Canadian sportscaster Rod Black is leaving TSN and reactions are mixed
One of the best-known voices in Canadian sports media is leaving TSN after an illustrious career spanning three decades with the network.
But questions linger in the Twitterverse about whether Rod Black left the network by choice or was forced out by Bell Media.
🥲♥️🎙Sad to say goodbye today to my friends at CTV and TSN but so excited for my next chapter which will be as amazing the last. Thank you. Had the time of my life. Cheers🇨🇦👊— Rod Black 🇨🇦 (@RodBlackTSN) October 14, 2021
For almost 40 years — 30 with TSN — Black has been covering various sports, including Canadian football and figure skating. He is perhaps best known by Toronto sports fans as the host of NBA ON TSN, and for his coverage of memorable Raptors playoff runs.
Black issued a statement through TSN's parent company Bell Media this morning, saying of his departure, "I've been a broadcaster for almost 40 years, and have had a front-row seat to some of the most magical moments in sport."
"Rod has been an unforgettable and consistent presence on TSN, with a deep sports knowledge that has allowed him to seamlessly transition between hosting duties and calling games, from football to figure skating to basketball, and more," said Stewart Johnston, Senior VP, Sales and Sports, Bell Media.
"While we'll miss him behind the desk and in the booth, we are grateful for his time with the network and wish him nothing but the best."
But prepared statements rarely even scratch the surface of public opinion. For that, we turn to the unfiltered, wild west of Twitter, where the reactions show a bit more range.
There is only one Rod Black. You can’t write Canadian sports broadcasting history without him. https://t.co/xlmPtWODPY— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 14, 2021
The nature of Black's departure is one of the big questions, as Bell Media has been cutting down on its workforce in recent months.
Is Rod Black just another victim of Bell's slash and dash treatment of their staff?#CFL— Baron Von Awesome (@CappyD) October 14, 2021
People are voicing suspicions after such a lengthy career with the network, and no real reasons given for the move by either party. The timing also seems odd to some observers.
Why in middle of 2021 season? 5-6 games remaining. Seems unusual. TSN is running short of broadcasters for CFL. Time that Sportsnet or CBC starts getting into CFL.— Steve D Borsa (@samcody43) October 14, 2021
Some took issue with Black's statement itself, particularly the "coast-to-coast-to-coast" line.
I feel like we use the phrase "coast-to-coast-to-coast" too much in Canada. Just reading Rod Black's statement and he uses it in talking about getting to cover sports in the country.... When did he ever cover a sport north of Edmonton?— Justin (@WildcatOil) October 14, 2021
There are always going to be some hot takes on Twitter, but others took the time to share congratulations, fun facts, and anecdotes about Rod Black — or should we say Hot Rod?
Fun fact. Rod Black was the DJ at Saints Roller rink in Transcona in the early 80's and was know as Hot Rod.— Candy 🇨🇦 (@CdnCandy) October 14, 2021
Or how about how he's been a regular presence at a local midtown Toronto arena.
Crossed paths a bit with Rod Black over the years but the most interaction I’ve had with him is playing shinny at North Toronto arena for a few years. Great guy. And as @jasonSCOREGolf says, I’d like to get him to narrate the minutiae of my life: he’d make it sound interesting— Peter Robinson (@ByPeterRobinson) October 14, 2021
Even if Black's future career ventures don't pan out, he's probably on good footing for the future; his son Tyler is a top MLB prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Having a pro-athlete for a kid seems like a pretty solid retirement plan.
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