Society is now facing some of the greatest challenges of our generation. It seems that we are all fighting for something more important than a championship.
Nike eloquently reminds all of us that sports have taught us over and over again that “No matter what we are up against, we are never too far down to come back.” From my standpoint, it is imperative that we never forget this adage.
Again this week, posts by media members spotlight the #BlackLivesMatter movement, COVID-19, and the resumption of games. Many with broad platforms had something to say.
This is this week’s snapshot of comments posts and tweets:
Jemele Hill (Writer for THE ATLANTIC) – @jemelehill
- Jemele Hill continues to be a strong proponent and advocate for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. On Monday, June 15, Hill and contentious California Republican, Omar Navarro feuded on Twitter. Navarro tweeted, “These sportscasters need to stick to sports, not politics.” Navarro tagged Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith, Nick Wright, and Jemele Hill in his post. Jemele Hill, the ex-ESPNer, responded with a strong statement of her own: “I pay taxes (probably more than you), so I have every right to observe, criticize, and question my government. And I bet I’m better at politics than you are.”
- Hill also had her own message for her followers: “Important to always remember how many precious lives have been lost and families that have been devastated by racism. This is why black people are tired of having conversations about race in which we are forced to serve as educators, soothers and counselors.”
Hannah Storm (ESPN) – @HannahStormESPN
- As always, Hannah Storm was active on her Twitter account. She retweeted a variety of quotes relating to the NBA playoffs which are planned for a bubble and will include additional amenities for players. The WNBA agreed to run a 22-game schedule in Bradenton, Florida. Storm tweets that she is “so honored to host the ESPYS countdown show on Sunday.” In an article in ESPN Front Row which she posted Hannah underscores her commitment to The V Foundation especially after losing her father just last month to a “rare, unidentifiable form of cancer.”
“My family and I are so proud to contribute to opportunities for your researchers who will benefit from his memorial fund for V Scholars so that they can follow their dreams, and one day cancers like his will not only have a name but a cure.”
Keith Olbermann (ESPN Anchor) – @KeithOlbermann
- Keith Olbermann insists that the restart schemes of the NBA, NHL, and MLB are not going to work and that the coronavirus will just spread even more. It is also evident that Olbermann is fed up with the fact that the heated talks between MLB and MLBPA have yet to subside. Furthermore, Olbermann had a sarcastic response to Dr. Fauci’s suggestion that MLB should consider not playing into October.
Olbermann’s response to Fauci’s concerns: “Just enough time to a play a 4-game regular season.”
Dan Patrick (Host of Dan Patrick Show) – @dpshow
- Patrick posted numerous highlights and brief segments from his Dan Patrick Show. The topics that he discussed included NASCAR, fast food restaurants, Father’s Day, and the NBA playoffs. On Thursday, June 18th, Patrick also hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci on his show. Fauci said that he has been impressed with the leadership of the leagues “being sincerely concerned that people are safe” as they work to resume play. Fauci emphasized that the challenge lies in how to keep the game going without sacrificing or risking the health of players.
Ken Rosenthal (MLB on FOX Reporter) – @Ken_Rosenthal
- On Tuesday, June 16, Ken Rosenthal wrote a powerful piece for athletic.com. In such, Rosenthal claimed that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred “seems to be figuring out he has no choice: Strike a deal with the union and salvage the 2020 season, or ruin his legacy as commissioner of baseball.” On another note, Rosenthal shared a powerful message from MLBPA: “One Team. One Dream. #Players4BLM.” Most recently, Rosenthal posted a variety of tweets relating to MLB believing a deal was agreed to, while MLBPA, on the other hand, claimed there was no agreement.
