All’s well that ends well, right?
Shannon Sharpe’s time as Skip Bayless‘ cohost on Undisputed had a drama-filled ending, and he’s now moved on to greener pastures with a deal at Colin Cowherd’s The Volume. But what satisfies fans even more is to hear his weekly rants alongside Stephen A. Smith on First Take.
Now Stephen A.’s revealing that the Bayless-Sharpe breakup didn’t go exactly as planned. The famous ESPN pundit just sat down with The Joe Budden Podcast and revealed what really went down, and it doesn’t seem like Sharpe wanted to leave FS1 as it’s been assumed.
It started when Budden commended Smith for immediately making it publicly and abundantly clear that he wanted Sharpe to be a part of the First Take family and the role Bayless played.
“I didn’t look at it that way. I would have looked at it that way if Shannon left of his own volition. I’m telling you he didn’t. I’m telling you he was pushed out,” Smith said. “It’s fact. They can deny it. He wouldn’t. I can promise you that. He was pushed out. He didn’t want to leave. He was notified that your services would no longer be needed. That’s his story to tell. I’m telling you what I know. I’m giving you facts.”
Smith felt like he needed to speak up on Sharpe’s behalf because he saw himself in a similar situation back in 2009 when he was let go from ESPN. Now he’s in a position to lift up newer notable voices in sports media and saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so.
“This is why I’m here. This is my responsibility,” he explains before shouting out some of the new talent featured on First Take. “You see Marcus Spears and his new contract. Ryan Clark and all the things that he’s doing. When you see Kimberly Martin who was an NFL reporter and now she’s on television. When you see a Monica McNutt.”
Smith explains that appearing on his show opens doors for analysts and hosts, and even influences sports commentary shows on other networks simply because of his ratings.
“I’m at a point in time where if I don’t want you on First Take you ain’t coming on First Take. And if I don’t want you on First Take the likelihood is you’re going to have a problem getting on TV because that’s the number 1 morning show,” he concluded.
See how social media is reacting to the truth about Sharpe’s departure from Undisputed below.