WATCH: ‘Nasty’: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Blasted for Joke About Surviving Russian Prison Following Griner Verdict

Ian Rapoport
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Social media exploded in condemnation Thursday after NFL reporter James Palmer outed fellow reporter Ian Rapoport for making a joke about “surviving a Russian prison” on the same day WNBA star Brittney Griner’s 9-year prison sentence was announced in Russia.

The incident occurred during Thursday’s broadcast of the NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp when reporter James Palmer revealed something that fellow broadcaster Ian Rapoport said off the air.

When correspondent Andrew Siciliano asked Rapoport if he was OK, Palmer interjected with what many are calling an inappropriate comment.

“Listen, if Ian thinks he can survive in a Russian prison, which apparently he believes, a tackle from Nathaniel Hackett is the least of his problems,” Palmer said.

To that, Rapoport sheepishly replied, “That was not really for air, but sure.”


Clearly Palmer thought the off-air comment was hilarious, even as Rapoprt seemed to realize that it should never have been said over the air. Siciliano seemed a bit taken aback by Palmer’s revelation.

But mild reactions were not seen on Twitter, for sure. The whole crew were widely condemned for the comment that seemed to be poking fun at Brittney Griner’s fate.

Some of the replies to the incident are right in as much as Palmer should have let what was said off the air to remain off the air. But was the joke funny? Was it too soon to be made since Griner’s fate had been learned mere hours before the joke was aired? Or was it a perfectly harmless crack? You tell us in the comments below.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at:, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.