Months after losing two jobs over a Twitter exchange with former Kings’ big man Boogie Cousins, Grant Napear is getting his voice back out there. The former Sacramento Kings’ television play-by-play man has launched a podcast called If You Don’t Like That.
“The one thing that has bothered me more than anything over the last three months is that I did not get a chance to speak to all of the fans, all of the people of Northern California, and those that have picked up on my career through hosting as a fill-in on ‘The Jim Rome Show,'” Napear said on the show’s debut episode. “And to those people who have been waiting for me to speak, I’m going to speak now and you’re going to hear what I have to say.”
Napear bemoaned cancel culture and hit on some familiar talking points about social initiatives driving fans away from sports. He also noted that he has been around the country in the last few months and has had conversations average fans that drive those points home.
“Now I’ve always said this. I said if you start bringing politics and social issues into sports, you’re going to lose a lot of fans. You’re going to lose a lot of fans. And there is no question in my mind the ratings have reflected that with the NBA. We saw the opening weekend of the National Football League. Fans are saying they don’t want it anymore.”
Grant Napear was terminated by both the Kings and by Bonneville’s KHTK in May after tweeting the phrase “ALL LIVES MATTER” in response to a question from Cousins about how he felt about the Black Lives Matter movement. “The social media exchange followed a weekend of unrest across the United States after George Floyd died during an encounter with Minneapolis police,” writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
It doesn’t seem to be the tweet itself though that was the source of Napear’s demise. Former Kings joined Cousins in expressing a lack of surprise that that would be Napear’s reaction, with Matt Barnes going so far as to call the team’s play-by-play man for the previous 32 seasons “a closet racist.”
Napear said on the first episode of If You Don’t Like That that he is confident that controversies like the one surrounding him have no place in sports. He says it “pains” him to see leagues and athletes embracing politics.
“I know what I believe in. I believe that the fans of America have spoken, and I firmly believe they do not want political and social statements made at their games. I’ve talked to too many people. I’ve talked to too many people that have handed in their basketball tickets. I’ve talked to too many people who have said they are not going to any more games.”
Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State
“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”
Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.
He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”
He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”
It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.
The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.
Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.
The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.
Others used the feud to create comedy.
Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.
The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.
Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM
“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”
A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.
“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”
The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.
The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports.
“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts. “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team. They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.”
Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool
“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”
Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.
Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.
“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”
Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.
No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.