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ESPN Personalities Comment On Protests, Death of George Floyd

“Kudos to ESPN for recognizing that this is an issue that should speak to all of us. And kudos to the talent that listened, and asked questions and especially to those that opened up and spoke so emotionally about the issue and the moment.”

Ricky Keeler

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The death of George Floyd at the hands of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chavin last Monday and the many protests that have happened across the United States over the weekend had many athletes and ESPN personalities voicing their opinion on the tragic event and what needs to change in this country. 

As I was watching SportsCenter on Saturday night, I came across anchor Michael Eaves talking about the impact this situation had on him. It was leading into a piece done by Jeremy Schaap about the impact athletes are having during these tough times.

Eaves has not been the only personality who has spoken out over the weekend. On Friday’s Get Up, Jalen Rose talked about how we as a society need to come together, not just when it is convenient.

https://twitter.com/JalenRose/status/1266381588994146312

Marcus Spears, who contributes to Get Up and College Football Live among other shows on ESPN and the SEC Network, tweeted on Sunday a statement saying this is the best he could explain the situation and then spoke on Monday’s Get Up about the impact it had on his 11-year-old son: 

https://twitter.com/GetUpESPN/status/1267456484306309121

On ESPN Radio’s Sunday Morning show hosted by Matt Schick and Myron Medcalf, Schick mentioned how he had a discussion with his kids about everything going on in the world and he told them about what happened to Emmett Till. I will leave that clip here along with the interview Schick and Medcalf did with North Carolina Central men’s basketball coach, LeVelle Moton: 

https://twitter.com/ESPNRadio/status/1267170778547716097

Another segment I was able to catch Sunday was when Chris Carlin and Alyssa Lang had Bart Scott, the former Jets linebacker and co-host of Bart and Hahn on ESPN Radio New York, on their show and Lang asked what white people can do to help the situation.

“Just make abundantly clear that silence is compliance,” Scott answered. “If you fail to say nothing, you are saying it is ok and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Eventually, if you don’t attack injustice, eventually it is going to be on your doorsteps.” 

On Monday’s The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard spoke on the subject and you can hear the emotion he was using (credit to @gifdsports for the audio).

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m just an observer. Latin or not, minority or not, I come from privilege. I hope we can just laugh today that there can be some medicine somewhere in this,” Le Batard said. “I’ve been alive for 51 years. I have not had as heartbreaking a weekend for something that didn’t really directly impact me as I did this weekend where my fear kept me in a place. This bone-weariness, this feeling that you have in your heart, in your stomach, it feels like a disease.”

Kudos to ESPN for recognizing that this is an issue that should speak to all of us. And kudos to the talent that listened, and asked questions and especially to those that opened up and spoke so emotionally about the issue and the moment. We as a country need to do better. So, the one thing I would want everyone to take from this article and these people is please, take a minute, and listen. 

Sports TV News

Rece Davis: College GameDay Needed Someone Like Pete Thamel for Years

“It’s like because of this podcast and that, people have started to think of us as two guys who might someday star in a buddy movie.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN’s College GameDay has a formula to it that has made the show work for so long. It’s not scripted at all, but it’s organized in a way that gives the show structure.

And sometimes time constraints force producers and the hosts to have to make adjustments on the fly, like eliminating segments or elements within segments.

GameDay host Rece Davis talked about it on Monday’s edition of the College GameDay podcast with ESPN senior college football writer Pete Thamel. Davis praised Thamel for his contributions to the show but acknowledged that often Thamel whose hits on the show end up struck because of time.

“All of us sacrifice some, but you’re one of the ones who take heavy hits in terms of things getting cut,” Davis said. Thamel’s tweets are often featured throughout the show, and Davis makes it a point to recognize Thamel on the air. “That’s why I try to give you a shoutout when I see the tweets pop up on the screen, which are amazing by the way.”

Davis said Thamel’s ability to provide up to the second information on relevant and timely stories in college football has been a welcomed change to the show.

“You’ve brought something to GameDay that GameDay’s desperately needed for years,” he said. “It’s like because of this podcast and that, people have started to think of us as two guys who might someday star in a buddy movie.”

GameDay will be on location this weekend for the showdown between Michigan and Ohio State. This past weekend the show was live from Montana State.

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Miami Marlins Continue Broadcast Changes, Drop J.P. Arencibia

The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida.

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After announcing last week that Miami Marlins play-by-play announcer Glenn Geffner wouldn’t return to the booth next year, the club continues to make changes. J.P. Arencibia won’t return as an analyst for the club in 2023.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Arencibia was informed he will no longer work on either the team’s television or radio broadcasts next season. The former big league catcher worked the club’s opening road series and more than 60 games for Bally Sports Florida. It was his first season as a television analyst. According to Jackson, the reason for Arencibia’s departure is “unclear”, adding a reason “was not offered”.

The club will continue to use a rotation of analysts in 2023, with Jeff Nelson, Gaby Sanchez, Rod Allen, and Tommy Hutton working in the booth.

Arencibia was brought on for the 2022 season after the Marlins dropped former Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth from the clubs televisions broadcasts after the previous season concluded.

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Rebecca Lobo Signs Extension With ESPN

She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

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ESPN and Rebecca Lobo have signed an extension to keep the women’s basketball legend with the network.

Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst. She has served as the analyst for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and the National Championship Game.

“I am thrilled to continue doing what I love, calling women’s basketball games,” said Lobo. “It is an honor to be a part of the soundtrack for the games played by these incredible female athletes.”

Lobo had a storied career at UConn before winning an Olympic Gold Medal. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

“Rebecca is one of the best in the business. She excels on both game coverage and studio coverage,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Her knowledge, history, and passion for the game and its growth continue to make us better.  She is a true asset and a highly valued member of our team.”

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