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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Media

Terrell Owens tells Stephen A. Smith that Max Kellerman seems ‘blacker’ than him

Stephen. A Smith has been highly critical of Colin Kaepernick for the way the quarterback handled last Saturday’s workout, and Terrell Owens called Smith out over his take in a big way on Thursday.

Owens was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take,” and he defended Kaepernick for changing the location of his workout and wanting “transparency” from the NFL. Owens then told Smith that co-host Max Kellerman, who has defended Kaepernick, seems like he is “blacker” than Smith with the way he has spoken about the situation. As you might expect, Smith didn’t appreciate it.

Smith told Owens he “crossed the line” and then criticized him and others for trying to “bait me” in front of the black community. He also addressed the situation with a tweet.

Like others, Smith concluded from the way Saturday’s events unfolded that Kaepernick does not actually want to play football. He ripped the 32-year-old for showing up to the workout with a T-shirt that alluded to slavery and said he needs to seize the opportunity at some point if he actually wants to play again. Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid then accused Smith of “tap dancing for the NFL,” and Smith unloaded on Reid in a Twitter rant.

We believe we have uncovered the real reason why the NFL tried to organize a workout for Kaepernick, and it seems like both sides have their agendas. The issue is, and always will be, about more than just football.

Chris Haynes reportedly nearing deal to become TNT sideline reporter

Chris Haynes has become one of the most respected NBA reporters in the media in recent years, and he is reportedly nearing a deal to begin a new venture.

Haynes is closing in on an agreement with TNT to become the network’s sideline reporter for its Tuesday Night NBA schedule, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports. The broadcasts will begin in January, and TNT is revamping its on-air talent lineup. The broadcast featured all former NBA players last year with Grant Hill, Derek Fisher, Kevin McHale, and Richard Hamilton, but Haynes is expected to join a team that features Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe as studio host and Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and Candace parker as studio analysts.

Haynes has become Yahoo’s top NBA reporter since Adrian Wojnarowski moved on to ESPN and Shams Charania took a position with The Athletic. McCarthy notes that Yahoo has agreed to let Haynes take the TNT job. He also currently has a deal in place with FOX, where he frequently appears on programs like “Speak for Yourself” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”

Because of his quality sources and strong relationships with players, Haynes has become a major player on the reporting scene. He was one of the few reporters who did not appear to be duped by false information during the Kawhi Leonard saga last summer. He should be a great addition to TNT.

ESPN reporter apologizes for handling of Mason Rudolph-Myles Garrett incident

Myles Garrett Mason Rudolph
A prominent reporter shared some commentary about a photo from the incident between Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett that was a misrepresentation of what actually happened, and she has since apologized.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson has taken a lot of criticism over the past two days for the way she handled the altercation during Thursday night’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns game. Immediately after Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and smashed the quarterback in the head with it, Anderson took to Twitter to speculate that Rudolph must have said “something egregious” for Garrett to have reacted like that. She immediately deleted the tweet, and some interpreted it as Anderson hinting that Rudolph must have used a racial slur.

Anderson then sparked more controversy when she tweeted a photo from the brawl that some claimed shows Rudolph grabbing Garrett’s groin. There has been no indication from anyone involved that the QB did anything of the sort, but Anderson described it as a “non-consensual act” that was “beyond invasive, provoking and wrong.”

Anderson also deleted that tweet, and she issued an apology on Saturday morning.

We have been surprised by the amount of people who feel the need to focus on Rudolph’s role in instigating considering how far above and beyond dangerous and unnecessary Garrett’s reaction was. Even Garrett’s own teammates and organization did not even consider coming to his defense, which tells you all you need to know about the act. Anyone who uses a screenshot or photo from the incident to try to place blame on Rudolph is missing the point, and Anderson seems to realize she made a mistake in doing so.

Don Cherry fired by Sportsnet over anti-immigrant comments

Longtime Canadian hockey pundit Don Cherry was fired Monday over comments he made about immigrant Canadians.

Cherry, a fixture on weekly “Hockey Night in Canada” telecasts since 1981, lost his job after criticizing immigrants for not paying proper respect to Canadian military veterans by wearing poppies customarily sold by veterans groups in honor of Remembrance Day, which is celebrated in Canada on November 11 and similar to Veterans Day in the U.S.

“You know, I was talking to a veteran, and I said, I’m not going to run the (annual Remembrance Day montage) anymore, because what’s the sense? I live in Mississauga, nobody wears, very few people wear a poppy,” said Cherry. “Downtown Toronto, forget it, downtown Toronto, nobody wears a poppy. And I’m not going to, and he says, wait a minute. How about running it for the people that buy them?

