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Female ESPN Reporters Sound Off On Washington Football Story

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The major headline in sports over the past week was the allegations of misconduct within the Washington football organization reported by The Washington Post that 15 former female employees and 2 sports writers dealt with sexual harassment and verbal abuse from now former team employees.

Many in the world of sports have voiced their opinions on the allegations. On ESPN Radio’s Sunday Morning, Jen Lada spoke about this story and talked about the problem that exists that makes it tough for more women to come forward.

“It’s so complicated to say why didn’t you just tattle,” she said. “We know in our society what the reaction is to narcs, right? And snitches and all of those other things and you don’t ever want to be labeled as problematic. So, you swallow it and hope you can sidestep it and continue on your upward trajectory in this career and that’s the problem. The onus is on the women to move past it and not on the men to improve it.” 

Lada explained before this quote that the characteristics that help a woman have success in the sports industry can sometimes work against a person when they are the victim of this type of behavior.

“Think about the women who are successful in this industry. Think about the characteristics that they have. There’s a tenacity, there’s a fearlessness. There is all of those strong characteristics that help you get to where you want to be in this career and those things almost work counterintuitively to  playing the victim, even when you are a victim.” 

Lada’s co-host, Myron Medcalf, made the point that the Washington football team should receive harsh penalties, including not taking part in one of the biggest events on the NFL calendar next year.

“The Washington football team should be banned from the 2021 NFL Draft. They should not be allowed to make any picks, they should not be allowed to make any trades, and they should not be allowed to participate in anything attached to the NFL Draft. That’s how you send a message…Remove the Washington football team from the 2021 NFL Draft and you will see other teams change as well.”

On Monday morning, ESPN’s college football reporter, Heather Dinich, was on Get Up with Ryan Smith to talk about the latest around the Washington story, including the apology letter sent out by owner Daniel Snyder, which she wants to put “in the shredder.” She says his next letter should be a “letter of resignation.”

“One of the most frustrating things I saw come out of this was young female reporters who are questioning whether or not to get into the business because of this,” Dinich said. “No, absolutely you get into this business and you write that next story so ownership like Dan Snyder does not continue to happen.” 

The perspectives shared by many on this story have been powerful and hopefully change can come from this story so that everybody can feel they are included in sports and don’t have to deal with behavior like this going forward. 

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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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