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ESPN's Kevin Neghandhi shares Special Olympics stories as Betsy DeVos proposes funding cuts.

By Jimmy Traina
March 27, 2019

1. When new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro took over for John Skipper, one of his top missions was to eliminate politics from the World Wide Leader. I stated numerous times that this would be an impossible task because people who work at ESPN are human beings and they can't help but be affected by things this inept administration does or wants to do.

Pitaro did say, "There will always be intersections between sports and politics. When that news happens, we are going to cover it." However, a quick check of ESPN.com does not turn up any stories about U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposing an $18 million cut to the Special Olympics as part of Donald Trump's budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: ESPN.com does have a story covering this, which was not posted on the site's homepage today, so we missed it. Our apologies.

SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi, who has worked with Special Olympics for the past five years, covered DeVos's inhumane proposal in a powerful and heartfelt way by sharing the stories of some of the people who have participated in the event.






This was a perfect way for Negandhi to address the situation. He kept his bosses happy by never mentioning that DeVos and Trump are awful and he let the message of each story speak for itself. That's how you do it.

I know, now, that some of you will fire off an angry tweet or email about "fake news" because nothing has been cut yet and it's just a proposal. Well guess what? Just proposing cuts to the Special Olympics, not to mention a 26% reduction to state grants for special education and millions of dollars in cuts to programs for students who are blind, makes you a horrible, cold, callous person.

2. The newest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with Darren Rovell. The senior executive producer for the Action Network talks about whether it was difficult to leave ESPN for his new company, the challenges of working for a startup, his daily responsibilities, what he’s learned about gamblers, whether he likes sportsbooks offering refunds for losing wagers, what gamblers want from media outlets that cover gambling, remaining in the sports business world, his reaction to Zion Williamson’s shoe exploding, whether Tony Romo is worth $10 million a year and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play.

3. I bet you never thought you'd see a commercial in which Mike Trout and Andrew Luck dance up a storm, but here you go.

4. The Phillies have one day to make this right for Jake Arrieta.

5. Kobe Bryant appeared on the Late Late Show with James Corden on Tuesday night and participated in a game of "Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts." The former Laker said he was better than Michael Jordan and LeBron James, but the best highlight came about five minutes in when Corden was asked how much of Bryant's new book he read since he promoted it on the show. It was great to see Corden squirm while the curtain got pulled back a little on the nonense of people going on late night shows to promote a book. 

6. If you care more about Lance Stephenson stepping on Jeff Green's foot instead of the reaction of the Lakers' bench to Stephenson making Green twist like a pretzel, you're no fun.

7. I don't want to throw cold water on this story about the The Rock meeting a group of kids on their way to a baseball game, but these young people were in diapers when The Rock was entertaining the world as The Great One in the WWE.

8. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Since I mentioned The Rock...

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustarted Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina. You can also follow on Twitter and Instagram.

IN CLOSING: The new pass interference rule will be a disaster.

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