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Whitlock Makes Fox Sports Debuts, Explains ESPN Issues

Jason Barrett

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Jason Whitlock has joined Fox Sports, and made his debut this afternoon on Colin Cowherd’s radio program. You can click here to watch the video.

Whitlock also wrote a piece detailing his departure from ESPN, why his project “The Undefeated” didn’t work out, and what he still hopes to accomplish. The full column can be read by clicking here. The key highlights are listed below.

I left FOX Sports in 2013 and rejoined ESPN to follow my dream. I wanted to build a website, The Undefeated, dedicated to examining the intersection of sports, race and culture because I believe locker rooms, stadiums, arenas, and teams epitomize and best utilize America’s diversity. ESPN required me not to respond to the avalanche of criticism. I agreed that the website and the work that appeared on the website would be the most effective response. I was removed from the project in June. The website has yet to launch. The project will not be my defense.

Why did I fail at The Undefeated? There are numerous reasons, including my foolish belief I could manage like a football coach. I learned there’s an art to corporate politics that I’m not good at. Another part of the answer is quite simple and rather obvious: 1) ESPN is cost-cutting, undergoing a significant cultural shift that has led to the departures of Bill Simmons, Colin Cowherd, Keith Olbermann and yours truly; 2) If you believe the 2014 reporting of Robert Lipsyte, ESPN’s in-house ombudsman at the time, key ESPN executives disagreed with my vision to build a site as ambitious and well-funded as Grantland and FiveThirtyEight. The analysis of race and culture is far more difficult than the analysis of movies, burritos and numbers.

So why have I been portrayed in countless stories as the black plague of journalism? That’s the deeper explanation, and it begins with understanding the conversation I wanted The Undefeated to provoke among black people. Who are we? And do the black journalists and leaders alleged to represent our views really represent what we believe?

Or are they unwitting pawns handed 30 pieces of silver, 100,000 Twitter followers and a standing invitation on FOX News, CNN and MSNBC to provoke a battle that will ultimately lead to further rollbacks of the victories won by Dr. King, Rosa Parks and our greatest generation?

The self-appointed leaders of groupthink are comfortable basking in the admiration of their neo-liberal, white supporters, uninterested in legitimate discourse and worked nonstop to characterize my vision as irresponsible, anti-black and too revolutionary for Disney. My vision is not out of step with traditional black values. Fair journalism – the kind of work done by Simon and Alexander – would properly analyze black culture.

Sports TV News

Tom Brady Announces Retirement, Doesn’t Mention FOX Plans

“While it didn’t take that long to announce he was hanging up his cleats, Brady still may need time to decide what he is actually doing next season.”

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You have to give Tom Brady credit. He announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday morning, and while he swears this is really it, he also acknowledges that he has to keep things simple this time around.

“I’m retiring, for good,” he said in a video posted on social media. “I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long-winded. You only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”

This announcement comes a year to the day that Tom Brady announced his first retirement. That one lasted just 40 days before the Buccaneers’ quarterback announced that he had changed his mind and would play the 2022 season.

Brady swears his playing days really are over. He ended the video with a message to his family, friends, teammates and opponents.

“Thank you guys for letting me live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Two weeks ago, Jordan Schultz reported that Brady planned to take a month before deciding on his future. While it didn’t take that long to announce he was hanging up his cleats, Brady still may need time to decide what he is actually doing next season.

Tom Brady did not mention FOX in his retirement announcement. The network gave him a ten-year contract worth $375 million to serve as a brand ambassador and analyst in its top NFL booth. It has widely been reported that the deal is a standing offer. Brady may not be obligated to start right away.

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Sports TV News

Peacock Announces 19 Game 2023 Baseball Schedule

“It all starts on April 23 at 12:05 p.m. as the Colorado Rockies take on the defending N.L. champion Philadelphia Phillies.”

Jordan Bondurant

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MLB games are returning to Peacock in 2023. NBC announced its full schedule of Sunday matinee games on Tuesday.

It all starts on April 23 at 12:05 p.m. as the Colorado Rockies take on the defending N.L. champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Peacock will carry all 19 games this year. The game on May 7, an 11:35 a.m. first pitch, features the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves and will also be simulcast on NBC.

As was the case for the first year of this deal in 2022, the Peacock games will be the only MLB action until 1:35 p.m.

Games will air on Peacock through September 3. NBC has not announced its broadcast team for these games.

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Sports TV News

PGA Tour Expects Mic’d Players To Be Common For 2023 TV Broadcasts

“This doesn’t need to be a walk and talk like I did. But we can make it what you want it to be.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Following the success with Max Homa last weekend, the PGA Tour is planning to mic a player up this weekend at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

According to Sports Business Journal, the Tour is considering micing up a player on either the 14th or 18th hole at Pebble Beach.

“The point of this is that if you want it to just be, they have an air pod on your caddie and they ask him one question, he could elaborate on something,” Homa said in an interview on the podcast No Laying Up. “That would be an improvement. This doesn’t need to be a walk and talk like I did. But we can make it what you want it to be.”

Homa added that he appreciated that the questions he was asked while taking part in the segment were solely on the task at hand and tackling the hole he was on.

“It wasn’t about how it is being a dad, how it is being in contention, it’s about golf,” he said. “This hole. That’s what we wanted it to be.”

CBS received positive reviews for debuting the new segment in their season debut at Torrey Pines last week.

It will be interesting to see if having players mic’d up for a segment will carry into NBC coverage or if it remains exclusively CBS. Have to think that in April at The Masters, if CBS keeps with it, the segment has the potential to be pretty compelling especially if the interview is with a player in contention or even leading.

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