Stephen A. Smith: Shannon Sharpe was ‘pushed out’ of ‘Undisputed’

Stephen A. Smith: Shannon Sharpe was ‘pushed out’ of ‘Undisputed’


Stephen A. Smith says his new two-days-a-week partner Shannon Sharpe didn’t leave FS1’s “Undisputed” program “over his own volition.”

Smith, the personality who drives ESPN’s “First Take,” brought up the matter on “The Joe Budden Podcast

“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 said that beyond recognizing Sharpe’s broadcasting talent and accomplishments as a Pro Football Hall of Famer, he recalled the time he was let go from ESPN in 2009 and his career was “left for dead.”

Smith said that he therefore saw it as his “responsibility” to speak up for Sharpe and make sure he had a landing spot.

Asked about Smith’s claims, a source with knowledge of Bayless’ thinking told The Post that he fought to keep Sharpe on the show as he valued their chemistry and continuity, but that it was his sense that Sharpe wanted to leave “Undisputed” to pursue new TV and podcast opportunities.

However, the source said that Bayless was not aware of the specifics of what went down between Sharpe and their Fox Sports bosses.

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After The Post broke the news that Sharpe would be leaving FS1 following the conclusion of the NBA Finals in June, the three-time Super Bowl champion confidently hinted on social media that he was planting seeds for his next endeavors.

So far, Sharpe has brought his popular “Club Shay Shay” podcast to Colin Cowherd’s Volume Sports network and is appearing on ESPN’s “First Take” with Smith on Monday and Tuesday every week during football season.


Stephen A. Smith claimed that Shannon Sharpe was "pushed out" from FS1's "Undisputed."
Stephen A. Smith claimed that Shannon Sharpe was “pushed out” from FS1’s “Undisputed.”
Joe Budden Podcast

Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless shake hands during Sharpe’s last day on FS1’s “Undisputed” on June 13, 2023.
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless shake hands during Sharpe’s last day on FS1’s “Undisputed” on June 13, 2023.
Twitter

“Undisputed,” meanwhile, has iterated from a one-on-one debate format to a panel discussion led by Bayless that includes Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, Richard Sherman, Rachel Nichols and more.





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