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Jemele Hill Not Ready To Give ESPN, NFL Credit

“I don’t judge you by what you do when it’s convenient. The only thing that’s changed is that public opinion has changed.”

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Jemele Hill is already a part of The Ringer’s podcast family. She co-hosts the company’s Way Down in a Hole podcast, which takes a deep dive into the TV show, The Wire.

On Tuesday, Hill was a guest on another Ringer podcast. She joined Bryan Curtis on The Press Box to discuss the sports and media industry’s reactions to marches and protests for racial equality following the murder of George Floyd.

America is approaching two full weeks of protests. Before discussing the reaction of the NFL and ESPN, Hill noted that she is encouraged by the fact that the public hasn’t let the fight for equality fade away with the news cycle.

“I certainly expected people in the moment and the aftermath to be so emotionally effected by this tragedy that the momentum would certainly be there, but I never expected it to sustain as long as it did,” Hill said.

She called Roger Goodell’s video acknowledging the NFL was wrong in the way it reacted to Colin Kaepernick and other players kneeling in protest during the national anthem part of “quite an interesting 2020 bingo card” that also includes Taylor Swift calling out white supremacy.

According to Hill, Roger Goodell’s video was simply a case of doing the easy thing. What would carry more weight with her would be a directly apology to Colin Kaepernick from not just Goodell, but also the 32 NFL team owners.

“They destroyed this man’s career for speaking out against the very same thing that happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahamad Aubrey. And that’s never going to be made right.”

With Donald Trump running for re-election in 2020, it is almost a certainty that anthem protests will become part of the campaign. The president views calling out those that kneel during the national anthem as an easy way to score points with his base. Hill is skeptical that Roger Goodell and the NFL will hold their current stance and push back if they are bombarded with talking points and tweets coming from the White House.

“We’ll see what happens going forward. There’s a lot of players that are going to be kneeling in protest when football resumes. What is [Goodell] gonna do then?” Hill asked. “Donald Trump is not letting this go. He’s made this clear with his tweets.”

While Hill stopped short of praising ESPN, she did note that the freedom her former employer has given its employees to discuss this moment and their own experiences with racism is not something she ever thought would happen.

“They could have easily brushed past this,” Hill said. “I’m not necessarily giving them credit. I’m just surprised.”

Again though, Hill points out that right now polls show ESPN viewers are receptive to hearing these conversations and are interested in how to make police brutality and racial inequality a thing of the past. What happens in the future?

“I don’t judge you by what you do when it’s convenient. The only thing that’s changed is that public opinion has changed.”

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Barstool Sports Star Big Cat Launches Coffee Business

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

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A new direct-to-consumer product from the minds at Barstool Sports has hit store shelves – coffee. Stella Blue Coffee is a new brand launched by Pardon My Take co-host and Barstool Sports star Dan “Big Cat” Katz.

The name was inspired by Big Cat’s love of coffee and his love for his recue dog Stella.

Barstool conducted a recent fan survey, and 80% of respondents said they drink coffee on a daily basis. Katz and the folks at Barstool listened, and so Stella Blue was born.

The coffee will feature three different blends. Positive Vibes is the light roast, Big Cat Blend is the medium roast and Electric Avenue Dark Roast. The coffee is available in 12-ounce whole bean bags, 12-ounce ground bags and pods for Keurig lovers.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coffee will go to PAWS Chicago, the largest no-kill humane organization in Dan’s hometown.

Stella Blue is the latest Barstool-backed and created DTC product to hit store shelves. The company has a record of previous success launching other products including flavored vodka, beer and hard seltzers.

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Barstool Sports Raising Money In Memory of Murdered Virginia Football Players

Barstool created a design featuring the phrase C’ville Strong above the cross swords used in Virginia’s athletic logo. The design also features the initials and numbers for the three murdered players.

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has announced a fundraising campaign for the three Virginia football players murdered earlier this week.

In a tweet, Portnoy said 100% of proceeds from t-shirt sales will go to support the families of Lavel “Tyler” Davis Jr., Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry, who were all killed in an on-campus shooting earlier this week.

Two of the three football players killed were Barstool Athletes, a name, image, and likeness program started by the online outlet.

Barstool created a design featuring the phrase C’ville Strong above the cross swords used in Virginia’s athletic logo. The design also features the initials and numbers for the three murdered players.

Merchandise can be purchased here.

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Grant Wahl Details Run-In With Qatari Security At World Cup

“Picture is not allowed, sir,” the guard purportedly told Wahl. When he asked for clarification, the guard told him “Kindly delete it, sir”.

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CBS Sports soccer analyst Grant Wahl has detailed an issue he had with security as the 2022 World Cup prepares to take place in Qatar.

In an article posted on his Substack, Wahl claimed he took a picture of a sign in the media center that said “Now is All”. He shared after he took the photo, a security guard immediately walked over.

“Picture is not allowed, sir,” the guard purportedly told Wahl. When he asked for clarification, the guard told him “Kindly delete it, sir”.

The 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar has been viewed as controversial for a multitude of reasons, mostly centered around the country’s poor record on human rights. Other media members have shared their experiences with Qatari security, as a confrontation with a Danish television crew went viral earlier this week.

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