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Jason Whitlock Pulls No Punches Discussing Sports Media Personalities

“When Deadspin and those people were out to get to me, I think Dan was my friend and did have my back, but there’s a level of heat that not everyone can take.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since 2002, Jason Whitlock has had the opportunity to work for places such as ESPN and FOX Sports and with many different personalities. Now, he co-hosts a podcast with James Dodds (“Uncle Jimmy”) called Fearless with Jason Whitlock on Blaze Media.

On the latest episode, Whitlock gave his thoughts on some of the people that he has worked with over the years. For a while, Whitlock’s closest friend in the industry was Dan Le Batard. However, due to some comments StuGotz made about Whitock back in 2017, their relationship ended up changing. Whitlock ended up saying to Le Batard that it is nothing to joke about. He also understands that Le Batard might have wanted some distance from Whitlock because of the criticism Whitlock was taking from different websites:

“When Deadspin and those people were out to get to me, I think Dan was my friend and did have my back, but there’s a level of heat that not everyone can take. He’s not built for that kind of heat and that’s not a knock on him…He did some things to give himself some distance to make sure that the same people that were out for me didn’t come after him. I think this goes on a lot when you are a public figure, particularly in this cancel culture.”

Whitlock did not have many kind things, if at all, to say about Jemele Hill at the end of the episode and he said “she’s passing herself as a journalist.” Here’s what else he had to say about Hill:

“She has an interesting Twitter feed and Twitter is the right depth for her. 280 characters is about all she can handle. Launching a career as a Twitter influencer is smart. This has nothing to do with anything personal, this is just fact…No one can name any piece of journalistic work she has done that’s of any significance or any good. People talk about her missteps. She doesn’t have any work to stand on. I don’t like Jemele Hill.”

When he was at ESPN, two people that were always supportive of Whitlock  were Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon from Pardon The Interruption. Whitlock listed them as two of his idols in the industry:

“Those guys are the godfathers. Those guys are the reason you and I are sitting right here in Nashville in these studios about to do something monumental. Tony and I are two guys that have been really good to me over the years. Even before we were on TV, those guys were idols of mine and have treated me with nothing but respect my entire career. I love those guys.”

Another person he spoke kind words about was one of his former co-host of Speak For Yourself, Colin Cowherd. Whitlock refers to Cowherd as the “Jay-Z of this business” and called him “one of the most interesting people I have ever met in the business.” While the two of them had disagreements on things, Whitlock appreciated that nothing ever was personal between the two of them:

“Those two years we did Speak for Yourself together, he was great. Wasn’t the exact show I wanted to do, but it was great to work with someone who is that talented, that accomplished, that far along in the business. I don’t think we ever had a cross word or a passionate disagreement about anything. We disagreed about some things, but it was never personal. I appreciate how Cowherd handled the end of our show. The process of working with Cowherd was terrific for me.”

In addition to Cowherd, Whitlock spoke kindly of other FOX Sports personalities such as Skip Bayless and Marcellus Wiley. Wiley, who was Whitlock’s other former co-host on Speak for Yourself, Is viewed by Whitlock as “a great American success story” and Whitlock believes Wiley has the chance to be impactful beyond sports:

“He’s trying to tell other people how you can go get the American dream and I just love it. He’s an important voice in the sports world who has the chance to be an important voice beyond sports.”

As for Bayless, Whitlock appreciates the passion Bayless has for debating on-air and his work ethic. While Bayless may be different from Whitlock, Whitlock still respects that Bayless’s way has been successful for him:

“I think Skip treated me well when I was at FOX Sports. I think Skip is one of the hardest workers I have met in this industry. I think his passion for debating on TV is authentic. He’s completely different from me. He actually believes in debate television. People think it is some schtick, but Skip actually wants to win the debate and actually thinks he’s in a legitimate, authentic debate with Shannon Sharpe. I respect his work ethic, his passion for debate and doing that style of television. I had to come to grips with the fact that my way isn’t the way for everyone. You have to respect that it is his way and it works for him.”

