Malika Andrews was a guest on Scott Van Pelt’s midnight edition of SportsCenter on Thursday morning. In addition to discussing the Miami Heat’s victory over the Boston Celtics, she was also asked about the mood of players inside the NBA Bubble after the state of Kentucky declined to file charges against two of the three officers in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Taylor was asleep in her home when police entered. It was not the address on a no-knock warrant that three officers were attempting to serve. Taylor’s boyfriend fired his legally registered gun, believing it was a home invasion. Taylor was killed in her bed in the exchange of bullets.
Van Pelt noted that the incident was a major factor in NBA players’ demands that any restart in play after Covid-19 shutdown the regular season in March include messages of social justice.
Andrews answered that the players “were hurting.” She cited a conversation with the Celtics’ Jalen Brown in which the guard said “what do you expect about a system that is rigged against, that was founded on an unfairness against people that look like him and people that look like me.”
Scott Van Pelt was supportive of Andrews, who could not hide her emotions as she discussed the mood of the ESPN Wide World of Sports campus in Walt Disney World on Wednesday.
“We’ve talked before, Scott, about how my job here is to objectively cover the truth and to share what these players are going through. Today what they’re going through is that they’re hurting,” Andrews said with a quiver in her voice. “I have prided myself in being able to be objective and cover these sorts of issues. But when it is so clear that the system of objectivity in journalism is so whitewashed and doesn’t account for the fact that when I am walking up the hill my wonderful producer Melinda reminds me that Breonna Taylor was 26 and I am 25 and that could have been me, it is very hard to continue to go to work.”
Malika Andrews was not the only ESPN employee to comment on the events of the day in Louisville, Kentucky. Jalen Rose addressed his feelings and the feelings of his colleagues and players on the floor during the network’s pregame show.
He also shouted “It’d also be a great day to arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” as the network went to commercial during halftime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Only one of the three officers that entered Taylor’s home on the night she was killed faced any charges at all. Those charges are for wanton endangerment and are not related to Taylor’s death at all.
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.