As the NBA unveiled their health and safety protocol handbook on Tuesday, one of the major storylines around the league is whether or not some players are going to return to the league due to wanting to keep awareness of the social injustice in this country.
A group of players led by Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers have met and discussed changes they want to see happen in the NBA that are important to them. Here is what Bradley had to say to ESPN:
“I agree (the) Orlando (restart) will give the players checks to contribute back into their communities,” Bradley said. “But how much of that bubble check are players actually able to contribute? Why (is) all of the responsibility being put on the players?”
There was an interesting segment on Get Up on Wednesday with Stephen A. Smith, former NBA player Matt Barnes, and ESPN analyst and former Vice President of the NFL Players Association Executive Committee and Chief Operating Officer of the NBAPA Dominique Foxworth about the NBA restart and the group thinking about sitting out games due to raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember, players have until June 24 to decide whether or not they will participate in the restart. Barnes mentioned that he has spoke to players that are close to the movement.
“In regard to the Black Lives Matter movement, the players have to understand the moment… We have to be able to seize the moment. I am not against players sitting out, but I am against players sitting out without a plan…just to sit out without a plan is counterproductive,” said Barnes.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation if we think back about it. When did the world shut down? When the NBA stopped playing. I think everyone is looking to the NBA to set the tone again and I think this would be a tremendous mistake If players don’t play and then pass this on to football and baseball. Although those sports have players that feel like we feel, they don’t really have the platform and the voices like we do,” added Barnes.
Smith voiced his frustration with Irving, saying if there is no action, it makes sitting out counterproductive.
“I can disagree with Kyrie Irving simply expressing himself without a plan. I applaud what he’s doing in terms of where his heart lies. If it doesn’t come with productivity moving forward, then what have you accomplished? This is not just a moment to me, this is a time, this is our time. It is an opportunity to take the bull by the horn and make it happen.”
Dominique Foxworth added another opinion towards the end of the conversation about why players might think that sitting out might be the way to go to keep the conversations going.
“You have to be ready to hold out. I think it is admirable,” Foxworth said. “I don’t agree with Kyrie as the messenger, but I think it is admirable what they are doing in this moment no matter the timing. What they are doing is using the leverage they have because as soon as they show up, the leverage is gone.”
In addition, he mentioned how playing games does create a way for some people to avoid any uncomfortable conversations about what is happening in America right now.
“This is about making white people uncomfortable, making them face the uncomfortable reality… They say sports is their refuge. We don’t have a refuge as black people…. ESPN, the past several weeks, we have done social stuff just as much as we have done other sports. As soon as they start playing basketball games, we are going to pay lip service to whatever kneeling or shirts that people are wearing…We can’t deny that it does afford some place to exit the conversation.”
Smith and Barnes talked about how a plan is needed in order to raise awareness and Foxworth voiced the frustration that some people are probably feeling right now. It was a debate on Get Up that showed both sides of the story as the dialogue in this country continues.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
David Kaplan Leaving NBC Sports Chicago
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement.”
David Kaplan has announced he is departing NBC Sports Chicago. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Kaplan said a new path opened that he couldn’t turn down.
“I was presented an opportunity that will allow me to spend a lot more time my wife, Mindy, our four sons, and their expanding families. This is far from a retirement. You’ll still be able to catch me weekday mornings with Jonathan Hood on the Kap and JHood morning show on ESPN 1000. It will also allow me to provide you with more engaging and outstanding content right here on YouTube.”
Kaplan, who will turn 62 this weekend, accepted a buyout offered by NBCUniversal. He has hosted several different shows for the network during his tenure.
“He’s made enormous contributions to our network, and his passion, opinions and love of Chicago’s teams have made him a beloved and respected figure, not just with fans but also his colleagues,” NBC Sports Chicago Vice President of Content John Schippman told The Chicago Sun-Times. “We wish him the best and look forward to seeing what’s next.”
December 30th will be his final day at NBC Sports Chicago. He called his time with the network “an amazing run”.
NASCAR Chasing Nearly $1 Billion Annual Rights Fee In Next TV Deal
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport.”
The current media rights deal for NASCAR with FOX Sports and NBC Sports doesn’t end until after the 2024 season, but the organization is currently plotting what it wants its next deal to look like, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
Currently, NASCAR makes $820 million per year from the two networks. In its new rights deal, it is expected to seek a deal in the neighborhood of $900-950 million range.
NASCAR plans to begin negotiating with its current media partners in the early months of 2023, but is currently happy with FOX and NBC.
“We work really closely together, both from a scheduling perspective, but also just in terms of how they monetize the sport. Whether that’s pushing more brands and advertisers to spend on Fox and NBC,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Media and Productions Brian Herbst told FOS. “Fox had their third consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. NBC had their second consecutive year of ad revenue increases in 2022. So it’s working for them — both from a viewership and an ad revenue perspective.”
In February of this year, NASCAR President Steve Phelps told the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast that broadcast television “has to be a part” of the organization’s next television rights deal.
As its current media partners, FOX and NBC have exclusive negotiating windows with NASCAR.
NFL Sunday Ticket Negotiations With Apple ‘Have Gotten Silly’
“Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
A report from The Athletic details why the NFL has not announced a new partner for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. David Kaplan claims there have been continued hiccups in the negotiations, mentioning the bargaining has gotten sideways between the league and Apple.
“This negotiation has gotten silly. … Clearly, there’s a problem. I think it’s really clear Apple is learning things they didn’t know,” the anonymous NFL source told Kaplan. “What the conversation is, is Apple’s like, ‘OK, we can’t sell internationally. OK, that was important to us. And we can’t sell it exclusively against Fox and CBS. Well, OK. Well, that changes its value.’”
The report also details Amazon Prime and YouTube remain in the mix as potential suitors for the service, should talks with Apple and the league fall apart.
The NFL is looking for as much as $3.5 billion annually for rights to the service.