Sports media members have been accused of some strange thefts over the years, including of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX jersey and other memorabilia. The latest accusation along these lines is for something much less valuable but perhaps equally strange: a team jacket belonging to Golden State Warriors’ director of team security Ralph Walker.
As per The Athletic’s Steve Berman, a video shot by Warriors’ assistant coach Jarron Collins shows Mike Shumann, a sports anchor for Bay Area ABC affiliate KGO-7, taking Walker’s jacket and walking out of the AT&T Center in San Antonio following a Golden State practice last week ahead of a playoff game against the Spurs.
Berman adds that this led to several Warriors players being upset over how the team handled the incident and refusing to do the team’s contracted interviews with KGO as long as Shumann handles those, to Shumann being recalled from San Antonio by the station and not being a part of Sunday night’s post-game show, and to the station issuing a statement saying they’re investigating:
A spokesman for KGO on Monday issued the following statement to The Athletic: “We are taking these allegations very seriously and conducting a full investigation. As a matter of policy, we do not comment about personnel matters.”
ESPN’s Chris Haynes has also reviewed the tape, and adds that Shumann apologized to players, but that hasn’t alleviated the concerns:
Several Warriors players were upset over the way the team handled the incident, as first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Shumann, who is white, is a former wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers and longtime TV reporter in the city, and some players fear he received special treatment.
The 62-year-old Shumann played for the 49ers from 1978-79 and in 1981, and has been at KGO since 1994 as per his bio, which is quite the read:
I always told my Dad I could do two things well: catch a football and talk trash. I’ve managed to make a career of both.
I landed in the Bay Area in 1978 as a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers after graduating from Florida State University. I was fortunate to be a part of the city’s first Super Bowl Championship team in 1982. My 49er claim to fame: I got hurt so Dwight Clark could play and make the most iconic catch in San Francisco history.
I ended my NFL career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1984 and finished my pro career in 1985 with the Oakland Invaders of the USFL as a player-coach. I’m a two-time Hall of Famer — Leon High School and Florida State. Still waiting for the NFL to call.
After his athletic career, Shumann worked for Bay Area radio stations KFOG and KNBR before switching to KGO’s radio station and then joining their TV side in 1994. While he’s been an established presence there, he’s reportedly in the last year of his contract, as per Berman, and it’s certainly possible to see the station just parting ways after this.
His bio boasts that “My background as a pro athlete gives me a special insight to professional sports that other sportscasters don’t have,” but those other sportscasters aren’t being accused of walking off with team staffers’ jackets.