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Stephen A. Smith Answers Criticism From Jamie Foxx

“I would caution everybody to understand that Jamie Foxx has no credibility when it comes to sports because he’s a Cowboys fan!”

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ESPN First Take host Stephen A. Smith didn’t hold back his feelings earlier this week when talking about Brooklyn Nets player Ben Simmons.

Simmons was reportedly on track to make an appearance on the court for Brooklyn during the Nets’ first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics. But Simmons never suited up, and the Nets got swept.

Actor Jamie Foxx heard what Stephen A. Smith said about Simmons and offered his own comments in defense of Simmons. He also questioned Smith’s motivation for the criticism asking “why is it you only go at basketball players … you [are] completely mute when it comes to the Tom Bradys [and] the Aaron Rodgers of the world … You get where I’m going … stop it, bruh, it’s out of bounds.”

Smith prefaced his response by saying he has nothing but love for Foxx and that the two are good friends. He said Foxx called him on the phone about what was said. But Stephen A. went on the offensive saying Foxx needed to take a step back for one reason.

“I would caution everybody to understand that Jamie Foxx has no credibility when it comes to sports because he’s a Cowboys fan!” Smith said. “He has no credibility!”

Joking aside, Smith did start to get more serious.

“Jamie Foxx knows better. He’s just highly protective of the Black athlete as he should be,” Smith said. “Because they deserve our protection to be quite honest with you in a lot of situations. That’s what this is about.”

Stephen A. Smith did differentiate things, saying it’s his job as an analyst and pundit to call out foolishness or poor play. Race, he said, doesn’t factor into criticism of what an athlete does in competition.

“If you shoot 2 for 20, and you look like straight garbage, I’m supposed to look at your ethnicity and say, ‘I’m not gonna say anything?’ Nooo! No!” Smith said. “You’re supposed to call it. When you ain’t getting the job done, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Now when it comes to the personal, that’s different.”

When it comes to Ben Simmons, Stephen A. touched on how Simmons effort has always come into question, then when he played in Philadelphia his issues as a Sixer were mental health-related. But then when he got to Brooklyn, the team cited back issues as the reason he wasn’t playing. Add in comments from Simmons’s camp that said it wasn’t a back issue but more mental health issues.

Stephen A. said he’s obligated to call all of that into question.

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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