Deadspin’s Carron J. Phillips on sports and culture, plus his coverage of Deion Sanders and Rachel Nichols

Deadspin editor and senior writer Carron J. Phillips is known for his spicey columns and sharp takes on Twitter. But too little is known about how he came up as a journalist, including his days as a prep sports writer, as an editorial columnist, and ground-breaking role with the New York Daily News.

Carron discusses his struggles to land his first job, why he’s been so hard on Deion Sanders, and some of the lingering questions he still has about the Deadspin and the New York Times coverage of Rachel Nichols. On the latter, he breaks some news about a deal he had to talk exclusively with Maria Taylor about the situation, which fell apart. He explains why.

This is an exceptionally long episode because it was so good. So we’ve put in some chapter markers so you can skip to what you like.

0:00 Introduction
1:48 Carron’s journalism journey
20:32 How Carron got into opinion journalism
33:15 Shout out to Susan D. Leath
40:36 How Carron came to join the New York Daily News, plus a shout out to Leon Carter
51:35 Transitioning to Deadspin
1:02:02 Why Carron has been so hard on Deion Sanders
1:19:04 Shout out to Steve J. Gaither
1:20:40 Untangling the Rachel Nichols story
1:56:50 Advice for journalists 
1:59:24 Shout outs to Vincent Goodwill and Shauntel Lowe

We also referenced a bunch of stories. Here are the links for your reading and listening pleasure.

SWAC Media Day was a peepshow, and it wasn’t just Deion’s hissy fit:

The Coach Prime Predicament: Why Deion Sanders’ success at Jackson State is a slippery slope for HBCUs:

The initial Deadspin story on Rachel Nichols:

The NYT report on the Nichols video one year later:

Carron's column after the New York Times story dropped:

Carron joins Deadspin's Ladies' Room podcast to talk about it:

Follow Carron on Twitter @carronJphillips.

Interested in being on the show? Email

More about Donnell Suggs: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell Suggs is the Editor in Chief of The Atlanta Voice, the city's longest-running Black-owned newspaper. A father and husband, Donnell has wasted years of his life supporting the New York Mets and Jets. Follow Donnell on Twitter @suggswriter.

More about Zuri Berry: Zuri is the owner and principal producer of ZMC Podcasts. He has been a journalist for two decades, working as a reporter, producer, and editor, with stops in California, Boston, Charlotte, and Washington, D.C. He’s originally from San Francisco. Find Zuri online at

Don't forget to support this podcast by visiting and buying Zuri and Donnell a cup of coffee. It goes a long way! And thanks for listening! 

Creators and Guests

Donnell Suggs
Donnell Suggs
EIC at @theatlantavoice , Life reporter at @gtimes ,lunchroom monitor at my son’s school, BK native, @Mets , Nets & Jets. @wafflehouse 4 Life
Zuri Berry
Zuri Berry
I tweet about📝 journalism, 🎙 podcasts, and 📈 business. I run @zmcpodcasts. MBA grad. Originally from SF. 🌉 He/Him
Deadspin’s Carron J. Phillips on sports and culture, plus his coverage of Deion Sanders and Rachel Nichols
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