Throughout the episode, Whitlock wasn’t afraid to give advice to people in the industry that he feels need it and one of them was Jalen Rose. While Whitlock thinks Rose is a “solid broadcaster”, he feels he has the chance to be that much better if he fixes some things and says the advice he is giving him is something he learned from past experiences:

“I think Jalen is a solid broadcaster who can be a great broadcaster if someone helped him clean up some of the annoying things he does that he thinks are funny. If someone tapped him on the shoulder and said I love you man but quit singing on NBA Countdown. Overall, Jalen is a talented guy who is a Detroit survivor. Look at all of the different roles he has had on ESPN. He’s good, he can be great. Some of the advice I am giving him is that sometimes my sense of humor has gotten me into trouble.”

On this episode, you’ll hear Whitlock say what he believes is the number one thought most broadcasters have in the industry as well. If this is more of what the podcast is going to be like, most people will appreciate the honesty Whitlock brings to the table on this new show when episodes are released daily beginning July 6. 

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John Skipper: Media Has Not Treated Adam Silver Like He’s Teflon

“I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

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Dan Le Batard hosted an interesting conversation on his Thursday show examining the performance of NBA commissioner Adam Silver during the press conference in which he announced the suspension of Suns owner Robert Sarver. David Samson and John Skipper joined Le Batard in the discussion.

Samson, former president of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, said of Silver “it’s amazing the level of Teflon he’s had, and I don’t know that it’s deserved in any way.” He added that the NBA commissioner’s performance was “not very well workshopped” when addressing the media.

John Skipper, co-founder of Meadowlark Media, acknowledged that the performance was not strong. He said that it was clear that Adam Silver was frustrated by the limitations his job put on what he could do about someone behaving in a way that he did not think was appropriate for the NBA. He did pushback on the idea that Silver had been immune from criticism.

“I’m not sure that I accept that he’s Teflon-like,” Skipper said. “He’s actually made most of the right decisions and done most of the right things and he’s gotten credit for that. I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

Samson smiled during the answer, which Skipper addressed by acknowledging that Samson knows that Skipper is friends with Adam Silver. The Meadowlark boss called himself an “apologist” for Silver, but added

“I mostly think he’s done a fabulous job. If you want to hold up what commissioner has done most of the right things in the last seven or eight years, he’s not Teflon-coated, but he has a tremendous track record, which I think deserves our support.”

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Chris Long Tells Jim Rome He’s Gambled on Games to Keep Him Interested For His Podcast

“So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Placing bets on NFL games adds a whole other layer to the NFL viewing experience, and Super Bowl champion Chris Long understands that.

Long, who is not that far removed from his playing days in the league, was a guest on The Jim Rome Podcast, and said he initially considered gambling on football as something to compete at after retiring.

But now that he’s had some time to better learn the ins and outs of wagering, he’s become wiser and better informed. It’s helped him when talking about gambling on his own podcast, Green Light with Chris Long.

“I want to be responsible and give out good picks,” Long said. “I don’t want to just throw stuff out there because I’m getting paid by a casino. I’m really interested in the artform of gambling if that makes any sense.”

Long added that having that wagering itch definitely keeps him enthralled in watching football all day like a lot of other NFL fans, even those games people generally think won’t be that good competitively ahead of time.

He said it’s definitely helped with his show.

“I’m not even gonna lie, dude, sometimes you get burned out by football, right? I played it for a long time, now I’m covering it. So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested and I can do my job more effectively because I’m gonna be glued to the TV. So like in a weird way it’s held me a little bit more accountable when it comes to staying on my game.”

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Shams Charania Signs New Contracts to Remain with Stadium and The Athletic

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Jordan Bondurant

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After speculation over his future, NBA insider Shams Charania is not going somewhere new.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Wednesday night that Charania has signed new contracts to remain at Stadium/Bally Sports and The Athletic.

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Shams has been an integral piece in the growth and evolution of Stadium, elevating our content across both digital media and television experiences,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle. “He is one of the finest professionals and people in our industry, and we are truly excited to continue building upon our longstanding and trusted relationship.”

Charania, 28, is an integral part of Stadium/Bally Sports NBA coverage. He makes regular appearances on the Sinclair-owned networks on shows like Inside the Association and The Rally.

Shams has not yet addressed the news on his Twitter account, which has 1.8 million followers.

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