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SI Media Podcast: Featuring Israel Gutierrez and Francesca Weems

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

On this episode of the SI Media Podcast, Richard Deitsch speaks with Israel Gutierrez and Francesca Weems.

Welcome to episode No. 21 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch. In this podcast, which is published weekly, Deitsch interviews members of the sports media about their work, and interesting people about the sports media.

This week’s guests are ESPN commentator and 790 The Ticket (Miami) sports radio host Israel Gutierrez and Hawaii News Now sports anchor and reporter Francesca Weems.

In the episode, Gutierrez talks about the poignant blog post he wrote last month in which he publicly came out as gay and how that post was received by his employer and the NBA community. He also discusses if he thinks being public about his sexuality will impact his social media interactions; how he juggles television, radio and digital work; how he prepares to interview NBA coaches and players during in-game breaks; how ESPN president John Skipper called him the day before his wedding to wish him well and to tell him the company “had his back” and much more.

Weems has a remarkable story in which she overcame a rough childhood to earn bachelor's and master's degrees while competing on the track & field team at Cal-Berkeley. In this episode, she discusses growing up in Hawaii’s foster care system, not attending school before she was nine years old, being homeless for stretches at a time, how she and her brother were befriended by ESPN’s Neil Everett (then a sports information director at Hawaii Pacific University), what’s it like to cover sports news in Hawaii and more.

A reminder: you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and you can view all of SI's podcasts here. If you have any feedback, questions or suggestions, please comment here or tweet at Deitsch.​

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