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.”
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research
“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”
Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.
This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.
“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”
Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.