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Inside The NBA Crew Discusses Reaction to Kyrie Irving Comments

“We’ve suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs,” Barkley added. “And that was the right thing to do. If you insult the black community, you should be suspended or fined heavily.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Inside the NBA

Members of Inside the NBA on TNT studio and broadcast team offered their thoughts to the situation involving Kyrie Irving on Tuesday night.

Irving has found himself in hot water over a since-deleted tweet about an antisemitic movie.

On TNT’s pregame show, both Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley offered their thoughts on Irving. Shaq said Irving just displays just a general lack of awareness of what he puts out on social media.

“Some people are conscious, some people are not. I can tell he’s not conscious, he doesn’t really care about what’s going on,” Shaq said. “But us, I know that the game that we used to love and promote it brings people together. And it hurts me sometimes when we have to sit up here and talk about stuff that divides the game. Now we gotta answer for what this idiot has done.”

Barkley thinks it’s wild that the league didn’t discipline him for the tweet sooner.

“I think (the NBA) should have been suspended him,” Barkley said. “I think (NBA commissioner Adam Silver) should have suspended him. First of all, Adam is Jewish — you can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion. You gonna insult me, you have the right, but I have the right to say, ‘You can’t take my $40 million and insult my religion.’”

“We’ve suspended people and fined people who have made homophobic slurs,” Barkley added. “And that was the right thing to do. If you insult the black community, you should be suspended or fined heavily.”

On the Nets/Bulls game broadcast on TNT, Reggie Miller said it was interesting how the NBA as a community didn’t collectively stand up against what Irving put out there compared to incidents that were racial in nature involving former Clippers owner Donald Sterling and soon to be ex-Suns owner Robert Sarver.

“When Donald Sterling stepped in it, when Robert Sarver just recently stepped in it, our voices in the basketball community and our players were vocally strong in some type of discipline being handed down — or be gone,” Miller said. “The players have dropped the ball on this case when it’s been one of their own. It’s been crickets.

“And it’s disappointing, because this league has been built on the shoulders of the players being advocates,” he added. “Right is right and wrong is wrong. And if you’re gonna call out owners, and rightfully so, then you’ve got to call out players as well. You can’t go silent in terms of this for Kyrie Irving. I want to hear the players and their strong opinions as well, just as we heard about Robert Sarver and Donald Sterling.”

Some in sports media offered their reaction to Miller’s comments.

The Nets are looking into some kind of discipline on Irving, but Barkley felt like it’s too late. The NBA Players Association released a statement on the situation but didn’t refer to Irving by name.

“Antisemitism has no place in our society. The NBPA is focused on creating an environment where everyone is accepted,” the statement said. “We are committed to helping players fully understand that certain words can lead to hateful ideologies being spread. We will continue to work on identifying and combating all hate speech whenever it arises.”

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Sports TV News

ESPN Creates ACC/SEC Challenge

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports.

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ESPN, in conjunction with the ACC and SEC, is slated to announce the creation of the ACC/SEC Challenge for men’s and women’s basketball.

The series will begin for the 2023-2024 season, launching with 28 games played between the two sports. That number will grow to 30 contests when the SEC expands for the 2025-2026 season.

Every game in the challenge will be aired on an ESPN platform, with each side hosting the same amount of home games.

The creation of the event comes on the heels of the Big Ten’s new media rights deal with FOX, NBC, and CBS, ending a nearly four-decade relationship with ESPN. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge began in 1999, with the SEC/Big 12 Challenging beginning in 2013. Both events will cease to exist following this season.

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Sports TV News

FOX Sports Sees Record-Setting Ratings Weekend

The World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

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FOX Sports has been home to a number of record-setting games in terms of viewership over the last several days.

In addition to FOX Sports setting a new mark for a Thanksgiving and regular season NFL audience, the World Cup matchup between the U.S. and England on Black Friday and Michigan/Ohio State on Saturday saw tens of millions of viewers tuning in.

The network reported the U.S./England match in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup averaged 15.377 million. It was the most-watched English-language soccer game in the U.S. ever, topping the 1994 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil.

Viewership of the match was up 11% compared to the second group stage contest for the U.S. team in 2014 against Portugal. The audience peaked at 19.646 million from 3:30-3:45 p.m.

FOX Sports also reported the Michigan/Ohio State game on Saturday drew in 17 million, which made it the most-watched regular season college game on the network ever. That figure was also the highest of any regular season contest since 2011. That game also saw the audience peak at 19.6 million.

Viewership for the game was up 3% compared to last year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Bowl Plans Could Be Altered By NFL Flex Scheduling

“While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN could be forced to adjust its upcoming bowl season schedule if the NFL decides to flex a Las Vegas Raiders game a week before Christmas.

ESPN announced its contingency plans for two bowl contests, the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. The Las Vegas Bowl is currently planned to kick off from Allegiant Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on December 17. The Raiders right now are still planning to play in the Sunday night game the next night against the Patriots.

Should the NFL decide to flex the Raiders out of the SNF window, ESPN will swap kickoff times between the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. That would mean the game in sin city will kick off at 11:30 a.m. local time, with the contest in Albuquerque starting at 5:20 p.m. local time that evening.

“The SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl and New Mexico Bowl are both owned and operated by ESPN Events, so this change is a solution that will work for all parties,” ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby said. “While this situation poses a challenge, we are accustomed to flexibility and having to maneuver our event schedules. We are more than prepared to move forward with this revised schedule if necessary.”

Kickoff times will be determined well enough ahead that the schools taking part in both games shouldn’t be adversely affected.

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