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Big Joe Under Fire For Insensitive Comments

“Wednesday’s show podcast is not currently offered on the website, but Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indy Star transcribed some of the discussion.”

Brandon Contes

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Former NFL offensive lineman and current Indianapolis sports radio host Joe Staysniak seemed less than sensitive to the social injustices African Americans face every day. 

As the Black Lives Matter movement takes place nationwide, demanding equality after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis last week, Staysniak suggested African American’s need to say, “I’m going to stop being a victim.” The comments were made during his Wednesday morning radio show, which he co-hosts alongside Jeff Rickard on WFNI ESPN 107.5/1070 The Fan, owned by Emmis Communications. Wednesday’s show podcast is not currently offered on the website, but Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indy Star transcribed some of the discussion. 

“Don’t put yourself in a situation where police are called,” said Staysniak who’s father and brother were police officers. 

“I can’t think of a single one (of my African American friends) that ever said he’s been targeted, just been pulled over because he’s black,” Staysniak said. “I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. I’m just saying it depends on who you talk to.”

Rickard pushed back and informed Staysniak of a statistic that says in some parts of Indiana, a black driver is six times more likely to get pulled over than a white driver. 

“Is that racism or is that the time of day? Is that the car they’re driving? Are lights out? Are turn signals working?” Staysniak asked. 

According to the Indy Star, Rickard reiterated the staggering number, “six times, Joe,” he told his co-host. 

When a black caller joined the conversation to say he was hurt by the comments and believed Staysniak to be tone deaf, the former NFL player didn’t give in. “You’re denying anything,” Staysniak said. “You’re denying responsibility, denying anything that could be on your part that has to go toward making this better.”

Rickard again countered his co-host, offering support for African Americans. “The African American community feels that they have been unfairly targeted… feels like it’s been going on a long time,” Rickard said according to Benbow. “They feel it’s an extension of systemic racism and they want to be heard and I think it’s time we listen to them.”

Sports Radio News

Greg Hill Creates NFTs For Foundation Fundraiser

“I have always dreamed of being immortalized digitally, and now we are doing that for you this morning.”

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Greg Hill has done several good works with his foundation in New England, and has now created a new way for those to give to his charity on Giving Tuesday.

During The Greg Hill Show Tuesday, Hill announced NFTs will now be available as an option for those who seek to give to the organization.

“Because we wanted to try find a different way for you to give on Giving Tuesday –those of you who would normally give to The Greg Hill Foundation or to any other charity — I am pleased to tell you that we are — at this moment — dropping the first ever Greg Hill Foundation NFTs.”

After the show joked that he is the owner of a Marconi Award and now featured in NFTs, he should retire, Hill joked “I have always dreamed of being immortalized digitally, and now we are doing that for you this morning.”

Hill then added NFT buyers will be invited to a private event at Cisco Brewers Seaport in Boston. Buyers will also be in a raffle to win tickets to The Greg Hill Foundation events, a suite to a Boston Celtics game, $1,500 cash, or two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert this summer.

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Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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