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Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is a monthly sports newsmagazine on HBO that debuted on April 2, 1995. The show was "spawned by the fact that sports have changed dramatically, that it's no longer just fun and games, and that what happens off the field, beyond the scores, is worthy of some serious reporting," according to Bryant Gumbel, the host.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel Logo.png
Presented byBryant Gumbel
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons22
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 2, 1995 (1995-04-02) –
External links
HBO site




Each has four stories, all of which are about society and sports, famous athletes, or problems afflicting sports. The show also has investigative reports, interviews, and interesting stories that don't necessarily occur in the professional leagues. This show goes beyond traditional sports reporting, like box scores and statistics, and presents exclusive stories that other networks don't usually cover.

The show has been honored with 26 Sports Emmy Awards and won Peabody Awards in 2012 and 2015.[1][2][3]

Real Sports was the inspiration for two other HBO shows: On the Record with Bob Costas and Costas Now.


Notable storiesEdit

Camel Jockeys – Sports of SheikhsEdit

In 2004, guided by human rights activist Ansar Burney, an HBO team used a hidden camera to document slavery and torture in secret desert camps where boys under the age of five were trained to race camels, a national sport in the United Arab Emirates. This half-hour investigative report exposed a carefully hidden child slavery ring that bought or kidnapped hundreds of young boys in Pakistan and Bangladesh. These boys were then forced to become camel jockeys in the UAE. The report also questioned the sincerity of U.S. diplomacy in pressuring an ally, the UAE, to comply with its own stated policy of banning the use of children under 15 from camel racing.

The documentary won a Sports Emmy Award in 2004 for "Outstanding Sports Journalism" and the 2006 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for outstanding broadcast journalism. It also brought world attention to the plight of child camel jockeys in the Middle East and helped Ansar Burney Trust to convince the governments of Qatar and the UAE to end the use of children in this sport.

Jack Johnson and Kelly Slater singing "Home (Live from the Beach)"Edit

During the summer of 2013, Jon Frankel's interview with Kelly Slater spawned an HBO Sports video of Jack Johnson and Kelly Slater performing "Home (Live from the Beach)".[4][5][6]

Controversial remarksEdit

In February 2006, Gumbel made remarks regarding the Winter Olympics and the lack of African-American participation.[7]

On the August 15, 2006 episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Gumbel made the following remarks about former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and National Football League Players Association president Gene Upshaw and directed these comments to new commissioner Roger Goodell:

In response, Tagliabue said, "What Gumbel said about Gene Upshaw and our owners is about as irresponsible as anything I've heard in a long time." [8] Gumbel replied with, "It's a lot like covering any story [...] You see what is in front of you and you report on it."[citation needed]

On the October 18, 2011 episode, Gumbel invoked slavery in his criticism of NBA Commissioner David Stern over the league's lockout.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards
  3. ^ Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: The Killing Fields (HBO)
  4. ^ Surf Bum (July 23, 2013). "Kelly Slater Featured on HBO Sports Real Sports Tonight". BNQT Media Group. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Kelly Slater (July 2013). Kelly Slater: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO Sports) (video). Cocoa Beach: HBO Sports.
  6. ^ Jack Johnson (July 2013). Home (Live from the beach) (video). Cocoa Beach: HBO Sports.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Michael McCarthy, " Gumbel's remarks strike ill chord with Tagliabue," USA Today, 22 August 2006.
  9. ^

External linksEdit