Dan Le Batard had multiple bouts with ESPN during his time at The Worldwide Leader. Never shy to note what he considered to be their hypocrisies, Le Batard’s candor ultimately led to his departure from ESPN.
Sunday morning, Le Batard defended his former colleague Ariel Helwani and called out ESPN for failing to support their MMA reporter. Late last week, UFC President Dana White called Helwani a “douche” for his opinionated reporting of MMA fighter Gina Carano. Recently, Carano shared a post on social media, comparing current political differences with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” Carano wrote on Instagram before sharing the following quote from a different account:
“Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.”
Helwani, who is Jewish, posted a near nine-minute-long response on his personal Instagram account. “As a Jewish person, and as a human being, it just doesn’t sit well,” Helwani said. “And I wish she would have never posted that. And quite frankly I wish someone would have talked to her about her social media posts over the past year. Some of them not even political. Just in general, they felt off to me. I am sorry she has gone down this path.”
After White fired back, calling Helwani a “douche,” ESPN declined to comment on the incident when Ryan Glasspiegel reached out. It didn’t stop a number of Helwani’s current and former colleagues from defending the MMA reporter, including Le Batard, who was critical of both White and ESPN.
White was a frequent guest on Le Batard’s ESPN show, but that didn’t stop the radio host from sharing his honest assessment of the situation. Le Batard never hesitated to be critical of ESPN and their “stick to sports” mandates while he was their employee, his opinions won’t soften now that he’s gone.
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.
TikTok Testing Podcast Feature
“It also isn’t clear how podcasters would be able to take advantage of TikTok’s reach with their current shows.”
TikTok wants in on podcasting. According to Business Insider, the app is going about things very differently from competitors in the social media space.
Facebook and Twitter failed to gain traction by adding traditional podcasts to their platforms. TikTok is testing a feature that would allow users to experience content on the app as audio-only.
Video is at the core of TikTok’s appeal. It is hard to see how offering the content in an audio-only mode appeals to the average user. It also isn’t clear how podcasters would be able to take advantage of TikTok’s reach with their current shows.
Every iteration of media struggles with attracting a younger audience. If podcasters can crack the code, TikTok could be what opens up a whole new audience to them. While more than a third of Americans use TikTok, an Edison Research study found that 61% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 34 use the app regularly.
While many sports entities have relationships with TikTok, what they currently put on the app isn’t necessarily designed to be consumed as audio only. If TikTok podcasts catch on, it could open up a whole new world of content creation for sports brands.
Barstool Says Bussin With The Boys Podcast Banned From Radio Row
“According to rankings from Chartable, Bussin With The Boys is the 4th most-listened-to football podcast in the country.”
The long-running feud between Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues and it sounds like Glendale, Arizona is becoming ground zero for their companies’ latest standoff.
According to a tweet and subsequent blog post from Portnoy, Bussin With The Boys — a podcast hosted by NFL players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton — has been barred from entering Radio Row during Super Bowl week.
In a tweet, Compton — who has previously claimed he was kept out of the league in 2022 because of his association with Barstool Sports — purported to show a message from an NFL official that claimed “We credential current players but if this person has a contract with Barstool then we won’t be able to accommodate”.
Portnoy has been removed — sometimes forcibly — from NFL events over the course of the past few seasons. Barstool Sports led a large protest at Gillette Stadium during the 2017 season opener after the “Deflategate” scandal. The company also manufactured 70,000 towels with an image of Goodell with a bright red ball nose to insinuate that he is a clown.
Goodell has previously claimed – under oath – that he is not aware of a ban of Portnoy, even though Portnoy and members of the Barstool Sports staff have been removed from league events and have even been arrested at league headquarters during a protest.
According to rankings from Chartable, Bussin With The Boys is the 4th most-listened-to football podcast in the country, trailing only Pardon My Take, New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce, and The Herd with Colin Cowherd. It is the ninth most popular sports podcast according to those same rankings.
Chris Long Didn’t Like the Attention That Came With TV Analyst Work
“If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that.”
Former NFL defensive end Chris Long has found his niche in the media space as the host of The Green Light Podcast and it is an outlet that he has been very comfortable with in terms of expressing his opinions.
Long was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast and he told Schrager that on the occasions when he has been an analyst on television, the attention he got was not something he was completely comfortable with.
“Sure, I maybe could work towards having one of those good jobs, but I also understand there’s a big process with that.
“I’ve been at a crossroads at times as a media guy where I’m like ‘Should I just do that?’ If I got to ask myself, then I don’t really want it. If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that and honestly, the couple of times I’ve been on TV, I don’t like the attention.”
One of the reasons Long mentioned why he isn’t comfortable being on TV is he doesn’t want to feel like he has to perform and on his podcast, he can be himself.
“Being on TV, I get really uncomfortable performing. I don’t like performing and I don’t like being told what to say. Here, that never happens. For the most part, I think finding your groove in this side of things is just having conversations…It’s just a nice change of pace.”
Long also feels that in this day and age of social media, it’s a constant argument about any NFL point that is being made and that is not something he wants to deal with.
“The world of podcasting has gotten better where the money is very good. Maybe I’d be making a little less money starting out doing studio stuff. For me, I do not like — whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s a guy on the street — I’m over arguing with people.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.