Skip Bayless (FOX Sports) – @RealSkipBayless
- Bayless felt as if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a breakthrough announcement when mentioning Colin Kaepernick’s name on national television. Skip contends that Goodell came across goodhearted. Bayless also underscored the fact that LeBron wants the NBA season to resume, while Kyrie Irving does not. These former teammates do not see eye-to-eye on the 2020 NBA playoffs. On Wednesday, June 17th, Bayless shared his beliefs on the #BlackLivesMatter movement: “It is time to rid this country of all the racist symbols born of oppression somehow grandfathered all the way to 2020. Time to challenge statues, lyrics, T-shirts … and naïve or premeditated racist behavior.”
“It feels like Roger Goodell has come around to a new position of enlightenment when it comes to Colin Kaepernick.”
Shannon Sharpe (FOX Sports) – @ShannonSharpe
- Sharpe displayed a great deal of information on his Twitter handle this past week relating to the NBA return and to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and social injustice in the United States.
Sharpe believes “LeBron and Kyrie want to arrive at the same destination, but they’re just using different modes of transportation. They both want what’s best for their people that’s been oppressed for so long.”
“You talk about this NBA season should have an asterisk, 2020 should have an asterisk because it’s been terrible. We lost Kobe, we got COVID-19, racial divide and injustices. I’m ready for 2021 to get here.”
Jim Rome (CBS Sports) – @jimrome
- Jim Rome tweeted a handful of excerpts from interviews he conducted with professional and collegiate players and coaches. Some of these athletes included Green Bay Packers offensive lineman, David Bakhtiari, and NASCAR driver, Joey Logano. Rome also posted snippets from his conversation with Syracuse Football head coach, Dino Babers, adopting some defensive schemes from Syracuse Basketball head coach, Jim Boeheim. Furthermore, Rome explained that Babers is encouraging QB, Tommy Devito, to be more aggressive during the 2020-21 campaign.
Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) – @stephenasmith
- After a quiet week, Stephen A. Smith was back in action. He retweeted a quote stating, “Change can happen at the ballot box.” Furthermore, Stephen A. discussed how he disagrees with Kyrie Irving’s statement about the NBA’s return, but Smith made it clear that he is not attacking Irving’s character. Stephen A. feels as if NFL and NBA owners and players have an obligation to use their connections, platform, and money to spark change and empower others.
Jeff Passan (ESPN MLB Insider) – @JeffPassan
- After all the failed negotiations, Passan, like Rosenthal, feels as if the future of MLB 2020-21 season is now in the hands of Rob Manfred.
“It is time to play baseball. And after what Rob Manfred said Monday, there are no longer any excuses.”
Colin Cowherd (Fox Sports) – @ColinCowherd
- Colin Cowherd was not as vocal this week on his Twitter platform as he sometimes can be. He posted topics that he covered on his podcast, The Herd. Subjects included Rob Manfred and MLB, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, and Tua Tagovailoa. Cowherd opined “The Houston Rockets can make a deep playoff run.”
Dick Vitale (ESPN Analyst) – @DickieV
- Dick Vitale shared thoughts he had on the upcoming college basketball season. He opined that because of Arkansas’ explosiveness, individuals should not sleep on them within the SEC conference. Vitale said that the Villanova Wildcats are a loaded team and that he has confidence in the Syracuse Orange.
“My gut says the ‘Cuse backcourt of JOE GIRARD & BUDDY BOEHEIM will be tough tandem to deal with in the ACC.”
Dan Le Batard & Stugotz (ESPN) – @LeBatardShow
- Dan Le Batard and Stugotz did not disappoint. As per usual, the men kept up with their poll questions. On Tuesday, June 16, there was one question that seemed particularly off-topic, yet comedic: “Do you pee in the shower?”
Trey Wingo (Co-host of Golic & Wingo on ESPN) – @wingoz
- Trey Wingo did not have one clear focal point on his social media this week. Instead, he showcased an abundance of information ranging from the #BlackLivesMatter movement to Madden21 and from golf courses to Tom Brady’s new uniform. On Wednesday, June 17th, Wingo also shared a link to everything one needs to know about college football’s plan to play and begin the season.