Stan Verrett

ESPN on-air Commentator

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Stan grew up watching Black sportscaster Bryant Gumbel on TV and now inspires a new generation of kids himself. He believes our differences should never get in the way of what unites us: our humanity.

I've always understood that living in a multicultural society, such as the one that we live in, there has to be space for everybody, there has to be an understanding that, while we may share universal values, those values may come from different cultures and be expressed in different ways. That has always been something that has never been hard for me to grasp and it's made it difficult for me to understand why it's so hard for other people to grasp.

Stan as a young man smiling at the camera and another man.

Growing up in New Orleans, it’s a very Black city and I saw Black representation all around. There were Black newscasters and sportscasters who I looked up to, when I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I never looked at being Black as being some sort of an outlier or being different or unusual or in some other category because there were so many people around me who were Black.

Stan and another man on the set of ESPN Sportscenter.

Be yourself. My Advice for young folks coming up in the industry — it's not necessary to change the essence of who you are in order to be successful. And if there are people who ask you to do that, you're better off working somewhere else, where you don't have to do that. You have to be able to find a place where you can be who you authentically are, and thrive.

Two photos of Stan with family members.

My first job was working as a laborer with my father. My father was a cement mason. My mom has a Ph.D. but my dad was a man who worked with his hands. I got to see the dignity in the work that he did. That was an important lesson that has really helped me throughout my life, to never, ever look down on anyone or minimize the contribution that they make.

Stan as a young man smiling at the camera and another man.

Growing up in New Orleans, it’s a very Black city and I saw Black representation all around. There were Black newscasters and sportscasters who I looked up to, when I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I never looked at being Black as being some sort of an outlier or being different or unusual or in some other category because there were so many people around me who were Black.

Stan and another man on the set of ESPN Sportscenter.

Be yourself. My Advice for young folks coming up in the industry — it's not necessary to change the essence of who you are in order to be successful. And if there are people who ask you to do that, you're better off working somewhere else, where you don't have to do that. You have to be able to find a place where you can be who you authentically are, and thrive.

A reimagined tomorrow, to me, is a world in which we recognize each other’s humanity. That we may see each other’s differences, but those differences don’t cause us to look at each other differently. That we recognize that despite differences in culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender that our common bond is our humanity.