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Charles Barkley Doesn’t Want Players Vilified For Not Kneeling

“In addition to linking arms and kneeling during the anthem, players wore Black Lives Matter shirts for warmups and debuted jerseys featuring messages such as “Peace,” instead of their last name.”

Brandon Contes

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Never afraid to offer an opposing viewpoint, Charles Barkley reminded TNT’s audience that standing for the national anthem doesn’t make you a bad person. 

The NBA restart tipped off Thursday night, following a national anthem which saw players, coaches and referees take a knee, a unified statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The first game featured the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans kneeling, followed by the Lakers and Clippers doing the same, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis linking arms near midcourt as the national anthem was performed by the Compton Kidz Club. 

Teams have been given the go-ahead by the league to kneel during the anthem as a way of peacefully protesting social injustice. Previously, the NBA imposed a rule stating players must stand and line up in a “dignified posture” during the national anthem, but commissioner Adam Silver has made it clear he’s in support of peaceful protests. 

“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said Thursday.

While the NBA’s restart bubble in Orlando has become a platform for social justice and the league has so far been unified in their approach to the national anthem, Charles Barkley stated it should also be OK if someone wants to stand. 

“The thing is, the national anthem means different things to different people,” Barkley said Thursday on TNT’s Inside The NBA. “I’m glad these guys are all unified, but if people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear.”

https://twitter.com/gifdsports/status/1288970167360397315

“I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy that doesn’t want to kneel or the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified,” Barkley added.

The NBA has supported its players in using their platform and voice to demand social justice and equality. In addition to linking arms and kneeling during the anthem, players wore Black Lives Matter shirts for warmups and debuted jerseys featuring messages such as “Peace,” instead of their last name. 

Sports TV News

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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Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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