Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

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Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
Presented byBryant Gumbel
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons29
No. of episodes320
Original release
ReleaseApril 2, 1995 (1995-04-02) –
December 19, 2023 (2023-12-19)

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is an American monthly sports news magazine that aired on HBO. The program was presented by television journalist and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel.



Each episode consisted of four stories covering society and sports, famous athletes, or problems afflicting sports.

As of 2018, the show has been honored with 32 Sports Emmy Awards[1] and won Peabody Awards in 2012 and 2015.[2][3][4] In September 2023, it was announced that the series would end after 29 seasons.[5] The final episode aired on December 19, 2023.

Real Sports was the inspiration for two other HBO shows: On the Record with Bob Costas and Costas Now.


Final Correspondents:

Former correspondents:

Notable stories

Camel Jockeys – Sports of Sheikhs

In 2004, guided by human rights activist Ansar Burney, an HBO team used a hidden camera to document slavery and torture in secret desert camps where boys under the age of five were trained to race camels, a national sport in the United Arab Emirates. This half-hour investigative report exposed a carefully hidden child slavery ring that bought or kidnapped hundreds of young boys in Pakistan and Bangladesh. These boys were then forced to become camel jockeys in the UAE. The report also questioned the sincerity of U.S. diplomacy in pressuring an ally, the UAE, to comply with its own stated policy of banning the use of children under 15 from camel racing.

The documentary won a Sports Emmy Award in 2004 for "Outstanding Sports Journalism" and the 2006 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for outstanding broadcast journalism. It also brought world attention to the plight of child camel jockeys in the Middle East and helped Ansar Burney Trust to convince the governments of Qatar and the UAE to end the use of children in this sport.

Jack Johnson and Kelly Slater singing "Home (Live from the Beach)"

During the summer of 2013, Jon Frankel's interview with Kelly Slater spawned an HBO Sports video of Jack Johnson and Kelly Slater performing "Home (Live from the Beach)".[6][7][8]

Controversial remarks

In February 2006, Gumbel made remarks regarding the Winter Olympics and the lack of African-American participation.[9]

So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.

On the August 15, 2006 episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Gumbel made the following remarks about former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and National Football League Players Association president Gene Upshaw and directed these comments to new commissioner Roger Goodell:

Before he cleans out his office have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch.

In response, Tagliabue said, "What Gumbel said about Gene Upshaw and our owners is about as irresponsible as anything I've heard in a long time."[10] Gumbel replied with, "It's a lot like covering any story [...] You see what is in front of you and you report on it."[citation needed]

On the October 18, 2011 episode, Gumbel invoked slavery in his criticism of NBA Commissioner David Stern over the league's lockout.[11]

His efforts are typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern-day plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. [...] His moves are intended to do little more than show how he's the one keeping the hired hands in their place.

See also


  1. ^ "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel - Real Sports, Hard Knocks win Sports Emmys". HBO. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel Claims 26th Emmy | Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel | HBO Sports". Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-01-24.
  3. ^ "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel".
  4. ^ "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: The Killing Fields".
  5. ^ White, Peter (September 6, 2023). "'Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel' To End On HBO After 29 Seasons". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 6, 2023.
  6. ^ Surf Bum (July 23, 2013). "Kelly Slater Featured on HBO Sports Real Sports Tonight". BNQT Media Group. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  7. ^ Kelly Slater (July 2013). Kelly Slater: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO Sports) (video). Cocoa Beach: HBO Sports.
  8. ^ Jack Johnson (July 2013). Home (Live from the beach) (video). Cocoa Beach: HBO Sports.
  9. ^ "Wojciechowski: In living, ludicrous color". February 21, 2006.
  10. ^ Michael McCarthy, " Gumbel's remarks strike ill chord with Tagliabue," USA Today, 22 August 2006.
  11. ^ "HBO's Bryant Gumbel calls NBA's Stern 'plantation overseer' |". Archived from the original on 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2011-10-20.

External links