Bomani Jones Is Latest Sports Analyst Fired | Victim Of Stephen A. Smith And Skip Bayless “Ruining” Sports Talk Shows?

The sports industry is forever changing, and over the past 20 years much of it has leaned more toward the entertainment side of things than just focusing on the actual sports. The NFL decided to implement rules to benefit offensive players and limit defensive players.

The NBA is also an offensive league and players make playing defense optional. Major League Baseball also added rules to speed the game during at-bats.

(Left) Bomani Jones during a photo shoot. (Right) Dan Le Batard during an episode of his show. (Photos: @bomani_jones/Instagram, @lebatardshow/Instagram screenshot)

The entire sports industry is leaning toward more exciting play, and leagues now encourage players to have a social media presence to help bring in different audiences to watch their sport. Now we are seeing the same shift in the sports television industry.

Bomani Jones was recently part of the wave of big networks laying off some of their most popular television hosts, writers, and reporters. Dan Le Batard believes he has figured out why that is the case.

Le Batard Was Right?

Stephen A. Smith appeared on Le Batard’s “South Beach Sessions” podcast back in March, when Le Batard told the ESPN host to his face that “he hates what you two have done to sports television.” He was referring to Smith and former ESPN personality Skip Bayless’ talk show “First Take.”

“I’m talking about all the imitators that you’ve birthed that are all over the place without the journalism credentials, that the point of all of this is to turn it into an argument on television,” Le Batard added.

Bayless and Smith are known for bringing barbershop sports debate topics to television. The two obviously didn’t invent the debate-style format but advanced the popularity of it, and their success helped birth shows like Pat McAfee’s self-titled show and also returned sports shock jock originators such as Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to the scene with a new platform to scream his inciting sports takes.

Bayless moved on from ESPN in 2016 and took the same format to Fox Sports 1 with his “Undisputed” talk show that featured NFL legend Shannon Sharpe as his co-host.

Other Shows that Suffered

Le Batard also blamed Bayless and Smith style for more informative sports talk shows’ numbers being low. Viewers now love to see the hot debates and viral moments. Earlier this year, Bayless and Sharpe’s debate about Tom Brady went viral. Sharpe seem to change his mood when his co-host took a personal jab at him while defending Brady.

Jones’ “Game Theory” show on HBO was quite the opposite. It was not as entertaining but very informative and gives real insight to what is going on in the world of sports. The topics were a lot more hard-hitting rather than the “LeBron vs Jordan” debate topics that viewers love to see being discussed.

“If the first thing they say about our TV show is how smart it is, we’re all going to get fired,” said Jones to The Ringer in 2018 about his old ESPN show “High Noon.”

He was right, because his HBO show was canceled after just two seasons. Now Jones joins the rest of the people laid off in sports that are looking for their next opportunity.

Back to top