Miami native and music mogul Luther Campbell was all set to debate Skip Bayless on ESPN2’s First Take with the show coming to Miami for the NBA Finals. The rapper claims he was invited last week to appear on the program to debate Skip Bayless. Then, he was suddenly uninvited by an ESPN booker on Tuesday. The reasoning? Someone at ESPN stumbled upon Luther Campbell’s Miami New Times column from February that referred to Skip Bayless as “the Rush Limbaugh of sports journalism” and “a master of manipulating issues about race and ethnicity in professional athletics to make himself millions of dollars.”
Apparently the keepers of the First Take flame in Bristol thought it wasn’t a good idea to risk Luther Campbell calling out their sacred cow for his “special brand of race baiting” live on Bayless’ own show. Here’s what Campbell told the New Times this week about having his invite pulled back:
“My New Times piece got me on the banned list,” Campbell says. “Skip only wants token people to go on the air with him.”
“ESPN producers figured out I am not going to sit there and let him abuse James, Wade, the Heat, and the city,” Campbell says. “He never allows his guests to call him out. That wasn’t going to happen with me.”
Wait a second… Skip Bayless didn’t want to have a real and honest debate about his history of racially charged commentary and histrionics? Stunning. I guess Skip will just continue to challenge people to debate him and call them scared only when it’s safe for him.
I’m told @mcuban taking Twitter shots at me. Mark, you’re welcome to come debate me face to face in Bristol, unless you’re afraid.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 20, 2012
Embrace debate, indeed.