Thursday, June 11th, 2020


“I have a young African American team in terms of the players that we have, and it’s going to be hard for me to lead knowing that I’m feeling the same way that some of them may be feeling, and we have to discuss this as coaches.” – Lloyd Pierce on the conversation among all 30 NBA coaches

“I think what we really found is how incredibly important listening is. People were really hurting under the surface.” – Dan Quinn on conversations with players and leading his team

 “The one frustration I had was no one was listening. Nobody could hear what we were saying, and you could see that same frustration bubbling over in the streets today with all the civil unrest. Now, I truly believe the NHL is in a good place.” – Anson Carter on his time as a player in the NHL

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 11, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn
    • Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst
    • NBC Sports horse racing analyst & Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey
    • GOLF Channel on NBC host and play-by-play announcer Dan Hicks
    • NBC Sports NHL analyst Anson Carter


The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce
    • Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule


Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Dan Quinn on participating in a peaceful protest in Atlanta with other members of the Falcons organization: “It was really inspiring. So many diverse people were there and now are no longer accepting things that they thought they couldn’t change, but now are saying, ‘I’m going to be a part of that change, and no longer going to accept those things.’ It was my first time in a protest or march, but it certainly won’t be my last.”

Quinn on his role as a coach during this time: “As coaches and as leaders, when something is wrong, you want to go fix it and be involved. What we learned, even hopping on a call Sunday night with 15 guys, I think what we really found is how incredibly important listening is. People were really hurting under the surface and so knowing that, it wasn’t saying, ‘What can we do and take action right away.’ It was, ‘Man, I’m angry and I want to talk about it.’ The first part of the week was about that and we couldn’t have been more impressed with our mayor, Keisha Bottoms, and the leadership she provided our city. I actually asked her to come and speak to the team. Moments like that, and to listen, were the biggest lesson in terms of the action we can take to spur change.”

Quinn on quarterback Matt Ryan’s leadership during the past few weeks: “What we recognized is that not all players and people have the same experiences when we leave the locker room and that is not OK. I think Matt recognized that as well and we both talked, it sounded hollow and we wanted to do more. Having those moments where we can listen and reconnect further as a team, those were impactful, and I think there will be more examples of this moving forward.”

Paul Chryst on conversations with his team over the past few weeks: “One, it’s having a space and trust that you can have open, honest and real conversations. I feel fortunate to have been in those, and yet we all want the conversations to be insightful and gain a different perspective, deeper understanding and appreciation. It can challenge you. For me personally, there’s no question Black Lives Matter. But that’s just a phrase. The reality is my black friends matter to me, my black co-workers matter to me, my black players matter to me, the moms and dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents of the friends, co-workers and players matter…I’m grateful for all those who have shared and there’s still a lot more conversation we have to have.”

Chryst on players returning to campus for voluntary workouts: “They took the tests and are in the self-quarantine phase…This is phase one, it’s a necessary phase. For us to get to phase two…and get closer to what we all want, and that’s being able to play, we’ve got to do a good job in phase one. It takes responsibility and accountability. I know everyone is excited to be back and get going.”

Anson Carter on change within the sport of hockey: “There’s a time and a place for everything. One thing I noticed when I was playing in the NHL, the one frustration I had was no one was listening. Nobody could hear what we were saying, and you could see that same frustration bubbling over in the streets today with all the civil unrest. Now, I truly believe the NHL is in a good place. The Commissioner (Gary Bettman) is listening, (NHL Deputy Commissioner) Bill Daly is listening, (NHL Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs) Kim Davis is listening, (Executive Director of NHLPA) Don Fehr is listening. That’s how you’re really going to see change take place. I feel very positive how things are right now.”

Carter on the progress for African American players within the sport today compared to when he played in the league: “I really believe things are different now. We’re having players get drafted in the first round on a regular basis — Seth Jones, K’Andre Miller, Evander Kane. We have players named MVP in All-Star Games — Wayne Simmonds. Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban. That’s all I wanted, to be judged like everyone else…It’s important not to focus on the past. It’s important to say what you have to say because there’s a baseline now. We can judge action going forward and I really believe the Players Association and the players involved in the game of hockey are focused on changing things going forward.”

Jerry Bailey on the potential Belmont Stakes field: “Tiz the Law tops the Belmont field and he has all spring. He has been the favorite in many people’s and my eyes all the way through… (He is) likely the favorite in the Belmont, but (also) onto the Kentucky Derby.”

Bailey on the impact of this year’s shorter Belmont Stakes distance: “It’s less taxing and we will get horses that we wouldn’t normally get for a mile-and-a-half Belmont…You’re going to get faster horses, rather than stamina horses for a normal Belmont.”

