Sports journalist Stephen A. Smith has claimed that Shannon Sharpe did not leave the “Undisputed” program on FS1 willingly. Smith made the statement during an appearance on “The Joe Budden Podcast,” stating that Sharpe was pushed out of the show. Smith, known for his role on ESPN’s “First Take,” insisted that Sharpe did not want to leave and was informed that his services were no longer needed. Smith, who has experienced being let go from ESPN himself, felt it was his responsibility to speak up for Sharpe and ensure he found a new opportunity.
According to a source familiar with Skip Bayless’ thoughts, Bayless, Sharpe’s former co-host, fought to keep him on the show, valuing their chemistry and continuity. However, the source believed that Sharpe wanted to leave “Undisputed” to pursue new TV and podcast opportunities. Bayless was reportedly unaware of the specifics of the situation between Sharpe and Fox Sports bosses.
In response to Smith’s claims, a spokesperson for Fox Sports expressed their appreciation for Sharpe’s contributions and wished him success in his future endeavors. After it was announced that Sharpe would be leaving FS1 following the NBA Finals, the three-time Super Bowl champion hinted on social media that he was preparing for his next ventures.
Since his departure, Sharpe has brought his popular podcast, “Club Shay Shay,” to Colin Cowherd’s Volume Sports network. Additionally, he has been appearing on ESPN’s “First Take” with Smith on Mondays and Tuesdays during football season. Meanwhile, “Undisputed” has transitioned from a one-on-one debate format to a panel discussion led by Bayless, featuring personalities such as Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, Richard Sherman, Rachel Nichols, and more.