Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are two of the most recognizable and polarizing talking heads in the world of sports media. From their time together on ESPN’s “First Take” to now, with Smith still holding down the fort every day at 10 a.m., and Skip Bayless on the West Coast co-hosting “Undisputed” with Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
Did Stephen A. Smith And Skip Bayless Kill Sports?
The debate show format that they perfected and monetized has created a copycat backlog of wannabe hot take shows.
That type of stuff has former ESPN host Dan Le Batard calling the two out. During a recent episode of Le Batard’s “South Beach Sessions” podcast, with Smith as his special guest, Le Batard didn’t hold back on his feelings, telling Smith this.
“I hate what you two have done to sports television.”
Smith replied as only he can …. telling Le Batard that he’s played a role in it himself.
“You can say that all you want to,” said Smith. “I would say, ‘Who the hell are you to sit up there and say me and him? What about you? Where the hell were you? Living under a rock? Teaching at Miami U? You were part of it too! You ain’t innocent!”
For Le Batard to say it so bluntly was actually surprising, and despite Smith’s response he was also caught off guard. But Smith is correct, Le Batard isn’t innocent in the change, his former ESPN show “Highly Questionable,” was in the same realm of what he’s saying he hates about Smith and Bayless.
Le Batard Responds To Backlash Received For Statement
While the two expressed their feelings during the podcast, they are far from done speaking about the situation. Le Batard took to Instagram to say this concerning the situation.
“I told Stephen A. Smith that I hated what he and Skip Bayless have done to sports television and that reaction was hostile and swift on Elon Musk’s kind, gentle community app. People say that I am fat, ugly, hypocritical, jealous jerk, a—hole, moron, idiot. And I’d just like to defend myself against that. That I’m not jealous.”
Fans insinuated that Le Batard was jealous of the success Smith has had in becoming the highest-paid on air personality at ESPN. While that could be the case, Le Batard, who made plenty of money while he was there, says that isn’t the reason he came at Smith.
Smith Responds Again On His Podcast
One thing for sure and two things for certain, Smith wasn’t going to let Le Batard respond again while he played possum.
During his “Know Mercy” podcast, Smith had a lot to say.
“It’s amazing to me how many people will speak as I’ve had a negative impact on an industry they profit off of,” Smith said. “Dan Le Batard wrote for the Miami Herald for 26 years. 1990-2016. Ask Dan Le Batard how much money he made writing for the Miami Herald compared to how much money he made on ESPN. How much money he made doing ‘Highly Questionable,’ how much he made doing the ‘Dan Le Batard Show,’ how much money is he making doing ‘South Street Sessions’?”
Stephen A. Smith’s Success A Target?
Smith isn’t lying when he says he’s been No. 1 and because of that his name is the first folks tend to come after as pertains to this new era of television sports shows. But one thing about him, he’s always ready to engage and fire back when called out, and this time is no different.
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