Dan Hicks on increasing diversity in golf: “There have been some efforts, but I think everyone is thinking and listening more.  It was really great to see Harold Varner III come out and talk poignantly about growing up. He was more of a privileged young golfer growing up, but he understands it and can relay those thoughts to us. The moment of silence (at 8:46 a.m. ET during tournament play) today, I think it’s great sports can incorporate this movement. Golf has a long way to go, a lot of sports have a long way to go, we all have a long way to go in listening and educating ourselves.”

Hicks on players wearing microphones during play: “The few guys who do, in this case Rickie Fowler, it’s going to give us an opportunity to (see) those moments that would’ve slipped through the cracks…This is going to be an experimental thing.”

Hicks on storylines to watch as the PGA TOUR resumes play: “Rory McIlroy was playing the best of anybody in the world before the quarantine hit, how does he pick it up? Then, there are guys like Jordan Spieth, who I’m anxious to see if he can re-boot and get back to the form we are used to (seeing).”

Hicks on Rory McIlroy: “When he’s got it all going, he’s the most talented golfer in the world.”

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Lloyd Pierce on the recent zoom call between all NBA coaches: “I reached out to coach (Rick) Carlisle and David Fogel — they’re in charge of the NBCA — and I just said, ‘Listen, we meet on everything having to do with coach-related issues. Our 401K, the direction of the funding for the coaches association, contracts, things of that nature, things that are important to us, and there’s not a bigger issue that was important to me than what we’re seeing with regards to African Americans and police brutality and just the entirety of what’s going on in our country. I just felt we have too big of a platform and we are united already as an association of coaches, that we have to discuss this because we lead a league of predominantly African American men, and we lead a league that these men have to deal with these issues. For us to be leaders, we need to be educated and we need to do it in a way where we’re united on that education and using our platform to do that.”

Pierce on how the call with the coaches went: “I said I’m vulnerable right now. I’m angry, I’m vulnerable. I’m an African American coach, I’m a young African American coach. I have a young African American team in terms of the players that we have, and it’s going to be hard for me to lead knowing that I’m feeling the same way that some of them may be feeling, and we have to discuss this as coaches. We can’t just walk in and say, ‘We can’t wait for the season to start,’ and we haven’t addressed the real live issue that’s going on in our country. So, I expressed that, and I told them we have to do something…They gave me the platform to speak, and I spoke freely and I spoke openly and I spoke passionately about systemic racism, blatant racism, and the fact that we need to do something. From the response — and we had every coach there and there was dialogue with every coach after — but the response was simple: ‘Thank you. This is needed. What can we do?’ I truly mean that when I say all 30 coaches were passionate, they were energized, they’ve been motivated, and they still are, to use their platform in their cities to address racism, to talk about the issues we’ve never confronted in the history of our country and to try to build up our community through this education. I tell you what, our coaches are phenomenal right now.”

Pierce on the message behind his Instagram post, which included a close-up picture of his face: “I posted it because I think sometimes people feel things more when it’s closer to you, when it’s closer to your heart, when you have a connection. You feel the depth of a person when it’s a friend, a family friend, someone that you knew — it attacks you emotionally. So, I’m a head coach and I just wanted my followers — people who know me as a head coach — I wanted them to know that I’m also a black man and for 44 years I’ve been a black man. If you changed the words, if you don’t know that it’s ‘coach Pierce,’ and you realize that I’ve been affected by this, this tragedy that George Floyd has experienced and his family has experienced, it can happen to me. It almost will happen to me in some form or fashion, whether it’s me directly, someone I’m related to, or someone that I know. A lot of times, I think we move on because it doesn’t hit us, and I just wanted it to hit everybody the way it’s hitting me, and so if I zoom in, you just know it’s a black man. You zoom out and you say, ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize it was coach Pierce.’ It shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter who it is. It shouldn’t happen to any African American person, it shouldn’t happen to any person, it definitely shouldn’t happen to any black people because of the color of their skin, and that’s what’s happening right now.”

Matt Rhule on what the Panthers will look like this season: “I think we’re going to be an exciting team on offense. We’re not the most veteran team, but we got a lot of young guys who are going to go out there and try to do it the right way.”

Rhule on Cam Newton: “I think Cam Newton is a great quarterback and a great leader. His impact on the city of Charlotte was tremendous. We just felt as a team, this is what we had to do and this is the right decision for the team.”

Rhule on Teddy Bridgewater: “He’s taken a team to the playoffs, he’s proven last year he still has everything it takes. We just felt like what a great opportunity to get him in here for three years.”

Rhule on Tom Coughlin, who he worked under on the New York Giants staff: “He’s just an amazing, amazing guy, and I’m blessed to have worked for him.”