Notable ESPN broadcaster John Saunders passed away at his house in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York on Wednesday. Saunders, who hailed from Canada, joined the ESPN team in 1986. Over the course of his career, he narrated the play-by-play for the WNBA, college basketball, and MLB games. Saunders also served as an anchor for SportsCenter, and The Sports Reporters. “John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” said John Skipper, President of ESPN. “He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.” Aside from his career in sports broadcasting, Saunders was one of the co-founders of the V Foundation for Cancer Research. His cause of death is unknown. Saunders was 61. Read more.
Gabby Douglas Receives Backlash for Not Placing Hand over Heart during National Anthem
Gymnast Gabby Douglas had social media in a frenzy after she made the decision not to place her hand over her heart during America’s National Anthem. The song played on Tuesday after Team USA came out victorious in the all-around competition. Four of her teammates placed their hands over their hearts, but Douglas visibly did not. Douglas took to Twitter on Wednesday to issue an apology. “I always stand at attention out of respect for our country whenever the national anthem is played,” she posted. “I never meant any disrespect and apologize if I offended anyone. I’m so overwhelmed at what our team accomplished today and overjoyed that we were able to bring home another gold for our country!” There isn’t a code of conduct for athletes to follow on the podium. Douglas isn’t the first athlete to not place her hand over her heart during the National Anthem. Read more.
The Weekend Donates $250K to BLM Movement
Singer The Weekend is using his funds to further the Black Lives Matter Movement. The “Earned It” singer shared that will donate $250,000 to the group on Wednesday. He recently donated $38,000 to the University of Toronto to launch a program surrounding Ethiopian studies. His parents were raised in Ethiopia, but the singer grew up in Canada. Read more.
CBS on Fall Lineup’s Lack of Diversity: “We Need to Do Better”
After receiving backlash for the lack of diversity in their fall season lineup, CBS admitted the network needs to do a better job of featuring actors of color on their shows. During the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, a reporter asked about the lack of diversity and CBS entertainment president Glenn Geller claimed that although the network can increase diversity, this year has been more diverse than the last one. “I’m really glad this question came up first because we’re very mindful at CBS about the importance of diversity and inclusion and I’m glad we’re having this conversation first, We need to do better and we know it. In terms of leads, we are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and like I said, we need to do better. But in terms of overall diversity in our new shows, we were actually more diverse this year than last year, and I think that that’s our commitment to diversity. It is ongoing,” said Geller. “We showed you some photos of 16 new series regulars, 11 of them are diverse. I know they’re not leads, but 11 are diverse and that is our commitment to diversity and those just aren’t words. That is real action … I wouldn’t say we’re mitigating anything.” Read more.
New Clinton Emails Show Connection Between State Department and Clinton Foundation
The saga continues in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. The latest batch of emails intimates that the State Department may have had a relationship with the Clinton Foundation during her time as secretary of state. One of the emails shows an exchange between Clinton Foundation official Doug Band helping those in the State Department land job opportunities. Another shows that Band tried to connect Gilbert Chagoury, a wealthy Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, who also funded the Clinton Foundation, with the State Department’s Lebanon expert. “No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts and Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Filton. “They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.” Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty