Two of the leading voices on social issues in sports media are not Black, but both have a unique set of experiences to help define them. Dan Le Batard as the son of Cuban immigrants and Nick Wright having married a Black woman, adopting her two children and having a third of their own.
Wright, a multimedia star for FOX Sports, recently joined Le Batard’s podcast South Beach Sessions, where he discussed hot take artistry, journalism, and his meteoric rise in the industry, all of which he has his wife to thank for.
After Wright was hired away from local radio by FS1, people would see him and his family and say, ‘man, you did a really amazing thing for her and those kids.’ Wright told Le Batard that it was always meant as a legitimate compliment, but the flatter attempt was very misinformed.
When he met his wife Danielle, Wright was a radio host in Kansas City making $8 an hour, a borderline substance abuser and a gambling addict. Danielle was a single parent working three jobs to support her two children.
The way Wright uses his platforms to informatively and passionately talk about social injustice on the Black community is a culmination of his real-life love story. Because as Wright told Le Batard, you cannot understand having fear and anxiety for someone who is your responsibility until you live it.
“You talk to Black parents and they will tell you, ‘this is what I worry about,’” Wright said. “Whether you think it’s real or not, nobody’s like ‘you shouldn’t be afraid of sharks.’ People are just afraid of them. And so, I do think there’s a level of, you just understand it because you feel it and I do think that is a part of my story.”
According to Wright, his life would fall apart in 10 days without his wife. And not just in a brokenhearted sense, he literally has his wife to thank for keeping him on the right path. “The addict stuff is all there, it’s just in check because of the folks around me,” Wright told Le Batard of his past gambling issues.
The First Things First on FS1 host attributed his gambling problem to cards, noting that he won and lost a lot of money playing poker and blackjack in college. During his early radio career in Kansas City, Wright would host his night show and go right to card playing, sharing a gambling problem reminiscent of WFAN’s Craig Carton.
Wright told Le Batard his past is part of what defines him, but a lot of people who see him on his daily FS1 show, might not understand his background. If you’ve only consumed him during 90-second clips from FS1 on social media, you might think, “that guy is a way more self-assured than he should be asshole,” as described by Wright.
That’s part of why I miss hearing Wright on radio. TV offers an avenue to create unique takes and share insightful, passionate social ideals, but his transparency on radio illuminates why it’s all genuine.
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.
Bomani Jones: I’m Better At Talking About Political, Social Issues Than Most In Sports Media
“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry. Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James found himself in a few headlines last week when he questioned reporters for not asking him about the recent Washington Post story and photo surrounding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and ESPN commentator Bomani Jones took the opportunity to discuss the revelation.
Jones was pictured as a 14 year old among a crowd during an early stage of integration of public schools in Arkansas during the civil rights movement.
LeBron pointed out that he would field questions when there’s a controversy surrounding a Black person and spoke about the situation with former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, but he found it curious that no one had asked his opinion on the Jerry Jones story. LeBron had long considered himself a Cowboys fan, but in recent years he’s stopped supporting the team over Jones’ mandate that Dallas players stand for the National Anthem.
On his ESPN podcast The Right Time, host Bomani Jones talked about LeBron and circled it around to how he and other ESPN personalities caught a ton of flack for speaking about political or societal issues that often don’t fall within the confines of sports.
Jones said that being able to talk about political and societal issues comes easier to him than it does to most members of the sports media.
“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry,” Jones said. “Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”
Jones said it comes down to the fact that there’s a bias at play. Are people going to take offense to what you’re saying because they disagree, or are they going to like what you’re going to say because they agree?
“They’re reinforcing the fact that you’re reinforcing what it is that you want to hear,” Jones said. “But the truth is that most people are not qualified to talk about these things before the world, because talking about these things before the world is very, very difficult.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism
“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”
Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.
During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.
“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.
“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.
“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”
Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.
The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio
The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.
The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.
After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.
No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.