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There’s nothing funny about Rob Gronkowski’s ’69’ jokes 02.27.17 at 4:05 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Back when Rob Gronkowski was just beginning his NFL career, there was an endearing quality to his sophomoric sense of humor. He seemed to be genuinely juvenile, such as when he told a Spanish reporter “Yo soy fiesta” in response to a question about his post-AFC championship game party plans.

But now, after years of “69” jokes, the act seems fabricated. Gronk has jumped the shark.

The latest Gronkism came over the weekend, when he attended the Daytona 500 for Monster Energy, a sponsor of the NASCAR cup series. In an interview on Fox, Gronkowski tried his damnedest to get one of the Monster Energy Girls to say “69.” It didn’t work out.

“Hey Ashley, what’s your favorite speed limit out there?,” he asked. “I hope it’s somewhere around 70 or something.”

“I am hardcore. I like to go as fast as possible,” she responded, seemingly unaware of Gronkowski’s dimwitted obsession with “69” humor –– if there is such a thing.

There’s this notion that Gronkowski acts spontaneously, often blurting out the first thing that comes to his mind. But that doesn’t give him enough credit. There’s an apparent savviness to Gronkowski’s brand of inanity. At 27 years old, he’s crafted, and profited off, an amiable frat boy persona. Look no further than his line of party limos, which are supposed to bring the “the Gronk Bus experience to you in a Gronk’d up way.” Last year, roughly 800 people set sail on Gronk’s three-day party cruise, paying up to $1,100 for a balcony room.

There’s nothing harmful about Gronkowski’s schtick. But that doesn’t make it entertaining. Within the last couple of years, he’s taped No. 69 on the back of his practice jersey, worn a No. 69 jersey to a Super Bowl parade, almost keeled over in laughter after a reporter said “69” during an interview, and snickered at the podium when talking about his 69th career touchdown. Even Andrew Dice Clay’s routine had more variety.

The moment an act becomes brand-driven, it usually loses its luster. At the Daytona 500, Gronkowski was flanked by the Monster Energy Girls. Not so coincidently, the Gronk party buses are all stocked with Monster Energy drinks. Gronk’s latest “69” joke appears to be nothing more than sponsored content, designed to circulate around the blogosphere.

And that makes it lame. Very, very lame.

Read More: New England Patriots, rob, rob gronkowski,
Kevin Garnett modeled his workout routine after Beyoncé 02.27.17 at 1:52 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA last season. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA last season. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Garnett stayed in impeccable shape throughout his 21-year NBA career, remaining an elite defender until the end. Apparently, Beyoncé was one of the reasons why.

In an appearance last week on Bill Simmons’ podcast, Clippers guard J.J. Redick said Garnett told him he modeled his work-out routine after the pop icon. Garnett said singing and dancing at the same time, just like Queen Bey herself, would help him keep his energy up for the entire game.

“One time I saw her working out, and she was doing her dances and she was singing while she was doing her dancing,” Garnett said to Redick. “So then I’m thinking to myself, ‘Maybe I should run and sing at the same time.’ So in the offseason, I would go to Malibu and I would go down to the beach, and when I run on the beach I would be like ‘Lalala lalala lalala,’ while I’m running. So then, when I get on the court and I’m getting back on defense and I’m talking on defense, I don’t get tired.”

Now that Garnett has joined the Clippers as a consultant, perhaps he’ll share his Beyoncé-inspired training methods with even more players. Advice like that is too good to keep to yourself.

Read More: kevin garnett,
Paul Pierce roasts Draymond Green, shows he finally knows how to use Twitter 02.24.17 at 3:05 pm ET
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Paul Pierce played his final game at the T.D. Garden Feb. 7. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

Paul Pierce played his final game at the T.D. Garden Feb. 7. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Paul Pierce has finally figured out Twitter, and Draymond Green is still licking his wounds.

Early in the first quarter of the Thursday’s Warriors-Clippers matchup, TV microphones caught Green spewing some trash talk towards Pierce.

