|Born||December 2, 1974|
Mission, Kansas, United States
|Alma mater||Princeton University|
|Notable works||The Beckham Experiment|
Grant Wahl (born December 2, 1974 in Mission, Kansas) is American sports journalist who is best known for having been a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a correspondent for FOX Sports. He is also the author of the controversial book, The Beckham Experiment.
During his first year at Princeton University, Wahl covered the Princeton Tigers men's soccer team, then coached by Bob Bradley, who would go on to manage Major League Soccer teams and the United States men's national soccer team. Bradley provided Wahl with an opportunity to study abroad in Argentina, spending time with Boca Juniors, before returning to the United States for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Wahl cites his experiences with Bradley as a catalyst for his love of the sport.
In 1996, Wahl began his career working with the Miami Herald as an intern. From there, he joined Sports Illustrated in November 1996, covering college basketball as well as soccer. By October 2000, he was promoted to the position of senior writer. Wahl mostly covers soccer for both the magazine and SI.com. In 2013, SI launched their soccer section, named "Planet Fútbol", with Wahl at the helm.
He first gained critical acclaim for his 1998 cover story Where's Daddy?, which documented the growing number of illegitimate children born to professional athletes. Since then, he has written numerous cover stories and profiles on athletes. In addition, Wahl has received four Magazine Story of the Year awards given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Wahl published his first book, The Beckham Experiment, in 2009. The book focused on the move of David Beckham to the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer and his impact on the league. It became a New York Times Best Seller.
While covering the fourth round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification in October 2009, Wahl was robbed of his phone and wallet at gunpoint in broad daylight in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; earlier in the day, he had interviewed interim Honduran president Roberto Micheletti, who later apologized to Wahl over the incident.
In February 2011, Wahl announced a possible bid to become President of FIFA in the upcoming election to unseat incumbent Sepp Blatter, but pulled out before the official deadline after failing to earn the endorsement of a football association. As a result of Wahl's bid, FIFA amended its presidential nomination process by requiring the endorsement of five associations.
Wahl was fired from Sports Illustrated on April 10, 2020, after criticizing Maven CEO James Heckman for his handling of pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. Heckman responded by criticizing Wahl's work and hesitance to volunteer for a permanent pay cut.
Wahl was born in 1974 in Mission, Kansas. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School, then went on to study at Princeton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 1996. Wahl is married to Celine Gounder, an American medical doctor and medical journalist who specializes in infectious disease and global health. He is an Eagle Scout.
- Rutten, Tim (July 15, 2009). "'The Beckham Experiment' by Grant Wahl". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- Wahl, Grant (January 22, 2015). "Vox in the Box: Grant Wahl" (Interview). Interviewed by Iain Macintosh. The Set Pieces. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Grant Wahl". FOX Sports. 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Bazilian, Emma (June 2, 2014). "Sports Illustrated Launches 'Planet Futbol' Site Interest in soccer content has grown 'exponentially'". Adweek. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Grant Wahl - SI.com". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "BEST SELLERS: NONFICTION: Sunday, August 2nd 2009". The New York Times. August 2, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- Wahl, Grant (October 10, 2009). "Meet the President, Get Robbed: Just Another Day in Honduras". FanNation. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Longman, Jeré (October 10, 2009). "Important Game for U.S. and Honduras". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Lee Rigg, Zac (February 17, 2011). "USA Journalist Grant Wahl Running For FIFA President". Goal.com. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- Sully, Andy (February 18, 2011). "US writer Grant Wahl seeks Fifa president Blatter's job". BBC Sport. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Wahl, Grant (April 1, 2011). "My story: What happened when I decided to run for FIFA president". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Wahl, Grant (June 6, 2014). "Why Fifa changed their election rules after I stood to be their president". The Guardian. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Seven candidates compete for Fifa presidency after David Nakhid excluded". The Guardian. October 28, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "FOX Soccer signs world-renowned journalist Grant Wahl" (Press release). FOX Sports. October 10, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Strauss, Ben (April 10, 2020). "Longtime soccer writer Grant Wahl fired amid more turbulence at Sports Illustrated". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
- Wahl, Grant (July 12, 1999). "Grant Wahl" (Interview). Interviewed by Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Wahl, Grant (May 30, 2008). "Jumping back in the saddle". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Grant Wahl [@GrantWahl] (March 28, 2012). "Doubt MLS fined Clark much $, but 3-game ban sends a message. Still have issues over MLS deal w/anti-gay Boy Scouts (and I'm an Eagle Scout)" (Tweet). Retrieved April 8, 2012 – via Twitter.