Less than a week after Michael Wilbon cited an interview with Dale & Keefe as one reason he no longer goes on Boston sports radio station WEEI as a guest, ESPN’s Elle Duncan joined the same show to discuss the racism she experienced during her time working and living in the city.
From 2014 – 2016, Duncan worked as an anchor, reporter and host for NESN, but as her contract came to a close, she made the decision to leave Boston even without an offer from ESPN. Last week, when Wilbon addressed instances of racism at Fenway Park, Duncan responded on Twitter that she chose unemployment over working in Boston, “because of the hate and racism” there.
“It was a lot, I’m not going to lie,” Duncan told WEEI’s midday show hosts Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe.
“We certainly were no strangers to micro-aggressions, some aggressions, what racism looked like or what it felt like,’’ Duncan said. “But in Boston we experienced it at a rate that at some point we had to start laughing about it, saying it’s almost like movie-script racism.”
While accounts of racism in Boston is not a new topic, it’s been highlighted after the Red Sox publicly released a statement acknowledging Torii Hunter’s detail of racial abuse suffered at Fenway Park as “real.” The Red Sox admission of racial incidents that occur at Fenway was viewed by many as an important step in building toward social equality, similar to NASCAR finally issuing a ban on the Confederate flag.
“No one wants to be accused of being a city filled with racists,” Duncan said on WEEI. “I fully understand that, but what I would say to you is, how can we all be lying? How can Adam Jones and Mike Wilbon and me and Torii Hunter and the countless other African Americans who have said they’ve experienced this issue in Boston, how can we all be wrong? Why would we lie about that? I certainly wouldn’t lie and welcome what my mentions have looked like over the last couple days.”
“All of us have just happened to come across the same handful of racists? Come on, guys. Does that seem more plausible than the fact that maybe there’s an issue there? Maybe it’s not the most welcoming place? And while there’s so many incredible and amazing people that live in Boston, there’s enough that give it this reputation.”
During the interview, Duncan detailed multiple incidents of racial abuse she and her husband experienced during their time in Boston.
Boston Globe media reporter Chad Finn supported Duncan’s admission that she chose unemployment over remaining with NESN in 2016. According to Finn, her contract with the network expired in April 2016, but throughout the five months prior, she continuously declined offers to stay with NESN even without having a new job lined up.
“It was painful. I don’t like reliving this,” Duncan told Dale and Keefe. “It was a terrible time for me and my husband honestly. It sucked. I don’t want to have to be on here and defending myself to people. But I think we’ve moved into a time in this country where people more than ever are listening.”
Mad Dog: Gus Johnson ‘Bothered The Hell Out of Me’ Saturday
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine.”
FOX Sports college football voice Gus Johnson has made no bones about his affinity for Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. However, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has heard enough.
During his Mad Dog Unleashed program on SiriusXM, Russo shared that not only was Johnson obnoxious for the constant use of a nickname he bestowed up Harrison, but he was also misguided for calling Ohio State/Michigan the greatest rivalry in sports.
“Gus Johnson — the hype machine that he is — please, when you broadcast a ballgame, I don’t need to hear about Maserati Marv, number one. And number two, that’s not the greatest rivalry in sports history. Have you heard of the Yankees and the Red Sox? Giants and the Dodgers? How about Bears/Packers? Have you heard about that?
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine. That bothered the hell out of me.”
When a caller pushed back on Russo’s opinion on the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry, he continued by saying “That rivalry’s not Yankees/Red Sox. To compare college football to the Yankees and the Red Sox is ludicrous.”
Nashville Predators Radio Voice Pete Weber Calling 2,000th Game Tuesday
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team. I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Nashville Predators radio voice Pete Weber is set to hit a career milestone Tuesday, as he’ll call his 2,000th game for the NHL franchise.
Weber told The Tennessean that he has relished the opportunity to be the voice of a team since its inception. He claimed he applied for and was a finalist for the radio play-by-play job when the Carolina Panthers were conceived, before ultimately landing with the Predators.
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team,” said Weber. “I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Despite missing time late last season due to a rare brain condition, Weber said he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“I have not thought about it, other than when I thought about how (former Philadelphia Phillies announcer) Harry Kalas was carried dead out of the broadcast booth in Washington,” Pete Weber said. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s an interesting way to go. I don’t necessarily know that I want to do it like that. But it could happen. I’m not going to say no.”
Weber’s 2,000th game will come as the Nashville Predators play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 102.5 The Game is the flagship home of the Predators Radio Network.
iHeartMedia Ending WEEI Simulcast in Cape Cod
A job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
iHeartMedia is preparing to drop its simulcast of WEEI on its 96.3 WEII-FM signal in Hyannis/Cape Cod.
According to a report from Radio Insight, iHeartMedia has posted a job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
It goes on to state that the contract between the company and Audacy was $300,000 annually and it paid the Red Sox $65,000 annually.
The job posting alleges 96.3 FM will continue to carry sports programming with a local show.
WEEI is currently simulcast on stations in Springfield and Worcester, MA; Providence; Portland, Maine; and on stations in New Hampshire and Vermont, as well. Earlier this year, the station’s offices in Warwick, Rhode Island closed as part of a cost-cutting measure.
WEII-FM is licensed to Dennis, MA and features a 25,000-watt Class B signal.