“Now you go to the small cities and you know, the rows on rows, you people love — that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price. Anyhow, I’m going to run it for you great people and good Canadians that bought a poppy.”

Outcry was swift, and there was widespread anger at Cherry’s use of the phrase “you people” to describe immigrants. Sportsnet, Cherry’s employer, apologized for the broadcaster’s comments on Sunday.

“Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down,” Sportsnet President Bart Yabsley said in a statement released on Twitter Monday afternoon. “During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.

“Don is synonymous with hockey and has played an integral role in growing the game over the past 40 years. We would like to thank Don for his contributions to hockey and sports broadcasting in Canada.”

The NHL also issued a statement criticizing Cherry. Cherry himself refused to apologize for his comments when reached by the Toronto Sun.

Cherry has always been outspoken. He has often been critical of European-born NHL players, especially compared to their Canadian counterparts. He has also been critical of those seeking to tamp down on fighting in hockey, and was widely criticized for a 2013 comment in which he suggested female reporters should not be welcome in men’s locker rooms. This was the last straw for his employers, and he will no longer be appearing on Canadian NHL telecasts.

Report: Skip Bayless could return to ESPN when contract expires next year

Skip Bayless

ESPN recently gave Stephen A. Smith a massive contract extension, and the network may be willing to shell out another huge sum of money to bring back his most worthy on-air adversary.

Skip Bayless could potentially return to ESPN when his contract with FOX Sports expires next year, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports. Bayless and Smith are interested in the idea of reuniting on “First Take,” which is where both gained most of the popularity that has placed them among the highest-paid on-air personalities in the industry. One source told McCarthy that they “both want to make it happen,” but it’s unclear if ESPN will be willing to pay more than FOX to bring Bayless back.

Bayless signed a four-year, $25 million contract with FOX in 2016, and the deal is set to expire in 2020. He has teamed with former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe at FOX Sports 1 for “Undisputed,” which follows the same format as “First Take.” According to McCarthy, the FS1 show averages 150,000 to 180,000 viewers per day in its weekday morning slot. Those numbers are dwarfed by “First Take,” which averages 400,000 to 500,000 viewers per day since it moved from ESPN2 to ESPN.

Smith and Bayless have maintained a close relationship even while working at rival networks, and they are said to believe that their on-air chemistry is unique. If Bayless does return, he would likely replace Max Kellerman and immediately return as Smith’s cohost, or ESPN could try to incorporate all three.

It’s fair to wonder how much ESPN would be willing to pay Bayless when you hear the reported details of Smith’s new extension, but there’s no question pairing Smith and Bayless together again could boost ratings and dominate the market.

Report: Stephen A. Smith getting close to $8 million per year in new ESPN deal

Stephen A. Smith has been one of the most polarizing figures in sports media for several years now, and ESPN proved how valuable he is to the company with the latest contract extension he signed.

Smith recently signed a new five-year deal with ESPN that will pay him around $8 million per year, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. The new deal dwarfs Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million salary, which was ESPN’s previous known highest salary.

Smith had one year left on his current deal, according to Marchand, but ESPN enticed him to sign an extension by giving him money up front. James Andrew Miller, who published a best-selling book about the ins and outs of ESPN several years ago, believe’s Marchand’s number of $8 million for Smith is low. Miller has reason to believe Stephen A. got more than $10 million per year.

Either way, it’s an astronomical amount of money.

Smith is the type of personality that gets people who love him and hate him to tune in, and that makes him an invaluable asset to ESPN. He makes his fair share of on-air flubs and always gets roasted for them, but even those embarrassing moments help drive ratings for ESPN>. There was no way they were going to let him leave for another network.

Cris Carter reportedly out at FOX over ‘serious matter,’ not TNF dispute

Cris Carter

Cris Carter and FOX Sports have officially parted ways over what might sound like a petty disagreement, but there is reportedly a lot more to the story than what has come out to this point.

FOX announced in a very brief statement on Thursday that Carter no longer works for the network. The move came after word surfaced earlier in the week that Carter had a blowup with his bosses, and apparently he had been angry that FOX did not include him in its “Thursday Night Football” pregame coverage. While that may have been part of the issue, it does not sound like it was the main reason for Carter’s departure.

Sources told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that Carter split with FOX over a matter than is “more serious” than his discontent over not being included in “Thursday Night Football” coverage. Details of the dispute are not yet known, but Carter reportedly was accompanied by security staffers when he gathered his things at the network office this week. That would seemingly indicate that the breakup was not an amicable one.

Carter has become known for some of his controversial takes over the years, so it’s possible — if not likely — that a combination of factors led to the Hall of Famer leaving FOX.