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Emmanuel Acho Talks About Web Series Success On Adam Schefter Podcast

“He mentioned in the interview that he has conversations with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and he has spoken to different NFL and MLB organizations.”

Ricky Keeler

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One of the more popular and powerful series on the internet lately is Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man hosted by former NFL player Emmanuel Acho. Acho helps start those tough conversations that can help make change while also working as one of the hosts on Speak For Yourself on FS1. 

Before FS1, Acho worked for ESPN as a college football analyst and one of the frequent analysts on Get Up. This week, Acho was on The Adam Schefter Podcast to talk about the origins of the social media series that is sweeping the country and his new book deal with Oprah.

“After the murder of George Floyd, I said ‘I got to do something.’ I almost felt guilty talking about race because I am a sports analyst. I almost felt guilty talking about being black and the struggles that come with being black even if it’s my own struggles because you all don’t want to hear about this, but you have to. 

“At first, it was going to be called “Questions White People Have.” I reached out to Marcus Spears (ESPN analyst), Rachel Lindsay (of ABC’s The Bachelorette), a couple of white people and I said ‘hey, I would love to have a dialogue and roundtable to ask and answer questions,’ but the problem is the coronavirus has put everyone in different cities and made it harder for everyone to travel. It was going to take too long, so I said I would do it myself.”

For Acho, the reaction that he has received from these videos has reached millions of people. He mentioned in the interview that he has conversations with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and he has spoken to different NFL and MLB organizations. 

“I’m not reaching out to people. I’m letting the conversation happen organically,” Acho said. “Then, I try to have a conversation with them. I reach out to people who reach out to me. It has been encouraging and powerful, dude. If you believe in the goal, if you want to see the world become a better place, I feel I have the platform to do that.”

Last week, it was announced that Acho received a book deal from Oprah to write two books called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man and Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy. The former title will be released in November. Acho made it clear that the book can have more of an impact than social media because the next step can be taken. 

“The book will allow me to give them what I haven’t been able to give them via words. It will allow me to take things a step further. Sizzle comes with the spoken word. If you want to make generational impact, it comes with the written word.”  

While doing these videos, Acho has been trying to balance being a host on FS1 as well. He does have production teams in Austin, Texas and in Los Angeles that help him with the project. He mentioned how sports is his career but doing these conversations has been his calling. Yet, sports has given him a chance to smile. 

During the podcast, Schefter brought about the topic of racial reconciliation and what the goal is.

“I think that reconciliation is not a finish line that you cross,” Acho responded. “Football games, basketball games have an end. When the 60 minutes are up, there is a final score. That’s not what this is with racial reconciliation. It’s not the line that you cross, but the road that you travel.”

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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Sports Online

ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Online

Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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