People often assume professional athletes hate being interviewed. Those people clearly don’t know much about Elliott Sadler.
The 42-year-old Sadler races full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after spending 12 years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and took the lead in the standings with his third-place finish in Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. And as the new points leader, Sadler was an obvious candidate for a post-race interview, right?
FOX Sports instead interviewed race winner Denny Hamlin as well as fourth-place finisher and Michigan native Brad Keselowski, both of whom drive full-time in Cup. It’s not clear whether Sadler knows Keselowski is from Michigan, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered, because he had a serious bone to pick with FOX.
And he didn’t stop there.
“We took over the points lead and TV told me they didn’t have time to interview me,” Sadler said after the race, via USA TODAY. “So I don’t understand that. They interviewed Brad Keselowski, who finished behind me and he’s a Cup driver. I would think he’d have plenty of time to talk tomorrow.
“So I don’t understand how you take the Xfinity regular season points leader and tell him you don’t have time for him when he has one of the longest-running sponsors (OneMain Financial) in the sport.”
FOX Sports responded to Sadler’s criticism in an email to For The Win on Monday.
” … We always have respected him, both on and off the track, and realize the pressures on drivers to provide television exposure for their sponsors, FOX Sports said. “Elliott’s frustration is understandable, and we will seek to discuss with him privately as we continue to cover his team and sponsors in pursuit of the 2017 Xfinity Championship.”
Well, now things are just awkward. Personally, we can’t wait to see the look on Sadler’s face the next time there’s a camera in front of him.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images