Nearly 17 years ago, the Forward’s Rukhl Schaechter wrote a short, and endearing, portrait of Max Kellerman, who at the time was not yet 30 years old but was already becoming widely known as a sports commentator on ESPN. Kellerman, it turned out, had gone to Yiddish classes every Saturday with his three brothers while they were growing up in New York City, and, years later, attended summertime Yiddish-language retreats. “When I have kids someday, I will definitely raise them in Yiddish,” Kellerman said at the time.
Kellerman, whose broadcast career started when he was a teenage host of the public-access show “Max on Boxing,” is now 46, married with three children, and an ESPN staple on shows like “First Take,” where [he made headlines this year] (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/11/max-kellerman-espn-colin-kaepernick-stephen-a-smith-response-first-take) standing up for Colin Kaepernick, who has still not found a way back into the N.F.L. since his anthem protest in 2016. He also has spoken powerfully about grief, after the 2004 murder of one of his brothers, Sam, saying in a 2016 radio interview that it was “five years before I could function again as a regular human being.”
Breakfast Egg whites and oatmeal
What’s the last thing you listened to on your phone? Message from my father informing me of my inclusion on this list.
Hero: Muhammad Ali
2019 memory: Reading and discussing Gogol’s “The Overcoat” with my eldest daughter Esther (11).
What is your favorite thing about being Jewish? The sense that we are stewards of the best values and traditions of western liberalism.
What app can you not live without? Twitter (primarily as a consumer; I link to my favorite writers, and reporters).
Weekend ritual: Daddy-daughter dates with Esther, Sam (8), and Mira (4).
Read more That 2003 Forward article about Max Kellerman and Yiddish.
Follow Max Kellerman on Twitter @MaxKellerman
Max Kellerman: The Pundit of Sports Passion