peaks and a block “DNVR” below the rectangle.

The complaint filed by StudioIP LLC — the law firm representing ALLCITY — claims the branding used by Bonneville constitutes “trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, dilution by tarnishment, and tortious interference arising out of Bonneville’s trademark infringement of Plaintiff’s trademarks,” according to Westword.

Bonneville has denied any wrongdoing, saying the accusations “have absolutely no merit, and our legal counsel is preparing a formal response. Denver Sports remains committed to delivering the most in-depth and inclusive local sports content for all Denver sports fans.”

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