Monday, August 8, 2022

Black NBA play-by-play Broadcasters Speak Out About ‘Isolating’ Industry

 play-by-play broadcasters
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*Eric Collins is the only Black TV play-by-play broadcaster among current NBA teams.

Meanwhile, over at WNBA, Meghan McPeak is only one Black play-by-play announcer. She calls for Capital City Go-Go games for Monumental Sports Network.

Collins calls games for the Charlotte Hornets on Fox Sports South.

Marc J. Spears of “The Undefeated” caught up with both to dish about their experiences and the obstacles they’ve faced throughout their careers. They also opened up about how isolating it can be without Black colleagues. 

“You notice when you’re the only guy of color that is not a former player who is holding a microphone,” Collins told Spears, per MSN. “So, that’s awkward.”

“Disappointing, upsetting, disgusting,” said McPeak of often being the lone Black in this in space.  “When you look at the NBA and the NBA G League and you can count on one hand how many people of color, male or female, are in this role it is laughable.”

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Jones noted that lack of Black broadcasters often means the experiences of Black players off the court are ignored or do not receive the type of coverage that resonates with the culture. 

“It’s hard for me to find somebody to bounce uniquely Afrocentric stories off of,” Jones said. “You’re talking about a league that is 75% African American. Who is going to see it through the same prism that I do? Is the producer going to understand me? Is he going to support me? Is my analyst going to support me?”

Jones referenced the 2018 arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown and the excessive force used on him by police.

“I wonder whether we have enough people telling stories that are impacting Black players accurately with the same amount of importance. If you did a Milwaukee Bucks game when the police brutality happened and you didn’t talk about Sterling Brown, then you were missing the story. That was a story that was not only important to Sterling Brown, but to his teammates and players around the league who look like him.”

He added, “We cannot keep telling the stories of Black men and women without Black men and women telling these stories.”

“The only way to get more Black men and women in the play-by-play chair is that if the people in that position to make the hires make them and have uncomfortable conversations with their fellow hiring people … and say, ‘This needs to change.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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