Never afraid to offer an opposing viewpoint, Charles Barkley reminded TNT’s audience that standing for the national anthem doesn’t make you a bad person.
The NBA restart tipped off Thursday night, following a national anthem which saw players, coaches and referees take a knee, a unified statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The first game featured the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans kneeling, followed by the Lakers and Clippers doing the same, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis linking arms near midcourt as the national anthem was performed by the Compton Kidz Club.
Teams have been given the go-ahead by the league to kneel during the anthem as a way of peacefully protesting social injustice. Previously, the NBA imposed a rule stating players must stand and line up in a “dignified posture” during the national anthem, but commissioner Adam Silver has made it clear he’s in support of peaceful protests.
“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said Thursday.
While the NBA’s restart bubble in Orlando has become a platform for social justice and the league has so far been unified in their approach to the national anthem, Charles Barkley stated it should also be OK if someone wants to stand.
“The thing is, the national anthem means different things to different people,” Barkley said Thursday on TNT’s Inside The NBA. “I’m glad these guys are all unified, but if people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear.”
“I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy that doesn’t want to kneel or the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified,” Barkley added.
The NBA has supported its players in using their platform and voice to demand social justice and equality. In addition to linking arms and kneeling during the anthem, players wore Black Lives Matter shirts for warmups and debuted jerseys featuring messages such as “Peace,” instead of their last name.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.