Sports legends and icons have delivered some formidable speeches, inspiring the world and influencing following generations inside and out of the sports arena. Audacy’s C13Originals presents the 6-episode historical series, “It Was Said: Sports.” Based on the original “It Was Said” documentary podcast, this show is also written by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Jon Meacham and teams with Jon’s studio, Shining City Audio. NBA legend Doc Rivers hosts to guide listeners through profound speeches, welcome guests to speak about the topics mentioned, and explore the greater impact the speeches continue to carry.
Launching September 8, 2021, the first episode remembers 9/11. Broadcaster Jack Buck’s “For America” poem and speech from September 17, 2001 are featured. This speech highlights how sports can serve as a unifying force and healing tool after the nation suffers major loss and undergoes tragedy. In this episode, we’ll hear from Jack Buck’s son, Joe Buck, currently a FOX Sports announcer. Former New York Giants player, team representative, and current journalist and TV personality Michael Strahan will discuss what he remembers from that day. He explains the difficult decision the team reps made to cancel all following games.
Throughout the rest of the season, we’ll hear athlete Muhammad Ali protesting the Vietnam War in 1967. Former #1 tennis player and LGBTQ+ activist Billie Jean King rallied for women’s rights and equal pay during her Northwestern Commencement Speech in 2017, and her speech set the stage for future female athletes championing the same goals.
In Tim Tebow’s “The Promise” speech from 2008, the Florida Gators’ quarterback recognized losing and spoke about responsibility for failure, while expressing his desire to improve. In Hank Aaron’s 1982 Hall of Fame acceptance speech, the MLB All-Star and Atlanta Braves player discussed racism he experienced and his advocacy for equal rights. In 1966, co-captain of the Texas Western national title basketball team, Harry Flournoy, spoke about race when his team was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame.
The sports-figure guests on each episode will share their perspectives, analyze the speeches, delve into the historical contexts, and provide background on the orator. Upcoming guests include Fox NFL Sunday analyst, Al Michaels, ESPN commentator/analyst Michael Wilbon, MLB legend/Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, and football coach Urban Meyer.
With “It Was Said: Sports,” Jon is elated to bring these “illuminating moments to life.” He said, “Sports are a vital element of our lives, and of the life of the nation. The pursuit of excellence in competition is inherently dramatic and touches the deepest parts of our common story.”
Tune in for new, weekly episodes.