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Female ESPN Reporters Sound Off On Washington Football Story

Ricky Keeler

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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. 

Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

Jordan Bondurant

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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Sports TV News

Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’

“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”

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The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.

During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.

“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”

Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.

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