One week after launching Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho continued the initiative of helping his white friends, to help his black ones with a second installment of the video series.
A former NFL linebacker, current ESPN contributor and soon to be FS1 analyst, Acho’s first video took the country and even the globe by storm, amassing more than 20 million views in one week. His second video again offered a safe space for uncomfortable discussions in an effort to promote change, but as Acho stated, the goal was to create a dialogue not a monologue. With the dialogue on display, episode two featured a conversation with fellow University of Texas grad, Matthew McConaughey.
McConaughey said he joined the show “to learn, share and listen – to discuss some common grounds between us, but also expose differences between us.” The first episode offered new context, it “made me think of the why, not the how,” McConaughey told Acho.
“How can I do better, how can I do better as a man, how can I do better as a white man?” McConaughey asked.
“You have to acknowledge there’s a problem, so that you can take more ownership of the problem,” Acho responded, noting the first step to acknowledging the problem is by having this conversation.
“Individually, you have to acknowledge implicit bias, you have to acknowledge that you’ll see a black man and for whatever reason, you will view them as more of a threat than you will a white man. Probably because society told you too,” Acho said.
“You have to acknowledge that if there are two people with equal resumes, studies show that the person with the white sounding name is twice as likely to get a call back than the person with the black sounding name. You’re a very successful man who probably has several people under you, are you a part of that statistical problem?” Acho asked McConaughey.
Acho also said the most accurate and least offensive term to call a black person is ‘black,’ not African American. “There’s some black people that don’t identify as being African because that heritage got stripped from them.”
During the back and forth conversation, the Oscar winner asked Acho about the definition of equality, “it’s been an American issue forever and we continue to work and grow and evolve and debate what the definition of equality should be,” McConaughey said.
Acho answered that he doesn’t believe there’s such thing as equality. “The wake of slavery is still hitting African Americans,” Acho said, pointing to issues of systemic injustice, poor school systems and voter suppression. “Don’t feel guilty,” Acho added, “just acknowledge.”
“What’s my responsibility, what’s your responsibility?” McConaughey asked near the end of the conversation.
“People should take the responsibility proactively to say – maybe I’m a part of the problem. Maybe I can fix this issue not just by being not racist, but by being anti-racist,” Acho answered. “Maybe I can level the playing field and make it a fair fight.”
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.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
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.