FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 28th, 2020

MICHAEL IRVIN, CHRIS HAYNES AND JIM TROTTER ON BOYCOTTS & POSTPONEMENTS ACROSS SPORTS — QUOTES FROM THE RICH EISEN SHOW ON PEACOCK & NBCSN

“I am so glad they came back because it keeps the microphones and cameras right where they are, so they can make a difference.” – Michael Irvin on NBA players deciding to continue the playoffs

 “LeBron James was someone who was really frustrated…His frustration was that it wasn’t thought through.” – Chris Haynes on LeBron James’ frustration with how Bucks players handled Wednesday’s boycott

“I got a call from a very prominent player, and he was really emotional about it and he’s been crying for three days, and said enough is enough… It truly is bigger than football for some of these guys.” – Jim Trotter on reporting that NFL players could sit out games this season to highlight social injustice

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 28, 2020 – Host Rich Eisen was joined on today’s episode of The Rich Eisen Show on Peacock and NBCSN by:

    • Pro Football Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin
    • Yahoo Sports Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes
    • NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter
    • Grammy Award winning artist Tim McGraw
    • Actor Courtney B. Vance

Peacock will become The Rich Eisen Show’s exclusive video home on Oct. 5.

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Michael Irvin on NBA players deciding not to play on Wednesday: “I thought it was an incredibly brave thing to do. Every superstar that comes through, we demand that they have foundation and they give back…That’s what these players are doing. You create foundations because you’re blessed, and you want to help others who are less fortunate…I thought it was inspiring.”

Irvin on the NFL’s potential response to social injustice: “I believe the NFL has an opportunity to get ahead of this…Let’s work together…I was worried if the NBA did not come back. I’m so glad the guys made a stand, but I am so glad they came back because it keeps the microphones and cameras right where they are, so they can make a difference…If I was an owner, I am going to meet with these guys…work together and do something…Does the NFL say, ‘Let’s pick Week 3, Week 4, and sit down a week and push everything a week back, as recognition for what we’re trying to accomplish for social justice.’?”

Chris Haynes on Wednesday in the NBA: “The Milwaukee Bucks actually intended to forfeit that game and take a loss…That was their action, without informing the Magic or anybody else. That left players on other teams to say, ‘There’s no way we can go out and play now.’ There was a lot of frustration, emotion, and tension that was already built up in society with the latest shooting in Wisconsin. Now, everyone is blindsided by what happened with the Bucks. LeBron James was someone who was really frustrated. His reasoning for that was because he felt, ‘We didn’t plan to do this, this wasn’t an organized effort, so what are we doing? If we’re going to boycott, we’ve got to be asking for something in return, demands have to be met in order to return to play.’…His frustration was that it wasn’t thought through.”

Haynes on the bubble atmosphere: “It has its obstacles when you’re here. You’re not around family, you can’t do anything or go anywhere. That has its issues, and then you add the latest shooting. You have to remember, players came here because they wanted to keep the message of social justice alive. When that latest shooting happened, there was a sense of hopelessness, that they’re powerless…There was hurt. Guys dealing with anxiety, depression issues, a lot of guilt.”

Jim Trotter on his report stating that NFL players may sit out games: “I had been hearing some of this yesterday, and particularly after the Lions canceled practice, and even in team buildings and meetings, there have been players bring this up and raise the idea of players sitting out games. I guess what really got me this morning…I got a call from a very prominent player, and he was really emotional about it and he’s been crying for three days, and said enough is enough. He believed that a real statement and call for action could be made by Black players sitting out a game…The call this morning was unsettling, to hear a man that emotional and in pain about what is going on. It truly is bigger than football for some of these guys. That’s why I think the owners would be smart to be proactive on this instead of reactive…If they don’t prepare for this, it potentially could not be pretty.”

Trotter on the NFL’s possible next steps: “It’s about action. It’s not about talk anymore, even demonstrating anymore. It’s about action now. If the NFL is a family, which we’ve seen in slogans and ads on television, then the owners should step with their players. If they believe what they’re fighting for is right, then stand out front with them and make change.  Use that political capital…Use that influence to try and make real change, to make legislative change, systemic change. That, to me, is progress. This won’t be solved in a day or a year, but what you do now lays the foundation for what comes going forward.”

Tim McGraw on performing during 2019 NFL Draft week in Nashville: “It was incredible because it was just a sea of people packed in…We had so much energy and were so proud of our city. We were proud to be part of it. We’re all huge football fans and to be asked to do a show in our hometown, under those circumstances, with that many people to turn out, it was pretty cool.”

Courtney B. Vance on NBA players deciding not to play on Wednesday: “Somebody had to do something. They made a statement. The greatest of all-time (Michael Jordan) got in there with the owners and let them know that they got to let (the players) talk and you have to listen because this is bigger than the game. Life is bigger than the game…I was encouraged it was across the board: baseball, tennis, golf, soccer. Everyone was taking a stand and saying that this is enough.”

–NBC SPORTS–