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Marty Smith Gets Emotional Over NASCAR Noose Incident

“I just told you, what bud? Like an hour ago? 90 minutes ago? That the sport had come so far and then we see this.”

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ESPN’s Marty Smith appeared on SportsCenter on Sunday night live from Talledega. The track was the site of a racist incident in the garage area on Sunday, when Bubba Wallace, the driver of the number 43 car, found a noose in his stall.

Wallace, the mixed race son of NASCAR veteran Darryl Wallace, is the only Black full-time driver on the sport’s top circuit. He has been outspoken in recent weeks about wanting NASCAR to stand behind social justice reform initiatives and was imperative in the effort to get the sport to ban Confederate flags from tracks and grandstands.

“I feel like a fool,” Smith said as he was introduced by SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt. “I just told you, what bud? Like an hour ago? 90 minutes ago? That the sport had come so far and then we see this.”

Smith reported that a senior NASCAR official told him that an official investigation has been opened. Once the culprit is found he will be banned for life from the sport.

“The sport is in a moment where this crap, this despicable crap, there’s just no place for it,” Smith said.

“I love Talladega, Alabama. It’s my favorite place on the NASCAR tour. It’s my favorite race. I love the staff here,” Smith said angrily. “And then some…I’m about to say words i’m not allowed to say. Something like this happens IN THE GARAGE AREA? IN THE GARAGE AREA OF RICHARD PETTY’S RACE CAR?”

Talladega was a particularly contentious scene leading up to the race. A caravan of pickup trucks flying the Confederate flag clogged a lane of traffic on the interstate leading to Talladega Super Speedway. A plane towing a Confederate flag and a banner with the words “Defund NASCAR” flew over the track.”

“You’re not just hurting one or two people, whoever you are,” Smith said of the person that left the noose in Wallace’s garage stall. “You’re hurting a whole lot of people who have made the decision that it is damn sure time to go be better.”

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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