Black Excellence: 7 Best Black Sports Commentators in America You Should Know

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Commentary brings the game to life, especially if you’re listening to black sports commentators you like. That said, commentating sounds like an easy job, right? After all, most sports fans know what’s happening and spend endless time bantering. Well, it’s not. 

To become a successful commentator that fans long to listen to, you must have a combination of skills that separate you from everyone else. That said, black sports commentators have established themselves in a predominantly white industry. Let’s look at some of the best in the game.

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Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose has held various roles in sports broadcasting. He provided basketball coverage for TNT and post-retirement and joined the American Broadcast Corporation (ABC) and ESPN. He appeared on SportsCentre, NBA Countdown and Grantland

Additionally, he’s been on ESPN Radio hosting Jalen & Jacoby. He hosts a podcast named Rennaisance Man. 

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Michael Strahan

Strahan is a former NFL player. He played for the New York Giants for 14 years and won the Super Bowl. After playing, he became a television analyst and appeared on Fox NFL Sunday, ABC Good Morning America, and Live With Kelly and Michael. Strahan also hosts the Pyramid show on ABC.

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Michael Irvin

The former NFL player has worked for prominent broadcasters. He was on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Now, he’s an analyst on NFL Network. Also, Michael Irvin is a co-host on FS1 Undisputed. Irvin played for the Dallas Cowboys between 1988 and 1999 and won the Super Bowl thrice. 

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Pam Oliver

Black Excellence: 7 Best Black Sports Commentators in America You Should Know
Palm Oliver, FOX Sports broadcaster. Image Source: The US Sun licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pam Oliver is known for her work on the sidelines of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and NFL. She’s currently part of the FOX Sports NFL team for the 2023 season. Oliver started her career at WALB in Georgia, United States. She worked for a number of stations before she joined ESPN in 1993. 

Two years later, Oliver joined Fox Sports. In 2005, Oliver worked for TNT. 

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Reggie Miller

Miller is a former basketball player for the Indiana Pacers. After his retirement in 2005, Miller joined TNT as an NBA analyst and host of the network’s NBA coverage. He contributes to the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio and has worked on college basketball. 

Stephen Smith

Once destined to play professional basketball, Stephen Anthony Smith’s budding career was cut short by an injury. Today, he talks about the National Basketball Association (NBA) on radio and television. 

Stephen Smith started his career at Winston-Salem Journal. He worked for other reputable news outlets like the New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was among a few African Americans to have a column in the United States. Today, Smith works for ESPN. He appears in First Take.

Shannon Sharpe

Former American footballer Shannon Sharpe has risen to become one of America’s best black sports commentators. He started out at CBS Sports, where he worked on The NFL Today. He went on and worked in the Sirius NFL Radio opening drive. He’s had his own podcast Club Shay Shay and, in 2023, joined ESPN’s show First Take.

Who’s your favorite black sports commentator in America? Do you love to listen to any of the above? If you’re interested in sports commentary, there are books on Amazon and grab your copy.

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