Shannon Sharpe, the former NFL star and Hall of Famer, has finally opened up about his departure from FS1’s Undisputed, the sports debate show he co-hosted with Skip Bayless for five years. In a candid interview with his current First Take partner Stephen A. Smith on his podcast, The Stephen A. Smith Show, Sharpe revealed some of the behind-the-scenes tensions that led to his exit from the show, and his strained relationship with Bayless.
Did Skip Bayless Get Shannon Sharpe Fired from Undisputed?
One of the most intriguing moments of the interview came when Smith asked Sharpe if he was right when he said he was “forced out” from Undisputed, implying that he was fired by FS1. Sharpe did not confirm or deny the claim, but instead said, “I won’t confirm or deny that, but I will say this: I always owned Club Shay Shay.”
He was referring to his popular YouTube channel, where he interviews celebrities and athletes in a relaxed setting. Sharpe went on to explain that Fox only had an agreement to cover the production costs of Club Shay Shay, and split any revenue made 50/50 with him, contrary to a rumor that said he did not own the channel.
Shannon Sharpe Explains Why He Wanted to Fight Skip Bayless on Live TV
Sharpe also went in depth about the time when Bayless was taking personal shots at him on live TV, such as during their infamous Tom Brady debate in December 2022, when Bayless said that Sharpe was jealous of Brady’s success and longevity, and that Brady was “way better” than Sharpe as a player.
Sharpe said that he felt disrespected and hurt by Bayless’s comments, and that he complained to the higher-ups at FS1, but they brushed it under the rug. He said that this made Bayless feel like doing that was okay, and that it happened more frequently as time went on.
Sharpe said that when Bayless said he was jealous of Brady, he knew that Bayless had lost all respect for him. He also admitted that in that moment, he thought about beating up Bayless, but made the smart decision not to, which helped him later down the line in business meetings. He said that he considered Bayless a friend, but that their friendship deteriorated over the course of the show.
Sharpe’s words on Smith’s podcast paint a picture of a relationship between co-hosts that went sour long before he was fired from Undisputed. It also sheds some light on why Sharpe joined Smith on ESPN’s First Take, where he seems to have more freedom and chemistry with his new partner.
Sharpe said that he is happy with his current situation, and that he has no regrets about leaving Undisputed.