People often assume professional athletes hate being interviewed. Those people clearly donâ€™t know much about Elliott Sadler.
The 42-year-old Sadler, who now races full time in NASCARâ€™s Xfinity series after spending 12 years racing full time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, finished third in the Irish Hills 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. With the finish, he now leads the Xfinity standings.
So he was an obvious candidate for a post-race interview, right?
Sadler was passed over by FOX Sports, which instead interviewed full-time Cup drivers Denny Hamlin, who won the race, and Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth and, more importantly, is from Michigan. Itâ€™s not clear whether Sadler knows Keselowski is from Michigan, but it probably wouldnâ€™t have mattered, because he had a serious bone to pick with FOX.
And he didnâ€™t stop there.
â€œWe took over the points lead and TV told me they didnâ€™t have time to interview me,â€� Sadler said after the race, via USA TODAY. â€œSo I donâ€™t understand that. They interviewed Brad Keselowski, who finished behind me and heâ€™s a Cup driver. I would think heâ€™d have plenty of time to talk tomorrow.
â€œSo I donâ€™t understand how you take the Xfinity regular season points leader and tell him you donâ€™t have time for him when he has one of the longest-running sponsors (OneMain Financial) in the sport.â€�
FOX Sports responded to Sadlerâ€™s criticism in an email to For The Win on Monday.
â€� â€¦ We always have respected him, both on and off the track, and realize the pressures on drivers to provide television exposure for their sponsors, FOX Sports said. â€œElliottâ€™s frustration is understandable, and we will seek to discuss with him privately as we continue to cover his team and sponsors in pursuit of the 2017 Xfinity Championship.â€�
Well, now things are just awkward. Personally, we canâ€™t wait to see the look on Sadlerâ€™s face the next time thereâ€™s a camera in front of him.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Matthew Oâ€™Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images