After the Sixers’ heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, an emotional Joel Embiid was caught on national television crying and being comforted by his girlfriend, model Anne De Paula.
“It’s going to be a life memory, that, as painful as it feels now, it’ll help him,” Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters after the game. “It’ll help shape his career, it’ll help give him greater clarity about what this time of the year represents. … To see him have the emotion that he has … it is painful for all of us … he’ll look in the rearview mirror and remember this.”
One viewer who wasn’t moved by Embiid’s tears was former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner, an analyst for NBA Sports Philadelphia. On Monday, Joyner wrote on Twitter that it wasn’t a good look for Embiid to be captured on national television crying on an opponent’s court.
“Cry in the locker room or home! The world doesn’t have to witness your tears to know you care!” Joyner wrote.
Other athletes and pundits were more supportive of Embiid’s emotional postgame response. The Undefeated’s Michael Lee called it a “powerful scene,” while New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier wrote that critics have no idea what Embiid was going through in that moment.
Pro-turned-analyst Caron Butler said players can’t win because they’re either criticized for not caring enough or for letting their emotions show.
"That’s the crazy part about the NBA. They say that players need that time to vent so it would be great if guys were able to go to the locker room, kind of decompress, let that emotional time die down and then have an opportunity to go back out there and address the media,” Butler told TMZ.
A 9-year-old Sixers fan named Olivia Djamoos took the time to write Embiid — her favorite player — a letter after seeing the superstar cry on television.
“It’s O.K. to lose sometimes, I lost basketball games too,” the third grader wrote. “You got so far and I am proud of you and the 76ers!”
Fox Sports host Terry Bradshaw is apologizing after getting a bit too rowdy during the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers Monday.
Bradshaw, the longtime co-host of Fox NFL Sunday, said he was kicked off the singing competition show The Masked Singer by judge Ken Jeong, whom he referred to as “the little short guy from Japan.” Jeong, who appeared on the same stage to promote the singing show to advertisers, is Korean American and was born in Detroit.
“I made an insensitive remark today about Ken, who I’ve known for some time. I’ve spoken to him about the importance of cultural respect and apologized for my offensive comments,” Bradshaw said in a statement, first published by Variety. “I would like to also apologize to the Asian-American community for my insensitivity”
Bradshaw also confused singer Robin Thicke — also a judge on The Masked Singer — with his father, the late Alan Thicke.
This isn’t the first time the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Super Bowl champ has gotten into hot water due to his loose lips. Back in 2012, Bradshaw apologized after saying former running back Reggie Bush ran for a touchdown “like he was chasing that bucket of chicken the wind was blowing.” And in 2013, Fox Sports apologized after Bradshaw dropped the F-bomb on FS1 during a commercial break.
Former Dallas Cowboys safety Darren Woodson joined ESPN 14 years ago, debuting on NFL Live the same day Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice (a frequent opponent) announced his retirement from the league.
Now, Woodson is walking away from television entirely to focus on his growing real estate business in Frisco, Texas.
“Television never came easy. Not on the first day — not on the last day, but it was always so much fun,” Woodson said in a farewell piece for ESPN.
Woodson had several run-ins with the Eagles during his 12-year NFL career. He scored his first touchdown on an interception return off former Eagles quarterback Rodney Peete during during the Cowboys’ 31–19 win at Veterans Stadium in December 1994. In January 1996, Woodson knocked Peete out of the NFC divisional playoff game that the Cowboys won 30-11, leading then-Cowboys coach Barry Switzer to boast that his team had really “whipped” the Eagles.
Woodsen’s exit is just the most recent change for ESPN’s NFL coverage this offseason. Others include:
• Former Sunday Night Football analyst Jason Witten, who was heavily criticized during his first year in the booth, unretired and returned to the Cowboys. Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will return to call games next season for ESPN, along with sideline reporter Lisa Salters and new rules analyst John Parry.
• ESPN parted ways with former Sunday NFL Countdown analyst Charles Woodson, with the likely Hall of Famer telling his Instagram followers, “I’ll see you next season. Somewhere.”