CHAIR— Chief executive officer of the Sports Task Force general body and the executive board. Will serve as the primary liaison between NABJ executive board on Sports Task-force related matters, unless at her/his discretion delegates such assignments to members of the executive board and/or individuals within the general membership body.

VICE PRESIDENT/PRINT, BROADCAST, DIGITAL MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA — Deputy executive officers who can be called upon, at the discretion of the chair, to oversee membership meetings as well as various subcommittees within the sports task force. May be called to assume other additional roles as deemed necessary by the Chair.

SECRETARY: The chief record keeper for the organization, works in conjunction with the Chair to arrange general membership meetings as well as those with the executive board. May be called upon to assume other additional roles as deemed necessary by the Chair.

TREASURER – Chief financial officer of the organization, will work closely with the Chair to ensure the Task Force finances are accounted for properly. Will be required to provide a financial report to the general membership during our annual business meeting. In addition, may be called upon to assume additional roles as deemed necessary by the Chair.

PARLIAMENTARIAN — Will enforce Robert’s Rules of Order at all general membership and executive board meetings. In addition, may be called upon to assume additional roles as deemed necessary by the Chair.

REPRESENTATIVES/EAST, MIDWEST, SOUTH AND WEST REGIONS — Serves as a liason between Task Force-related matters within their respective regions that are brought to the attention of the board, or as directed by the Chair. May collectively or individually be called upon to serve in additional roles as deemed necessary by the Chair. 

 The following is a breakdown of the states, region-by-region: 

EAST REGION: Conn., Maine, Mass., NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, Del, DC and MD.

MIDWEST REGION: OH, Mich, ND, SD, Neb, Iowa, Ill, Ind, KY, Wisc, Mizz, Kan

SOUTH REGION: VA, WVA, Ala, Fla, Ga, Miss, NC, SC, Tenn, Ark, Texas, OK, LA

WEST REGION: Alaska, Ariz, Calif, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Ore, Utah, Wash, NM, Colorado, Wyoming.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE: Serves as a a liason for Task Force-related matters impacting Task Force members currently enrolled at an institution of higher learning. At the discretion of the Chair, may be called upon to serve in additional roles as needed. 

PHOTOS: NABJ Sports at work





PHOTOS: NABJ Sports at Play

Panel: Being a Black Celtic

The perception of the city of Boston and how its residents have treated African Americans in the past and even now for the most part hasn’t been in the least bit favorable.

Former Celtics greats Cedric Maxwell, Satch Sanders and Red Auerbach’s daughter Randy joined sports journalist, Ron Thomas, for the “Being a Black Celtic” panel. The consensus among the panel was that racism in Boston was no different from any other place and several members had their worst experiences outside of Boston.

Here are some of the highlights:

“This is the city of champions. We didn’t care about color,” said Maxwell. He also shared stories about how Larry Bird was a Brother in Arms and how Kevin Garnett and Bill Russell both shared the same sentiment about being received in Boston which was they really didn’t care what people thought of them.

Satch Sanders spoke on the difficulties it was for him trying to find a place to live downtown and the dreams the players had to make some good money. “I only wanted to make $20,000,” said Sanders. “We used to all sit around and think if we could only make $20,000 we’d have it made.”

Randy Auerbach made sure everyone knew her father’s approach to running the Celtics. “He wanted to win it was no hidden agendas. Loyalty was number one. There’s no loyalty now.”


“He hated injustice. [Racial incidents] left him with a very heavy heart.”

Last but not least Ron Thomas gave the black journalists’ view of those times and was excited to make his first trip to Fenway because in the 60’s and 70’s they didn’t feel they were welcomed there.

Panel: The State of the Black Sports Reporter

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The State of the Black Sports Reporter panel featured a variety of print, television and online professionals. Mike Freeman (Bleacher Report), Carlton Thompson (, Gary Washburn (Boston Globe), Shannon Cross (TV One) and Chris Broussard (ESPN), used their experiences rising through the ranks of journalism to advise and inspire up and coming members of the media to never give up on their passion to become the next great journalist. If the discussion had a theme it would be perseverance. The panel described their small beginnings interning, writing for school papers and covering local high school sports to break into the business and gain a wealth experience. In terms of being black in the industry, the panel explained that the obvious challenge of diversity will always be an issue so you have to perfect your craft and make yourself valuable to an outlet. Here are a few highlights from the esteemed group.

Mike Freeman: “Your mistakes are more amplified and your success is more diminished. As a result, use your allies to help advance in the industry and combat adversity.”

Carlton Thompson: “If you’re good and you’re working hard they’ll find you. So position yourself to be the BEST.” Align yourself with people that are going places. Your alliances are important to your success”

Gary Washburn: “Perseverance is the key to succeeding in this industry. This is a perception business and a judgmental business. Carry yourself as a professional. Be professional at ALL TIMES.”

Shannon Cross: “It’s never too late to go after whatever your passion is. And if you don’t know it’s never too late to figure it out. Even if you’re established in your career you’ve got to keep learning. Writing will get you far. Be safe is actually risky, so you might as well be fearless.”

Chris Broussard: “Sometimes you can be so focused on why you’re not on TV or at a huge paper, you may not be excelling where you’re at. Don’t worry about starting small. Sometimes it’s better because you get many experiences that can help in the future. Whatever you do don’t Despise Small Beginnings.”

NABJ14 Mentor Breakfast Brought To you By ESPN

The Sports Task Force is all about bringing in the next young journalists that will help our industry survive and thrive. The Mentor Breakfast brings seasoned professionals together with budding journalists.

At the start of the program attendees signed up to be paired with a likeminded professional who they can call on for career advice. Honoree Stuart Scott of ESPN accepted his achievement via a recorded response with his signature wit.

ESPN’s Jay Harris blessed the crowd with tales of his journey from a county kid to news man to sports anchor. Harris stressed that attendees should “Do You, but don’t forget the people who support you.”


Harris closed his speech with a touching dedication to Stuart Scott by recording the audience doing a rousing “Boo YAH”!

David Aldridge’s Mentor Breakfast Success Story

Can’t decide if you want to go to the Sports Task Force Mentor Breakfast? Take a look at this story and you should have your decision. Listen to David Aldridge of Turner Sports tell the story of how the mentor breakfast worked for him and his mentee.

 Thursday, July 31, 2014

7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Sports Mentorship Breakfast 

I am delighted to tell you about my relationship with my mentee,Tiffany Greene.
    Because I’m old now, I can’t remember the exact year we were paired at a mentorbreakfast. But Tiffany was just getting started out of FAMU, working out of Orlando for a local news station. She had so much enthusiasm about her work and so much potential. We hit it off right away. She wanted to build her career the right way, and she did, year after year, story after story. She cut pieces. She shot pieces. She did sideline reporting for high school football games. At the time, it seemed like grunt work that would lead nowhere to her. But she was learning how to be a professional reporter, and beginning to make contacts that would serve her well down the line.
    There’s no handbook on how to be a mentor. I wanted to be a sounding board, shoulder to cry on and supporter of her dreams and goals. And as the years have gone on, Tiffany has blossomed into the reporter and person we both knew she could be. She did all the work; I just made a suggestion here or there. She’s gone up the ladder, from local to regional, and now national, doing play by play on college basketball for Fox Sports, while continuing to anchor and host for Bright House Sports in Florida. (She wants to do volleyball next!)
     She’s also grown into a delightful, charming young woman, who’s getting married to her best friend in December. I’ll be there.
     Whatever help I’ve provided for Tiffany over the years has been returned, tenfold. I’m so proud of her, and everything she’s become, and so excited about everything she’s going to become in the future!