“You can’t get no farewell tour, they don’t love you like that…You thought you was Kobe?,” he said.

Pierce fired back on Twitter, reminding Green about the Warriors’ blown 3-1 series lead against the Cavaliers in the Final last year.

Ouch.

The most notable thing about Pierce’s tweet isn’t his diss, but rather his proper emoji use. Pierce revealed his emoji ignorance during the DeAndre Jordan free agency craze two years ago, when he appeared to download a picture of a rocket emoji instead of clicking the icon on his smartphone keyboard.

The Truth has come a long way. He seems to be putting those two cellphones he was spotted with at the Dunk Contest to good use.

Read More: Draymond Green, Paul Pierce,
The alt-right wants Tom Brady to run for U.S. Senate 02.24.17 at 1:44 pm ET
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Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady was one of the first high-profile celebrities who expressed support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, stuffing a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker in September 2015.

The Trump Train wasn’t very crowded back then, with most conservatives opting to support his 16 primary opponents. That is, except members of the alt-right, a loose collection of far-right ideologues that includes anti-semites, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. They were Trump’s top early political backers, sticking with him through the end.

Even though Brady has never publicly revealed his political views –– he hinted last month he may disagree with some of Trump’s policies –– the alt-right seems to feel a kinship with him. Or, at least, they want him to run for senate.

In an editorial on Breitbart, the right-wing news website formerly led by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, one columnist says it would be exciting to see Brady challenge Elizabeth Warren for her senate seat in 2018. That is, assuming his conservative credentials check out.

“Brady over Warren is the no-brainiest of all no-brainers, and forcing the radical Warren from the Senate would be cause for much rejoicing. Still, it probably behooves most on the right to know a bit more about what Brady the politician would look like, before we arrive at that point,” Dylan Gwinn writes.

Infowars, the website run by conspiracy-theoriest and Trump advisor Alex Jones, who’s accused the U.S. government of orchestrating 9/11 and the Sandy Hook Shootings, also seems enthused about a hypothetical Brady run. In a video, one of site’s contributors talked about how exciting it would be to see Brady enter the political arena.

“I thought the notion of athletes, including Brady, to defeat some of these stalwarts like Warren might be the antidote we need,” says Owen Shroyer.

Brady, of course, almost certainly isn’t going to challenge Warren in 2018. He says he wants to play football for at least five more years, and doesn’t seem interested in entering politics.

But that doesn’t mean Warren won’t face a Boston sports legend when she’s up for reelection in two years. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has routinely talked about his interest in running against her. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll shows Warren with a 58-24 edge in a theoretical matchup between the two.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Commend Caitlyn Jenner for her powerful condemnation of Donald Trump’s transgender order 02.24.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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It’s sometimes difficult to take Caitlyn Jenner seriously, considering she’s spent many years of her life exploiting her name on the Kardashian family’s reality show. But in a world bereft of prominent transgender voices, she plays an important role. That was on display this week, when she pushed back against the Trump administration’s decision to overturn federal protections for transgender students that let them use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

In a video posted to Twitter Thursday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist rails against the revocation of the Obama-era order. Jenner, who supported President Donald Trump during the election, calls the policy a “disaster.”

“I have a message for President Trump, from one Republican to another,” Jenner said. “This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump disingenuously presented himself as a pro-LGBTQ candidate. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, he pledged to protect the community from Islamic terrorism, while ignoring his own vice president’s hostile record on gay rights. He also named Jeff Sessions attorney general, who was one of the most anti-LGBTQ members of the senate and reportedly pushed for the reversal of President Barack Obama’s transgender guidelines.

Despite those actions, Trump gave the transgender community lip service in an interview last April on NBC’s “Today.” He said if Jenner were to visit Trump Tower, she could use any bathroom she chooses. Apparently, he doesn’t feel transgender kids should have that same right when they go to school.

