Stephen A. Smith has officially weighed in on Shannon Sharpe’s impending departure from FS1.
The 55-year-old expressed his interest in having Shannon Sharpe join him on ESPN’s First Take after he officially steps away from Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed.
“I don’t know what [Shannon Sharpe’s] plans are,” the popular host said during the Friday (June 2) episode of The Stephen A Smith Show. “I don’t know what he’s trying to pursue. I don’t know what he’s after, but, if Shannon Sharpe needs me, I’m happy to be here for him. And if that included him wanting to come on First Take, the bosses at ESPN know that is something I would support.”
The outspoken commentator currently hosts the show alongside Molly Qerim and frequently has guest appearances from former NBA player JJ Redick, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Brian Windhorst, and others. If Sharpe were to join, it is safe to assume he would be a regular daily presence much like Max Kellerman was before he left First Take in 2021.
This comes just a few days after The New York Post reported that Sharpe reached a buyout agreement with Fox Sports and will be leaving Undisputed after the 2023 NBA Finals are completed. As of now, the reason for his departure has not been announced, but many surmise it is due to a rift between himself and his co-host Skip Bayless.
Bayless made an insensitive tweet about NFL playoff implications immediately after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin fell into cardiac arrest back in a January Monday Night Football game. The NFL Hall Of Famer was absent from the following day’s episode of Undisputed, and, upon his return that Wednesday (Jan. 4), expressed his desire for Skip to take down the tweet; his co-host doubled-down on his stance, and the two had a tense back-and-forth a few moments later.
The Post also reported that Sharpe wanted more say over what the duo discussed on the show.