Jeremy Schaap, Commentator
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One of America’s most respected sports journalists, Jeremy Schaap is an acclaimed television host and reporter and the author of two widely lauded works of non-fiction. He is known for his incisive reporting, interviewing and storytelling. Much of his work focuses on human rights and social injustice issues.
An ESPN reporter and host since 1996, Schaap functions in a variety of roles at the network. He is a correspondent for E:60, the host of ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life and a frequent contributor to Outside the Lines, NFL Countdown and College Gameday. He regularly hosts Outside the Lines and The Sports Reporters. His reports, interviews and commentaries are featured on SportsCenter.
Schaap has won eight national Sports Emmy Awards and many other honors for his work, including two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2012 and 2014, and a National Headliner Award, in 2007. He is the author of Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History, a New York Times bestseller, and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics.
The Economist called Cinderella Man, “A classic of its kind, dramatic yet intelligent.”
¬In its review of Triumph, Sports Illustrated wrote that Schaap, “leaves readers with a vivid portrait not just of Owens but of ’30s Germany and America. There may be no untold stories when it comes to Owens, but there’s always room for a retelling when it is done this well.”
Schaap’s best-known stories at ESPN include a Bobby Fischer profile, which earned him the national Sports Emmy Award for writing, an award named for his father Dick Schaap; and an investigation of labor conditions in Qatar as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup. Sports Illustrated called the report, “important,” “remarkable” and “eye-opening.” Yahoo said it was “powerful,” and Slate called it “excellent.” Ed Sherman wrote the report is “one of the best pieces of journalism I have seen from ESPN.” Richard Deitsch wrote, “I would urge anyone who loves the World Cup to watch [it].”
In 2010, 2013 and 2014, Schaap won the national Sports Emmy Award in journalism, for stories about, respectively, a Serbian basketball player accused of a brutal assault, a controversial Israeli soccer team and Thai children as young as six who are professional Muay Thai fighters.
It was also Schaap who conducted the first interview with Bob Knight after he was fired by Indiana University in 2000. In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick called the interview, which turned confrontational, “A slam dunk… one that should be stored in the annals of sports broadcast journalism.”
It was Schaap, too, who conducted the first interviews with Darryl Strawberry, then with the New York Yankees, after he was diagnosed with colon cancer; with Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants, after he shot himself in a New York City nightclub; and with Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker, after it was reported that his supposed girlfriend had never existed.
In February 2003, Schaap broke the story of a pattern of misconduct by the University of Georgia’s basketball coaching staff. The investigation led to Georgia’s withdrawal from the SEC and NCAA tournaments and the departure of head coach Jim Harrick. John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “The report was the kind of first-rate reporting rarely seen on TV. Jeremy Schaap’s reporting was fair and balanced.”
In 2001, Schaap was honored by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for his two-part story on a white Florida high school football coach whose use of a racial epithet sparked a local furor. In 2006, Schaap received the annual journalism award of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, for a story on the Morgan State lacrosse team, the only lacrosse team ever fielded by a historically black college. And in 2011, Schaap was honored by the United Nations with a special commendation for a report on so-called corrective rape, the sexual attacks committed against lesbians in South Africa.
Schaap has been nominated for the national Sports Emmy Award in journalism on nine different occasions.
Schaap’s charitable endeavors include longstanding relationships with the ALS Association, whose annual sports awards dinner he emcees, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, which has honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to his contributions for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, Schaap’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time, The Wall Street Journal and Parade.
He has spoken about journalism at colleges across the country, including Northwestern University, the University of Texas, Cornell University, Fordham University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Maryland, New York University and Columbia University.
Born in New York City in 1969, Schaap is a 1991 graduate of Cornell University.