After those comments, Jenner said she thought Trump would be more pro-LGBTQ than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But her previous endorsement didn’t preclude her from condemning the Trump administration’s policy.

“You’re sick. And because you’re weak, you pick on kids, you pick on women or anyone else you think is vulnerable,” she said in her video. “Apparently even becoming the attorney general isn’t enough to cure some people of their insecurities.”

Transgender kids are some of the most vulnerable people in the U.S. More than 80 percent of transgender students say they feel threatened at school, and 41 percent of transgender people say they’ve tried to commit suicide at least once in their lives. The suicide attempt rate of the overall U.S. population is 4.6 percent.

Jenner may not be the most intellectual spokesperson for the LGBTQ cause, but that’s OK. After hiding her identity for over 60 years –– she says she used to wear women’s clothing as a teenager –– Jenner seems proud of who she is. It’s important for people to see that.

There’s no singular moment in the gay rights movement that’s led to mainstream acceptance. With each person who comes out, the stigma around homosexuality continues to decrease.

Jenner is perhaps the most famous transgender person in the world. Her advocacy is meaningful, even if it comes in the form of a goofy-looking video recorded in her kitchen.

“I have a message for the trans kids of America: You’re winning,” she said. “I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning. Very soon, we will win full freedom nationwide and it’s going to be with bipartisan support.”

Read More: Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump,
ESPN’s Max Kellerman rips Patriots fans, says they need to get over Deflategate 02.24.17 at 10:17 am ET
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It seems as if Max Kellerman is trying to be the ESPN’s No. 1 Patriots troll. It’s no easy feat, but after declaring last year Tom Brady is “going to be a bum in short order,” he’s on the fast track.

The “First Take” co-host went on a rant against Patriots fans Thursday, shouting at the top of his lungs about New England’s persecution complex.

“Dear citizens of New England: I am here on behalf of a beleaguered sports nation with a message for you. No one, anywhere in this country, feels any sympathy whatsoever for you and your teams,” he said. “There are sympathetic characters, and then there are all of you. Want to know? Every single one of your major sports franchises has won a championship in the last 10 years. Yet somehow, you still play the persecution card.”

Kellerman was reacting to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said this week on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” he’ll remember everybody who disparaged his organization during the Deflategate saga. The Patriots went on to win their fifth Super Bowl this year after Tom Brady missed the first four games of the season.

“First, your best ever quarterback did or did not cheat on the way to your fourth Super Bowl title,” Kellerman said. “Next, there was an investigation during which said incredible quarterback destroyed evidence. Then, the league commissioner suspended the quarterback. The quarterback fought the suspension, and lost. The commissioner did indeed have the power vested in him, in part by owners like Robert Kraft and also by the players’ union.

“So the 39-year-old quarterback sat the first four games of the season, the team went 3-1, and the backup quarterback increased his potential trade value to first-round pick level. The rested healthy star quarterback returned, and basically ran the table, giving a fifth chip to Mr. Kraft and all of stubbornly self-pitying New England.”

Kellerman’s thesis about Deflategate working out well for the Patriots is correct. Given Brady’s health at the end of the year and the possibility of trading Jimmy Garoppolo for a first-round pick this offseason, it may have even been a blessing in disguise.

But it’s asinine for Kellerman to question why Kraft would still be bitter about seeing his star quarterback get his reputation sullied for playing with slightly under-inflated footballs. He also, unsurprisingly, is wrong about the details of the investigation. While Brady destroyed his cell phone, he offered to help the NFL collect missing text messages. Roger Goodell declined that overture.

Facts can’t get in the way of a good rant, of course. Kellerman closed with an exclamation point, saying people aren’t jealous of Boston sports fans. They just hate their attitude.

“There’s a reason why everyone hates you guys. It’s not that your teams are so good, it’s that you handle it all so badly. Get over yourselves. Sincerely, everyone else,” he said.

