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Charles Barkley: Sports Figures Should Front Vaccine Initiatives

“Barkley famously said, ‘I am not a role model,’ decades ago. Now, he wants to see prominent athletes become role models for the vaccine.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: TNT

Charles Barkley hopes to see athletes take a forward-facing stance towards COVID-19 vaccines. The Basketball Hall of Famer and Turner Sports personality discussed the vaccine on ESPN 1000.

“As jocks, we should definitely get the vaccination,” Barkley told Waddle and Silvy. “I think it’s selfish if we don’t get it. If you look at the world – who are the only people who have never missed a paycheck? Professional athletes. Think about that. Everybody’s been laid off or fired. Jocks have been paid every single dime they’re owed.”

Barkley famously said, “I am not a role model,” decades ago. Now, he wants to see prominent athletes become role models for the vaccine.

“We should be at the forefront of trying to help get this thing back to normalcy,” Barkley stated. “Instead of having a couple of idiots saying ‘well I don’t want to get the vaccine.’ It ain’t just about you fool! It’s about everybody, we’re in this thing together.”

Athletes like Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson came under fire in recent weeks for missing practice due to COVID-19 related issues. Neither are vaccinated, and the same problems most recently struck Buffalo Bills wide receivers, Cole Beasley and Isaiah Mckenzie. The NFL fined both of them for breaking NFL COVID-19 protocols this week.

“I’m getting the vaccine just in case some kid runs up to me and asks for an autograph or a picture,” Barkley continued. “I wish people would be like, ‘hey ya know what? I don’t really want to get the vaccine, but I’m gonna do it for the people around me.”

Barkley is directing his fervor towards athletes, but the numbers say most have received the shot. The NFL, NBA, and MLB have reported increased vaccination rates throughout the summer, with a majority of teams over 85% vaccinated. Listen to the full interview on Waddle & Silvy here.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami, according to sources.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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