ESPN silenced television host Jemele Hill for two weeks for comments made regarding boycotting the sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys and their owner, Jerry Jones, an ESPN partner, but New York City sports talk show host Bill Daughtry silenced himself last week, retiring from the station at the end of September.
If any of the following comments or words written sound a little like hero worship, I won’t argue or refute you because Daughtry was one of the best on-air sports personalities in the business. They are rightly deserved.
I can’t remember when I first heard Daughtry on the air doing his show some years ago, but I remember being impressed by his ability. No loud rants, no gimmicks, no dissing (disrespecting) callers, no unnecessary obnoxiousness for the sake of just being unnecessarily obnoxious. Daughtry gave you informative sports talk conversation. An abundance of knowledge, a distinctive voice and conversation was his gimmick.
The first night that I accidentally tuned into WFAN, 660AM, Daughtry not only did his show, but smoothly segued into the days scores that are announced every twenty minutes, took listeners' calls and effortlessly broke into live commercials when necessary. During the first few days that I listened, Daughtry not only discussed the three main sports, baseball, basketball, and football, he did interviews and also delved into conversations from callers about golf, hockey, lacrosse and tennis as well. He may have missed NASCAR - Indy racing, soccer and X Games, but when these topics were mentioned during this interview, there was no doubt that he wasn't fluent, or could be fluent in these subjects as well.
Daughtry, who turned 64 in August, Carol's devoted husband, not even officially old enough to retire, has been in the sports field for more than 30 years, and thought it was now time for him to go.
“I was a little tired of it all,” said Daughtry, candidly, who doesn’t think that he misses all that’s going on. “You have to be so guarded in what you say, and how you say it, and then there’s the impression and message that you wanna convey, and after a while, that kinda wears on you. It was easy when you were just talking about games, but now we’re drifting out into a social strata,” which he thinks is great, “and people are speaking more to their issues,” which he also thinks is great, “but when you’re doing it in the window of a corporate organization, which may be well intentioned, which may have issues that are similar to yours, there are certain things that mess with their bottom line that they ain’t gonna allow you to do. That’s why on many occasions you had to hold your tongue about stuff. Well I’m not so encumbered like that anymore. I can pretty much say what I wanna say, how I wanna say it, when I wanna say it, understanding there are consequences with whatever you say or do, but the consequences now for me are a lot different than say 30 days ago," said the retiree.
“I’ve told people privately that if I’d done this for another year, I would have gotten fired.”
What did Daughtry feel so strongly about? On what subject or subjects did he feel the need to guard himself against? Daughtry states, “The election of Donald Trump. The national anthem. The inequality to people of color, particularly to Black people, in this country.”