Read More: ESPN, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
ESPNers are calling Dan Le Batard racist for his Magic Johnson criticism, and it’s glorious 02.24.17 at 9:25 am ET
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The Lakers hired Magic Johnson this week to be their president of basketball operations. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Lakers hired Magic Johnson this week to be their president of basketball operations. (Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN host Dan Le Batard has flippantly accused others of racism throughout his career. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s glorious.

On his radio show Thursday, Le Batard lambasted the Lakers for naming Magic Johnson president of basketball operations. In his opinion, Johnson doesn’t have the credentials for the job.

“What you’ve got here, though, is a testament to the power of fame. And a testament to the power of a modicum of charm, because Magic Johnson is charming,” Le Batard said. “But Magic Johnson was given a late-night television show because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 11 shows. Magic Johnson was given a head coaching job of the Lakers because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 16 games. Magic Johnson, not interesting as a broadcaster, given broadcasting opportunity after broadcasting opportunity, because he’s famous and charming.

“And now, he gets to run the entire Lakers organization because he’s famous and charming. But he wasn’t good at any of those jobs I just mentioned, and he got all of those jobs, bypassing a whole lot of people who are more qualified, because he’s famous and charming.”

That’s a reasonable position for Le Batard to hold, considering Johnson doesn’t have any significant basketball front office experience. He’s a part of the Dodgers’ ownership group in MLB, but doesn’t appear to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the club.

Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, however, has a different view. He defended the Lakers’ decision to hire Magic Johnson, and condemned Le Batard for disparaging the NBA great.

“I can’t tolerate this dude! I can’t tolerate him saying these things about Magic Johnson because his facts are completely wrong!” he said. “He got a talk show coming out of the NBA because they were trying a late-night talk show with African-Americans, and he’s a guy in the city of LA who everyone liked. The talk show business is hard! How many people fail at it?”

Later in the segment, Keyshawn Johnson suggested Le Batard’s comments were racially motivated.

“I’m going to read between the lines, I’m going to read between the lines on this one,” he said. “To me, he saying because he’s a black dude, that’s the way I look at it.”

Keyshawn Johnson’s co-host, Jorge Sedano, who’s worked with Le Batard in Miami, tried to defend the ex-newspaper scribe. But then one of Magic Johnson’s former teammates, Mychal Thompson, called in and pushed back against Sedano.

“Sedano, you’re pissing me off. You gotta stop defending this Le Batard,” the ex-Lakers center said. “How dare he question Magic’s credentials and qualifications, when this man is a basketball genius. What does he want? … That ticked me off when I heard that, I’m with you, Key, that was some kind of veiled racist comment there.”

Le Batard didn’t only take a beating on Keyshawn Johnson’s radio show. “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon sent out a series of tweets Thursday, accusing Le Batard of misrepresenting Magic Johnson’s post-career resume.

Since officially retiring from the NBA in 1996, Magic Johnson has taken part in a number of business ventures. His entertainment company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, has a net worth of $700 million. Magic Johnson did coach the Lakers at the end of the 1993-94 season, finishing with a 5-11 record.

Read More: Dan Le Batard, ESPN, Keyshawn Johnson, Magic Johnson
Aaron Hernandez’s potential marijuana defense is ridiculous 02.23.17 at 7:35 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers are thinking about using a pot defense, saying their client’s habit of smoking marijuana may have turned him into a murderous monster. That’s insane.

According to the Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern, Hernandez’s attorneys have included two unknown marijuana experts in a list of potential witnesses for his upcoming double-murder trial. They could discuss the nature of marijuana use in the NFL and the psychological impact the drug has on its users.

“At that point, if you are using this tactic, you are probably trying to get it down to second-degree murder or manslaughter,” criminal defense attorney Phil Tracy told the Herald. “You would try to say that repeated and prolonged use of marijuana had an effect on his brain so he couldn’t form clear intent to commit first-degree murder.”

Hernandez’s marijuana use was a central theme during his first murder trial two years ago, in which he was convicted for slaying semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. His attorneys argued Hernandez couldn’t have killed Lloyd, because the two were smoking buddies.

