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Irvin, Davis Named in ex-NFL Network Employee’s Suit

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Erin McParland, the former NFL Network makeup artist that penned a first hand account of her time at the network for Sports Illustrated last December has filed suit against the network and two prominent personalities. Both Michael Irvin and Eric Davis are accused of sexual harassment. The network is accused of mishandling McParland’s complaint about Davis to Human Resources.

This is the second lawsuit of this type filed against the NFL Network. As Awful Announcing notes, the first one led to major shakeups not just at the NFL Network, but at other outlets that had hired former NFL Network staffers.

Her account seemed like a lawsuit waiting to happen, and now it has, the second such lawsuit filed against the network. The first led to the suspensions of Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans, and Ike Taylor from their NFL Network duties, as well as the firing of Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis from their new gigs at ESPN.

In the lawsuit, McParland claims Michael Irvin “made inappropriate gestures and comments to (McParland) and once grabbed (McParland’s) waist”. The suit also claims that Eric Davis was guilty of multiple instances of inappropriate and unwelcome advances both in person and on social media. Davis is also accused of hugging McParland and “force[ing] his genitals against (McParland) and he would also rub his genitals on (McParland’s) leg”.

USA Today detailed McParland’s complaint with NFL Network’s HR department.

McParland complained to human resources about Davis and Irvin, but the lawsuit claimed no action was taken until another female employee lodged similar complaints against Davis. The NFL told Davis “the best course of action was for Davis to leave NFL quietly,” according to the lawsuit. 

McParland was assured via text messages that Davis would not be allowed to confront her, but Davis did just that in an off-set trailer where he “aggressively stood over” her, according to the lawsuit. An NFL human resources executive apologized for the “mishandled situation.”

You can read McParland’s first hand account of her time at NFL Network here. As of this posting, Michael Irvin is still listed as on-air talent for the network.

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Sports TV News

MSG Considering Cable Network Spinoff

The MSG sports cable channel is currently the television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and New York Red Bulls.

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MSG Entertainment is considering spinning off its two iconic New York City properties, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, in addition to its regional sports network to create a new live event/media business.

MSG Entertainment is building the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, which is slated to open for business next year. The $1.865 billion arena is located near the Las Vegas Strip and will hold 17,500 spectators. The expense of the new project is the genesis for the exploration of the spinoff.

According to a report from Bret McCormick of Sports Business Journal, MSG Sports Corp scored a record-breaking $821.4 million in revenue during the most recent fiscal year which included tickets, media rights, and other revenues associated with live events and sports broadcasts.

The MSG sports cable channel is currently the television home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and New York Red Bulls.

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Sports TV News

Jim Kaat Retires From Broadcasting

Kaat announced games for the Twins and Yankees regional broadcasts while also working for CBS, NBC, ESPN, and MLB Network during his 40 year announcing career.

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After more than 40 years in the broadcast booth, Jim Kaat has retired from broadcasting.

The 25-year MLB veteran announced last night’s Blue Jays/Yankees game would be his final announcing assignment.

Kaat announced games for the Twins and Yankees regional broadcasts while also working for CBS, NBC, ESPN, and MLB Network during his 40 year announcing career. Kaat, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in July, won seven Emmy Awards for his work with the Yankees broadcasts.

Kaat, 83, told MLB Tonight “I just felt like the last game I did, maybe three weeks ago, I’m not as in touch with the game as I was years ago. I walk in the clubhouse — and this is not a criticism of today’s players or coaches — but I don’t know anybody. I can talk to Dusty Baker all day, but there’s only one Dusty Baker. I haven’t seen Tito Francona. And I just thought, Tony Kuback told me ‘You’ll know when it’s time’. And I just thought…I think it’s time to step away.”

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Portland Trail Blazers TV, Radio Broadcasts To Call Away Games Remotely

Rip City Radio 620’s Dwight Jaynes confirmed a rumor co-host Chad Doing mentioned on the air that he had been told the Blazers broadcasters would announce away games remotely for the upcoming season.

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Portland Trail Blazers broadcasters will have a different vantage point for away games during the 2022-2023 season.

Rip City Radio 620‘s Dwight Jaynes confirmed a rumor co-host Chad Doing mentioned on the air that he had been told the Blazers broadcasters would announce away games remotely for the upcoming season.

“They will not be sending radio or television on the road with their team,” Jaynes said. “Also, what I’ve heard and I’ve tried to check this out, I have not found any other team in the league that’s doing this.”

On Twitter, a user asked Jaynes if potentially the broadcast crew asked to not travel, which Jaynes said did not happen while noting the broadcasters will “enjoy more time at home”.

Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd make up the Trail Blazers television crew on ROOT Sports, while Travis Demers serves as the radio play-by-play announcer. Rip City Radio 620 is the flagship of the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

Update: According to Bill Oram of The Oregonian, the team says the decision is “not final”.

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