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Jason Whitlock: Bill Simmons Was Threatened By Vision For The Undefeated

On his podcast, Whitlock shared that when launching The Undefeated, “every single executive” told him, “Don’t you be like Bill Simmons and don’t cause us the headaches that Bill Simmons caused us.”

Kate Constable

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Jason Whitlock
Variety

Jason Whitlock doesn’t shy away from sharing his honest opinion about his fellow journalists, especially his former ESPN colleagues.

According to Sportico, on a recent episode of the Fearless with Jason Whitlock podcast, Whitlock dove into his relationship with Bill Simmons and the impact Simmons had on his experience at ESPN.

While at the network, Simmons was given his own site to run in 2011: Grantland. After seeing the success of that site, ESPN decided to bring in more talent to create similar models. Per Sportico, ESPN brought in New York Times’s Nate Silver to create FiveThirtyEight and Whitlock to start The Undefeated, a site focused on Black voices.

On his podcast, Whitlock shared that when launching The Undefeated, “every single executive” told him, “Don’t you be like Bill Simmons and don’t cause us the headaches that Bill Simmons caused us.”

“They see me and Bill Simmons as friends and assumed I operated the same way as Bill Simmons,” said Whitlock. “They were dead set on making sure that didn’t happen.”

According to Whitlock, the fallout between the two happened at ESPN during an appearance on Simmons’s podcast.

Whitlock claims that when he spoke of The Undefeated becoming the black version of Grantland it upset Simmons. Soon thereafter “behind the scenes, [Simmons] started complaining” about Whitlock’s comparison. He said that Simmons’ “underlings” and “token Black writers” were “threatened” by Whitlock and The Undefeated.

Check out the full Sportico report for all the details.

This comes just a few weeks after BSM reported on comments that Whitlock made about former ESPN colleagues Jemele Hill, Dan Le Batard, Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser.  

Sports Online

NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media

“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.

New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.

Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.

The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.

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Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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Sports Online

Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field

“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.

The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.

Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.

According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.

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