Much was made about Stephen A. Smith’s accusation of Steve Nash landing a head coaching gig with the Brooklyn Nets because of his “white privilege,” but the two-time NBA MVP didn’t completely dismiss the idea during his introductory press conference.
Nash acknowledged he “skipped the line” in terms of being hired as a head coach and that he has benefited from white privilege in his life, but he didn’t jump to correlate the two.
“I have benefited from white privilege,” Nash said when asked about Smith’s comments. “Our society has a lot of ground to make up. I’m not saying this position was a factor, as far as white privilege. … I think, as white people, we have to understand we have a certain privilege and a benefit by the color of our skin in our communities. We have a long way to go to find equality and social and racial justice. I hope that I’m a great ally in that cause.
“I’m very sensitive to the cause and the goal,” Nash continued Wednesday. “I’m not sure that this is an example that purely fits that conversation. But I own it, and I understand why it’s important to talk about it and that we need more diversity and more opportunity for African-American coaches and staff in all capacities.”
Many people were critical of Smith’s accusation of white privilege as the ESPN star discussed the Nets hire of a future Hall of Fame point guard who spent nearly two decades in the NBA and happens to be white. Those adversaries pointed to Jason Kidd, Derek Fisher, Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson as examples of former Black players who were hired as head coaches without having any coaching experience at the NBA level.
But this was not a new sentiment from Smith, nor was it just a ploy to use inequality as a headline at a time when there is significant racial tension in the United States. In 2014, Smith similarly claimed Steve Kerr was hired by the Golden State Warriors because he is white.
“My problem is that he had his pick of the litter it appeared when he’s never coached a day in his life,” Smith said of Kerr more than a half-decade ago. “That is not something I see happen for black coaches.”
While the accolades of Kerr and Nash can be debated in terms of whether or not white privilege contributed to them landing head coaching gigs, what’s inarguable is the high percentage of white males who are hired for jobs where intelligence is valued more than athleticism. For a league of 30 teams with about 75 percent of its players being Black, the proportions of Black head coaches and general managers do not match up.
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.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”
Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’
“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”
Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.