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Will Cain Says Last 6 Months Influenced Decision To Leave ESPN

“As two hosts who have been at times criticized by their audience for not sticking to sports, Cowherd and Cain offered their beliefs on how to navigate the inclusion of political and social issues.”

Brandon Contes

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A news commentator, turned sports host, and back to news as the political conversation continues to become more prevalent, Will Cain has had an interesting media career. Cain joined FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd over the weekend to discuss a variety of topics including why he recently left ESPN for FOX News. 

Cain told Cowherd sports has always been a core part of his life and when he joined ESPN in 2015, he didn’t want to be part of the political conversation anymore. 

“It didn’t feel productive, it didn’t feel important, it didn’t feel like I had a place in that conversation,” Cain explained on The Herd-Saturday Special podcast. But five years later, at a time where there is so much heightened political division in the country, Cain now believes he has something important to contribute to the conversation. 

Cain said he was very happy at ESPN, hosting his daily show on their national radio network, while also regularly contributing to First Take. As ESPN’s primary conservative voice, Cain’s opinions were of the minority on the more leftist network, but he doesn’t believe his voice is the minority across the country.

“The direction of the country over the last six months…it really impacted my decision on what I want to be talking about every day,” Cain told Cowherd. And that decision was ultimately to leave ESPN and join FOX & Friends Weekend.

‘Stick to sports’ is a frequently debated theme in sports radio, but in recent months it’s becoming more difficult to separate sports from political or social issues. As two hosts who have been at times criticized by their audience for not sticking to sports, Cowherd and Cain offered their beliefs on how to navigate the inclusion of political and social issues. 

When organizing his show, Cowherd said he considers sports the freeway, but he occasionally takes the exit ramp to discuss political issues. If he exits, his goal is to always get back on the freeway as soon as possible. Cain acknowledged an understanding that his audience was tuning in for sports first, but when he did veer, he wasn’t going to aggressively return to the “freeway” as Cowherd described it. 

“Let me be honest with you about my biases, my beliefs,” Cain said of his approach to discussing political or social issues on sports radio. “I don’t want to hide them from you and in response I want to hear yours…the biggest mistake we can make is to box people out – tell them ‘you’re wrong, you’re racist, you don’t belong in the conversation.’ That’s not what I wanted to do, I want to be honest about who I was and invite everybody else to tell me how I was wrong.” 

The two media stars also had an interesting take on social media, which they agree is not real life, but it still has an outside influence on real life. Cain noted the majority of TV and radio shows organize their programming based on what’s trending on Twitter.

“Twitter has this outside influence on institutional media, and then it clearly can influence the radical fringes,” Cain said. “Now what we see is those radical fringes are influencing real life, by taking to the street and creating chaos.”

Cowherd added that a lot of the protesting in the streets was caused by the abnormally high unemployment rates, stemming from the global pandemic. But Cowherd painted a cheerier picture for our country’s outlook after calling it the strangest year of his life.

“I’m proud of my neighbors,” Cowherd said. “I think we’ve overcome a lot this year and I think brighter days ahead.” 

Sports Online

John Skipper: Media Has Not Treated Adam Silver Like He’s Teflon

“I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

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Dan Le Batard hosted an interesting conversation on his Thursday show examining the performance of NBA commissioner Adam Silver during the press conference in which he announced the suspension of Suns owner Robert Sarver. David Samson and John Skipper joined Le Batard in the discussion.

Samson, former president of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, said of Silver “it’s amazing the level of Teflon he’s had, and I don’t know that it’s deserved in any way.” He added that the NBA commissioner’s performance was “not very well workshopped” when addressing the media.

John Skipper, co-founder of Meadowlark Media, acknowledged that the performance was not strong. He said that it was clear that Adam Silver was frustrated by the limitations his job put on what he could do about someone behaving in a way that he did not think was appropriate for the NBA. He did pushback on the idea that Silver had been immune from criticism.

“I’m not sure that I accept that he’s Teflon-like,” Skipper said. “He’s actually made most of the right decisions and done most of the right things and he’s gotten credit for that. I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

Samson smiled during the answer, which Skipper addressed by acknowledging that Samson knows that Skipper is friends with Adam Silver. The Meadowlark boss called himself an “apologist” for Silver, but added

“I mostly think he’s done a fabulous job. If you want to hold up what commissioner has done most of the right things in the last seven or eight years, he’s not Teflon-coated, but he has a tremendous track record, which I think deserves our support.”

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Chris Long Tells Jim Rome He’s Gambled on Games to Keep Him Interested For His Podcast

“So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Placing bets on NFL games adds a whole other layer to the NFL viewing experience, and Super Bowl champion Chris Long understands that.

Long, who is not that far removed from his playing days in the league, was a guest on The Jim Rome Podcast, and said he initially considered gambling on football as something to compete at after retiring.

But now that he’s had some time to better learn the ins and outs of wagering, he’s become wiser and better informed. It’s helped him when talking about gambling on his own podcast, Green Light with Chris Long.

“I want to be responsible and give out good picks,” Long said. “I don’t want to just throw stuff out there because I’m getting paid by a casino. I’m really interested in the artform of gambling if that makes any sense.”

Long added that having that wagering itch definitely keeps him enthralled in watching football all day like a lot of other NFL fans, even those games people generally think won’t be that good competitively ahead of time.

He said it’s definitely helped with his show.

“I’m not even gonna lie, dude, sometimes you get burned out by football, right? I played it for a long time, now I’m covering it. So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested and I can do my job more effectively because I’m gonna be glued to the TV. So like in a weird way it’s held me a little bit more accountable when it comes to staying on my game.”

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Shams Charania Signs New Contracts to Remain with Stadium and The Athletic

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Jordan Bondurant

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After speculation over his future, NBA insider Shams Charania is not going somewhere new.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Wednesday night that Charania has signed new contracts to remain at Stadium/Bally Sports and The Athletic.

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Shams has been an integral piece in the growth and evolution of Stadium, elevating our content across both digital media and television experiences,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle. “He is one of the finest professionals and people in our industry, and we are truly excited to continue building upon our longstanding and trusted relationship.”

Charania, 28, is an integral part of Stadium/Bally Sports NBA coverage. He makes regular appearances on the Sinclair-owned networks on shows like Inside the Association and The Rally.

Shams has not yet addressed the news on his Twitter account, which has 1.8 million followers.

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