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Sports Media Colleagues Praise JJ Redick In First Take Debate With Chris Russo

“I don’t actually care about the fans that watched Bob Cousy play or watched Wilt play. I don’t care. I appreciate they’ve been NBA fans that long but I don’t appreciate the undertone.”

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JJ Redick was not going to let Chris Russo get away telling Draymond Green he needs to shut up. On Wednesday’s edition of First Take, Russo took the Warriors’ forward to task after Green gave fans the finger as he exited the court in Memphis to receive stitches.

“He’s hard to root for,” Russo began. “Just shut up and play will you please? America is tired of Draymond Green. I deal with him constantly. The fans, San Francisco fans are a different story.”

Stephen A. Smith questioned how true that was. JJ Redick took a different tact. He told Mad Dog that the SiriusXM host had no idea just how few people actually want Green to shut up.

“You do realize the guy has a very popular podcast where he hosts and he talks, himself, for the majority of the episode and people listen to that,” Redick said. “He signed a talent deal with Turner because people want to hear what Draymond has to say. The reason they want to hear what Draymond has to say is because just like in this press conference, he is real, authentic and unfiltered. You can’t take away what makes a player great so there’s no “shut up and play”.

Mad Dog countered by saying that fans like him, that had followed the league for 60 years, didn’t like Green. It wasn’t a racial or political issue. It was about being tired of Green constantly talking.

“I’m not saying it’s a race situation,” Redick said. “I’m saying the fans you’re talking about, they talk about athletes that way like you just talked about an athlete snapped back. The people on Fox News talk about athletes that way, that’s my issue. I don’t actually care about the fans that watched Bob Cousy play or watched Wilt play. I don’t care. I appreciate they’ve been NBA fans that long but I don’t appreciate the undertone.”

That exchange caught the attention of a lot of Redick’s sports media colleagues.

Robert Littal of Black Sports Online pointed out that reactions from third parties are the only way to see JJ Redick make his point. ESPN is not promoting the video on any of its channels.

Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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