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Malika Andrews, Jalen Rose Address Emotions Inside NBA Bubble

“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.”

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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.

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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