But this time around, they may argue years of excessive marijuana use diminished Hernandez’s mental capacity. The former Patriots tight end is accused of killing Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28 in a drive-by shooting on a South End street in July 2012. The two victims reportedly encountered Hernandez at a club in the theatre district the night they were killed.

There’s little evidence that suggests smoking or ingesting marijuana can have a damaging long-term neurological impact. A 2003 study from the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society shows chronic marijuana users don’t experience a significant reduction in their cognitive abilities, except perhaps in their ability to remember. A 2014 study says marijuana can even be used to treat some forms of mental illness, such as PTSD and depression.

While alcohol makes its users more aggressive and violent, weed has the opposite effect. Last year, researchers in the Netherlands examined a group of 20 heavy drinkers and 21 habitual marijuana smokers, monitoring them while they got drunk or high. Through a series of tests, they found the drinkers got more aggressive as their blood alcohol content rose, whereas the smokers got less aggressive when they became impaired. Those findings coincide with a 2014 study that says couples that smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence.

It’s possible that drug use may have ravaged Hernandez’s mind at the time of the double-murder. In a 2013 feature story, the Rolling Stone reported Hernandez was a PCP addict, with one friend saying he was “out of his mind.” During the Lloyd murder trial, Hernandez’s lawyers called a professor from Tufts University School of Medicine to testify about how PCP can cause people to become violent. Hernandez’s cousin said the tight end’s two co-defendents in that case, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were smoking PCP the weekend Lloyd was killed.

It seems as if drug abuse played a role in Hernandez’s downfall. But placing the blame on marijuana is disingenuous and insulting.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots,
ESPN’s Bomani Jones appears to suggest Boston would’ve been too racist for DeMarcus Cousins 02.23.17 at 2:25 pm ET
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The Celtics reportedly weren't interested in acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sport)s

The Celtics reportedly weren’t interested in acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sport)s

ESPN’s Bomani Jones appears to be slandering Boston again.

During a recent edition of his radio show, “The Right Time,” Jones was talking about teams that were linked to center DeMarcus Cousins, who was traded to the Pelicans Sunday. He says Cousins is fortunate he didn’t wind up in Boston, because it wouldn’t have worked for him here.

“I think all of us can say: DeMarcus Cousins in Boston probably wouldn’t have been the best idea.” Jones said. “For a number of reasons, it probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. Right?””

The possible reasoning behind Jones’ proclamation is ambiguous on the surface, but not difficult to surmise once you consider his history. Last month, Jones strongly hinted Celtics fans cheered for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward because he’s white, saying no other fan base would’ve reacted to him that way.

“Is there another arena in the whole country that would get this charged about Gordon Hayward maybe coming as a free agent? Clapping for Kevin Durant is one thing. But if you put Gordon Hayward on the same level as Kevin Durant, you might be the city that had the Kevin Love welcoming tour when he wasn’t even a free agent yet,” he said.

From a basketball standpoint, there’s little reason to think Cousins wouldn’t have fit with the Celtics. Head coach Brad Stevens has never publicly disparaged the three-time All-Star, and point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was teammates with Cousins in Sacramento, said last year it would be “really good” to play with him again.

Given the lack of convincing on-court evidence, it seems like Jones is once again needlessly introducing race to the conversation. Cousins has 17 technical fouls this season and is one of the most demonstrative players in the NBA. Jones, with his comment about Cousins not working in Boston for a “number of reasons,” appears to suggest Celtics fans would reject a passionate black player.

Jones isn’t the first ESPN host to allude to this point. In a podcast earlier this year, NBA analyst Amin Elhassan curiously said Celtics fans wouldn’t take to Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, presumably because he’s an outspoken black athlete.

