Behind The ScenesESPN Audio

Smith, McNabb, Johnson participate in annual “Changing the Game” panel

As part of the national celebration of Black History Month in February, 98.7FM ESPN New York presented “Changing The Game” – an annual gathering of some of the best and brightest minds in sports, to highlight industry achievement, and also to discuss current trends and developments in the NFL.

ESPN Radio host and First Take featured commentator Stephen A. Smith led the panel for the second straight year. The Feb. 28 event, held at the Harlem Tavern in New York City, was designed to foster community-focused business networking while also discussing issues NFL players face moving from the field to off-the-field endeavors.

Former NFL player Chris Canty of 98.7FM’s Hahn, Humpty & Canty (airs daily Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET) joined Smith. Special guests included former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and current ESPN Radio host Donovan McNabb; former New York Jets wide receiver, ESPN Radio host for 710 ESPN Los Angeles Keyshawn Johnson; and former New York Giant and current radio commentator and CEO of G-III Sports apparel company, Carl Banks.

Senior VP and editor-in-chief of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Kevin Merida, also participated in the panel discussion. The panel then dived into discussing the transition from being a professional NFL athlete to focusing on post-playing career growth; for instance, McNabb is a philanthropist and Johnson is an entrepreneur.

Smith said: “I had a wonderful time doing the event, honored to be working for a company conscientious enough to address important issues, particularly those which directly affect the black community.”

ESPN’s SVP and GM, Audio and NY Radio, Tim McCarthy, said: “We are proud at 98.7 to bring an event like ‘Changing The Game’ to the community during Black History Month. We have a responsibility as a local broadcaster to continue the conversation with community events such as this.”

Said Banks: “I was very honored to have participated on ‘Changing the Game’ panel. I applaud ESPN for providing a platform to discuss the important issues and the solutions that bring about positive change in sports. ESPN’s commitment to diversity gives voice to the African-American athlete through the lens of our experience. [This event] is an important platform that must continue.”

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