For the past five years, Will Cain has made regular appearances on ESPN’s First Take. His debates with Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman have brought entertainment and laughs on non-serious issues as well as important conversations from two different viewpoints on the intersections of various sports and social issues.
Cain was back on First Take Wednesday morning in response to his tweet Tuesday about the FBI’s finding that there was no hate crime that took place at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday. It was reported that a noose was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage. An investigation later determined that it was a knotted rope used as a garage door pull. This was the statement given by NASCAR:
About 30 minutes after the NASCAR statement, Cain sent this chain of tweets on the situation:
That chain of tweets received plenty of reaction from Cain’s colleagues and soon to be former colleagues at ESPN, including Jason Fitz and Mike Golic Jr. Fitz brought up the role of the media is to report as the story changes and Golic Jr. addressed the point of where the line of fairness should be:
Here is some of what Cain said in his opening statement Wednesday after Molly Qerim Rose asked him if this will bring further backlash to Bubba Wallace and NASCAR:
“Unfortunately, I do,” said Cain. “I think that’s a real cost to this. We in the media and I think NASCAR really were ignorant as to the cost of when you do not pursue the truth. In the media at large, We are not prioritizing our simple job to absolutely seek and hopefully successfully find the truth. NASCAR immediately rushed to judgement and the beautiful moments that came out of unity with the NASCAR drivers are true, but unfortunately they were built upon a falsehood.
“I believe we undercut improvement in racial relations. We are going to take a step back because we have sowed distrust, sowed division, and it will come back as a backlash on NASCAR and unfortunately on Bubba Wallace as well.”
Smith added his thoughts to the conversation and how the incident still helped NASCAR as it tries to push racism out of the sport.
“When you look at what transpired under the stewardship of Steve Phelps overseeing NASCAR, we’ve seen guys like Marty Smith and others who are covering the sport, this is the direction they want to go in. This is a new day…Whatever culture that has existed surrounding this sport that condones that, we are no longer accepting it.”
Kellerman brought up an old saying that caused Smith to make a face on camera that involved two different types of animals:
“The old saying is if you hear hoofbeats in North America, don’t rule out zebras, but think horses first. It turns out this time it was zebras. The fact that many people assumed horses based on the history of this country and that region and that sport is reasonable. It is a happy day that it turned out not to be true.
Cain added to that old saying by this:
“The fact that it turned out to be zebras is going to make it hard to convince people it was horses next time.”
As the conversation ended, First Take made it a point to wish Cain well as he heads to FOX News after the end of this month.
When these three men got together to talk about any given topic, it’s clear they embraced the motto of the show, which is to embrace debate, and tried to see both sides despite the conflicting viewpoints at times.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.