Read More: Boston Celtics, DeMarcus Cousins,
ESPN’s ‘The Six’ with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith is a boring flop 02.23.17 at 12:27 pm ET
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Michael Smith and Jemele Hill previously hosted "His & Hers" on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jemele Hill and Michael Smith previously hosted “His & Hers” on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

When ESPN first launched “The Six” with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith, it was billed as a hipper version of “SportsCenter,” set to reclaim weeknight viewers who have fled the network’s outdated signature program. But in reality, the show is unimaginative and boring. There’s nothing edgy about it, unless you consider Smith’s proclivity to wear sneakers with his suit jacket to be wacky instead of forced.

Despite weeks of incessant on-air promotion, including a corny video that features Hill and Smith boogying to the 1988 hit, “It Takes Two,” ratings for the refurbished “SportsCenter” leave much to be desired. On Monday, three weeks after its debut, the show drew 568,000 viewers. That’s less than the 574,000 people who tuned into the 6:00 p.m. airing of “SportsCenter” on the same date one year ago.

Ratings for other ESPN programs are suffering as well. The audience for “Pardon the Interruption” was down 16 percent over the first two weeks of February compared to last year, giving “The Six” a depressed lead-in. But still, with all of the effort spent publicizing the show, the numbers are underwhelming –– just like the product.

At the start of Wednesday’s episode, Hill and Smith spent some time discussing DeMarcus Cousins’ debut press conference with the Pelicans. The most notable tidbit from the conversation was their insistence on calling him “Boogie,” as if they’re close pals. Smith went on to say he’s president of the “Free Boogie Fan Club,” while Hill giggled awkwardly.

Following a staid segment about Paul George’s future with the Pacers –– Smith kept calling him “PG” in a contrived attempt at informality –– the two moved on to Magic Johnson, who didn’t interview a black candidate for the Lakers’ general manager position before hiring agent Rob Pelinka. On The Undefeated, ESPN’s black-interest website, columnist Marc Spears quoted a couple of league executives who criticized Johnson for bypassing potential African-American applicants. Instead of responding with their own takes, Hill and Smith equivocated. They both said they “understand the frustration,” but also believe Johnson must do what he thinks is best for the organization.

“Jeanie [Buss] fired her blood brother. So if you don’t win enough games, she will fire her brother from another mother in a second,” Smith said.

It’s insulting to expect black sports commentators to feel strongly about race relations. But both hosts, especially Hill, have spoken passionately about the subject in the past. Last year, she hosted a televised town hall on ABC with President Barack Obama about race in America.

One of the apparent reasons why Hill enjoys a prominent role on ESPN is her willingness to engage on social issues. But yet, on “The Six,” she plays it down the middle.

And therein lies the biggest problem with the program: there’s nothing memorable about it. The discussions are stale, with Hill and Smith regurgitating talking points that are heard on ESPN throughout the day. Neither take a particularly strong stand on anything, and when they do, they usually side with the athlete in question. Somewhere along the line, ESPN decided to become a promotional vehicle for the players it covers. Hill and Smith, with their insistence on referring to NBA stars by their carefully branded nicknames, feed into that.

Hill and Smith don’t need to turn into screeching hyenas to have a successful talk show. But there must be some elements of provocation. The demonization of “hot take culture” has caused people to forget that nearly every popular sports pundit in history, from Howard Cosell to Michael Wilbon, has routinely shared strong opinions. Hill, who once said cheering for the Celtics is akin to calling Adolf Hitler a victim, is no stranger to controversy. While nobody is clamoring for Nazi analogies, it’s bizarre to see her play an even-tempered role. The show desperately needs a shot of adrenaline.

In order to generate interest, programs must give their audience something to reach to. Tedious segments, like Wednesday’s interminable discussion with analysts Jeff Goodman and Ryen Russillo about NBA trade rumors, don’t accomplish that. Those kinds of dry interviews are staples on indiscernible sports talk shows across the country. They shouldn’t be featured on a supposedly groundbreaking show that ESPN is counting on to help resurrect its “SportsCenter” franchise.

“The Six” is billed as innovative. But the truth is, you’ve seen it a million times before.

Read More: ESPN, Jemele Hill, Michael Smith,