Sports Media Reacts to Prominent Soccer Journalist Grant Wahl’s Death in Qatar
“At the beginning of the tournament, Grant Wahl made headlines for documenting the ways he was harassed by World Cup security.”
On Friday night, Grant Wahl’s brother Eric took to social media to announce that the beloved soccer journalist had died while in Qatar. Eric expressed doubts about the official story, which was that Wahl collapsed at Lusail Iconic Stadium and later died at a nearby hospital.
Since the news of Grant’s death, more facts continue to be learned. CBS News reported that Wahl suffered a heart attack at the World Cup. However, those who were near him when he collapsed have expressed shock over a defibrillator not being available in the area. It’s known that Wahl had complained recently of feeling ill and took time to rest to try and get his body back on track. Whether or not those symptoms contributed to his passing are still unclear.
The facts surrounding Wahl’s death still leave many with a lot of questions. The American soccer journalist recently wrote a story the day before his passing where he called out Qatar’s government over their treatment of migrant workers. He also made headlines at the start of the tournament drawing attention to World Cup security asking him to delete photos he had taken and detaining him before the USMNT’s match with Wales for wearing a shirt with the rainbow pride flag on it.
Eric Wahl noted in his since deleted Instagram video that Grant wore the shirt in support of him and his husband.
Wahl’s wife Celine confirmed her husband’s passing on Friday night when many were confused over Grant’s brother’s social media post. The news sent shockwaves across the world and created a flurry of activity online from members of the sports media industry.
The only accusation of foul play at this point is coming from Grant’s brother. But given Wahl’s recent reporting, his clean bill of health prior to leaving for Qatar, and his prior run-in with World Cup security, it’s understandable why many want additional information. If by chance Grant’s brother Eric is right, and Wahl’s death was not an accident, it could force the American government to get involved, and create a huge mess for US soccer and its media partners.
WWE Legend The Iron Sheik Remembered By Sports Media
“Following the announcement of his death, many sports talk shows took time out to pay tribute.”
The Iron Sheik is one of the legendary villains in the history of professional wrestling. While he reached the peak of his fame in the ring in the 1980s and 90s, he found new life on Twitter thanks to his often profane, sometimes vulgar, and always funny commentary on the world.
The Sheik, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri died on Tuesday. He was 81 years old.
While most know his professional wrestling career, his amateur career is no less impressive. He competed for Iran at the 1968 Olymipcs and served as a coach for the United States national team at the 1972 games.
Following the announcement of his death, many sports talk shows took time out to pay tribute. Pat McAfee called the Iron Sheik “one of the greatest heels of all time” before offering a moment of silence. In Boston, Felger & Mazz producer James Stewart took to the 98.5 The Sports Hub website to post a tribute.
On social media, tributes poured in from all over. It started in the wrestling world.
Joel Klatt Launching Big Noon Conversations Podcast
The subset of The Joel Klatt Show: A College Football Podcast, will premiere on Monday, June 12.
FOX Sports has announced the launch of a new interview-based series as college football season quickly approaches. The series, titled The Joel Klatt Show – “Big Noon Conversations” will feature lead college football analyst Joel Klatt and contain compelling and intuitive conversation about the sport.
The subset of The Joel Klatt Show: A College Football Podcast, will premiere on Monday, June 12 with an exclusive sitdown interview featuring Colorado football coach Deion Sanders. FOX will also carry Sanders’ first two games as the leader of the Buffaloes on Big Noon Saturday – first on Saturday, Sep. 2 on the road against TCU and then, one week later, in Boulder, Colo. against the University of Nebraska.
Other guests set to appear on the series include Ohio State football coach Ryan Day, Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey and UCLA football coach Chip Kelly. The endeavor is in collaboration with FOX Sports Podcasts, and a preview of the series was tweeted out by the podcast shortly after Wednesday’s announcement.
Klatt has worked at FOX Sports since 2013, concurrent with the launch of FS1, where he began as a studio analyst for college football coverage. In addition, he joined broadcasts as a game analyst on select Thursday night games and the 2014 Pac-12 Championship Game, while also hosting FOX NFL Kickoff.
Colin Cowherd: The Volume is Worth $100 Million
“In 18 months, my contract runs out. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I think the Volume will be a part of my life for the remainder of my broadcast career.”
With all of the things that Colin Cowherd has done in his illustrious media career, he enjoys getting the chance to be a part of a team. He gets that from his podcast company The Volume. Even though Cowherd is already a big name talent himself, he always wants to try to find who the next one is.
Cowherd was a guest host on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast filling in for John Ourand. He talked about how fun it is to work like a baseball scout.
“I like searching for talent. I feel like a baseball scout. It’s kind of a digital media company with podcasts…We have a pretty good staff. We will announce a couple names before the football season. It’s just really cool to be part of a team, to find talent. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had.”
As for how much The Volume is worth, Cowherd said he is not looking to sell the company anytime soon.
“I’ve had people who have explored buying it. Right now, we are not going to. In 18 months, my contract runs out. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I think the Volume will be a part of my life for the remainder of my broadcast career.”
When that time does come though, Colin Cowherd isn’t going to give The Volume up for just anything. He recently got a high valuation.
“I think I know what it’s worth. I’ve talked to LionTree, a couple of banks. We are in a very soft advertising market, so what your evaluation is can be very fluid. I feel very strongly about what we are worth and we are not looking to sell it. It’s over $100 million.”
With the latest news about the duo of Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe splitting up on UNDISPUTED, Cowherd believes that Shannon Sharpe is one of the few people in media who can migrate an audience in the opinion space.
“I think tandems are hard. I think they have an expiration date, but there’s not a lot of Shannons in the opinion space. There’s a lot of people doing it. There’s not a lot of people doing it at a high level and Shannon is theatrical, funny, handsome, and he is quick on his feet and he has stride and strong opinions. I think he is going to flourish wherever he goes.”
Cowherd did say some good things about Bayless. He admires Bayless’s passion for wanting to win the debate and he respects people who are passionate about anything that they do.
“I tend to like the search for theories, I’m not a debate guy. It’s just not my personality to debate. He was born to do it. He loves what he does. I found through the years in the media, I respect people who are passionate about what they do…He loves winning. If you told me he goes home and keeps a standings about the arguments he wins, I would believe it.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.