Billy Crystal Warns Sports Stars To Stay Off Social Media On ‘Real Sports’

As Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel continues to mark its 20th anniversary with the help of comics, Billy Crystal wondered how to explain athletes’ bad behavior to his sports-loving grandchildren.

“The truth is, in this age of Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat, we know way too much about athletes – and it’s their fault,” said Crystal, who last appeared on Real Sports when it premiered two decades ago. “They push a button and self destruct. I love Mickey Mantle. Would I have felt the same if I had known when I was eight years old what I know now? Can you imagine if Babe Ruth had had Twitter?”

Kids needs heroes, Crystal said.

Crystal is the latest comedic voice tapped by HBO to close the show’s episodes with some take on an element of the sports industry. Bill Maher would debut the segment; Chris Rock appeared last month.  Running periodically for the 2015 season only, each segment is three to four minutes long.

The pay cabler’s big push for Gumbel’s 20th anniversary season also included his first Q&A appearance at a TV Press Tour in 19 years, back in January, at which he told a couple hundred members of the media  “what passes for sports coverage is terribly sycophantic” these days.

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