Stephen A. Smith has finally revealed his thoughts on Shannon Sharpe’s upcoming departure from Fox Sports 1, sharing that he would invite the three-time Super Bowl winner to appear on ESPN’s First Take, but only as a guest and not as a co-host. .
On Wednesday, it was announced that Fox Sports and Sharpe had agreed to a buyout, ending the analyst’s seven-year run as “Undisputed” co-host alongside Skip Bayless.
Smith, who previously served as a debate partner with Bayless on ESPN from 2012 to 2016, officially commented on the news on his Fan Duel podcast and invited Sharpe to join the list of former NFL players turned analysts on “First Take.”
Smith mentioned early on that he wouldn’t comment on Bayless, who played a central role in Smith’s hiring at ESPN 11 years ago, before speaking on Sharpe’s exit later in June.
“When the news broke that Shannon Sharpe had been bought out of FS1 and would be leaving at the end of the NBA Finals, two things came to mind,” Smith said.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wants Shannon Sharpe to join ‘First Take,’ but only as a weekly guest
Shannon Sharpe is set to leave Fox Sports’ ‘Undisputed’, seven years after co-hosting the show
‘It’s a big loss for the show ”Undisputed” because Shannon matters, and I don’t know what his plans are, I don’t know what he’s trying to pursue, I don’t know what he’s looking for, but if Shannon Sharpe needs me, then I’m happy to be there for him.
“And if that involves wanting to participate in ‘First Take,’ ESPN bosses know that’s something I would support.”
Smith said he wouldn’t consider Sharpe a daily partner on his show, but would add the former tight end to the weekly rotation which also includes Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, Ryan Clark, Dan Orlovsky, Marcus Spears and Damian Woody.
“I’m telling you here: If Shannon Sharpe wanted to join this list, there’s no resistance from Stephen A. I have love for Shannon Sharpe,” Smith said.
Smith added that he was “not at all surprised” by Sharpe’s departure from ‘Undisputed’, referring to the on-air row between the Pro Football Hall of Famer and Bayless over the cardiac arrest. by Damar Hamlin in January.
The 55-year-old Bronx native clarified that he never spoke to Sharpe or Bayless about their feud, but remembers thinking to himself “it’s over” when the two TV personalities bumped into each other on the air five months ago.
Smith also announced that he and Sharpe had agreed to appear on both “Club Shay Shay” and Smith’s eponymous show in the near future.
On Friday, it was revealed that Sharpe’s “power struggle” with Bayless led to a takeover with Fox Sports, according to ex-NFL star and FS1 personality Marcellus Wiley.
Smith joined ‘First Take’ on ESPN in 2012, taking on longtime analyst Skip Bayless (R)
Sharpe hasn’t spoken about his reported exit, opting to keep quiet on the issue of the show’s latest edition after the news broke, but he did like a tweet commenting on the breakup.
“Their relationship has gotten progressively worse over the past 2 or 3 years because Skip fought to get him on this show, but I feel like Skip couldn’t stand Shannon making it without and that’s when Skip was taking pot shots on air,” the tweet read. .
The Post quoted “people close to Sharpe” who said he wanted more say in the selection of the show’s topics.
The pair have clashed on air several times, including after a controversial tweet from Bayless following Hamlin’s frightening meltdown.
Bayless tweeted the night of Hamlin’s collapse in early January that the NFL couldn’t postpone the Buffalo Bills’ game with the Bengals due to scheduling, despite significant fears over Hamlin’s survival after going into cardiac arrest on the ground.
“No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the remainder of this game – but how? At the end of the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the outcome of the regular season… which suddenly seems so out of place,” Bayless wrote.
Sharpe stayed away from the next day’s episode of “Undisputed” and when he returned the next day he was visibly frustrated with Bayless interrupting him while he was explaining his position.
Bayless apologized for the tweet but did not delete it.
Sharpe liked a tweet suggesting a breakup with undisputed co-host Bayless on Thursday
Sharpe has clashed with co-host Bayless in recent months – notably over Damar Hamlin
The above tweet from Bayless the night Hamlin had his cardiac arrest sparked outrage
“Skip tweeted something, and while I disagree with the tweet, and I hope Skip takes it down,” Sharpe said, explaining his absence around the Hamlin incident, before Bayless n intervene.
“Time out,” Bayless said. “I’m not going to take it down, because I stand by what I tweeted.”
Sharpe replied, “I can’t even finish a monologue without you interrupting me.
They also clashed on a personal level in December when Bayless compared Sharpe retiring at 35 to Tom Brady playing until 45.
Sharpe played as a tight end – winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos and another with the Baltimore Ravens – while Brady was, of course, a quarterback.
“I did what I did! Sharpe replied to Bayless. ‘You make me look like a bum! I’m in the effin’ Hall of Fame. I had three Super Bowls!’
Bayless didn’t back down, saying, ‘So what? He is much better than you.