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Thom Brennaman: Apology Was The Best I Could Do

“Napear asked him whether all of the jokes still bug him.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Bally Sports Ohio

Former MLB and NFL broadcaster Thom Brennaman appeared on If You Don’t Like That with Grant Napear and discussed how he’s been dealing with the fallout from his anti-gay slur—along with his apology that’s been memed to oblivion.

Last August, a hot mic caught Brennaman saying the slur, which he later apologized for uttering. Unfortunately for Brennaman, the game wasn’t taking a timeout for his apology, and Cincinnati Reds slugger Nick Castellanos hit a home run right in the middle of it.

Brennaman stuck to his broadcast roots and ended up calling the home run right when he was apologizing. Napear asked him whether all of the jokes still bug him.

“It did,” Brennaman said. “But you know, Grant, I was able to just let it go. Because I mean, you know, you realize when you go through any number of things. And look, there are people and children and animals for that matter in this world to feel bad for — Thom Brennaman’s not one of them. I’m not one of those guys to feel bad for. I created the situation and I’m the one that’s got to live with it — don’t feel bad about it for me. But yes, when you’re going through in that moment in time and you’re live on television. There is a game going on which you’re also trying to announce — because that’s why you’re there.”

Brennaman was caught in a unique situation (of his own making) and watched as his professional career came crashing down in real-time. The broadcaster identified the criticism his apology received as a sign of what’s wrong with the world.

“For people to criticize a sincere apology when everything that was going on in my quote-unquote world at that point in time — it was the best I could do,” Brennaman said. “And once you hear people, Grant, start criticizing your apology? That’s when you know that there is a lot wrong with a lot of people. Not just me — and I’ve got a lot wrong with me. There is a lot wrong in this world.” 

Listen to the full appearance from Brennaman here.

Sports TV News

Kay Adams: Pat McAfee Has Built ‘The Dream’

“it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”

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Many in sports media have respect for former NFL punter Pat McAfee for what he has accomplished in his media endeavors, and you can add FanDuel TV host Kay Adams to that list.

“I’m just blown away by the success and by the leverage he has,” Adams said on the My Other Passion podcast. “It is uncanny, it is aspirational, and it is self-made, so it is a beautiful thing. I — of course — watch what he does. I don’t want to be just like him but I do think he is so disruptive.

“He has such a chip on his shoulder. It drives him but I almost wish I could see it relieved a little bit. He’s thriving, he’s happy, and I think the thing that sticks out to me about him is that he’s truly grateful. Truly is grateful for everything he has, his opportunities. He’s worked his ass off for it.”

Adams pointed to McAfee’s recent spat with the NFL over use of the league’s logos as an indicator of not only his success but his influence in the sports landscape.

“He is true to himself but he mostly leads with gratitude, which I think is the epitome of success. But he’s out there show you what can be done. He’s the first, but will he be the last to have that sort of platform? That sort of swing? What he does with the NFL the other week, I’m paying attention to that.

“Because I wanna see: is the NFL gonna bend the knee to Pat McAfee? Does the NFL care what he says? But it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”

The NFL did eventually “bend the knee” and reversed course on limiting McAfee’s use of league trademarks.

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John Skipper: Bob Iger’s Return Won’t Effect ESPN

“If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

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There have been many questions about what Bob Iger’s return to Disney will mean for ESPN, but former ESPN President John Skipper believes it won’t change much.

Skipper pointed to Iger’s relationships with powerbrokers in the sports world as a positive, and also believes that the “streaming wars” will be won by those who hold the rights to live sports.

“As a moat, to get the pay-TV fees and to get people to pay more money to subscribe,” Skipper pointed to Sportico as the reason for ESPN to still have an agreement with the NBA for linear TV. He later added “If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”

Skipper also said the network used to invest in constant studio programming but said that’s no longer a necessity.

“We did that type of programming because the economics were different at the time,” Skipper said.

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Warner Bros. Discovery Sports President Departs

“His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

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Lenny Daniels is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after 27 years with the company.

Daniels is the President of the company’s sports division in the United States, overseeing the contracts and strategic vision for the organization.

In a memo sent to staff obtained by Sports Business Journal, CEO Luis Silberwasser said “While this change will take place right away, Lenny has agreed to work with me to ensure a smooth transition.” He also added “I have enjoyed working with Lenny during these past few months and I respect his decision. Lenny has never been one to place a spotlight on himself; he’s always been quick to shine it on those around him. His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”

The departure by Daniels coincides with a round of layoffs by the company and also the beginning of long-term agreements with the NHL and MLB. The network is also about to embark on negotiations with the NBA for its next media rights deal, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav recently saying “we don’t have to have the NBA“.

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