Last week, we alluded to the fact that FS1 had once offered Fox radio host and Outkick the Coverage purveyor Clay Travis a television show but that Travis had turned down the network because he didn’t want to cut back on talking about politics or move to Los Angeles. The decision to offer Travis a show instead of Katie Nolan was likely a factor in Nolan’s rumored move over to ESPN.

Now, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has some new details, reporting Saturday that FS1 boss Jamie Horowitz was insisting Travis ditch politics altogether.

According to two sources inside Fox Sports, Horowitz contacted Travis in March and offered him the show “if he abandoned all discussion of politics.” The sources said Horowitz told Travis he could “never” tweet about politics, talk about politics, never “touch it at all.”

[Note: It has come to our attention that The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel mentioned a few weeks on the Cover32 Podcast that Travis turned down an FS1 show after being asked to tone down politics.]

Politics are a large part of Travis’ brand, to the point where it’s a bit hard to imagine what his show would even look like without touching on social or political issues. Travis frequently gets political on Twitter, on his radio show and on his website, where the top article at this moment is about how the “left-wing sports media” victimized Ryan Lochte.

It makes some sense that Horowitz, who was fired earlier this month amid a sexual harassment investigation, would want Travis to neuter his more controversial opinions, especially if he was hosting a show in the high-visibility 11 p.m. slot vacated by Fox Sports Live, but asking him to ditch politics altogether would presumably undermine his appeal. Travis has risen to his current level of prominence by explicitly appealing to conservatives, and without that draw he would seem to be just another guy.

Travis was apparently not willing to stick to sports because he reportedly turned down quite a bit of cash from FS1. Via the Daily News:

The sources said Horowitz tried closing the deal by promising Travis major moolah. He waved dollar signs in Travis’ eyes telling him he took Skip (Undisputed) Bayless from making $180,000 per year to now earning $6 million per. He said Bayless had the perfect sports perspective because he only deals in sports opinions. Horowitz told Travis he would make him “filthy rich” if he would JUST talk about sports. Travis, the sources said, waited a day to think about the offer.

Travis called Horowitz and said “no.” “Not many people tell Jamie Horowitz ‘no.’ So, when Clay did it, he probably shocked Jamie,” one source said.

Travis has mentioned FS1’s offer before, tweeting last month that he could have had a show if he had been willing to leave his home in Nashville and move to Los Angeles.

Travis now seems to take great pride in no longer working for Fox (although his radio show is broadcast on Fox Sports Radio, he points out that his employer there is actually iHeartRadio), so he certainly does not seem to regret walking away from Horowitz’s offer.

[New York Daily News]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • namingrightsforsale

    Typically someone who feels the need to frequently tell others that they’re rich and have a good life is astoundingly insecure, and whether they want to admit it or not, it’s hard to actually have a “good” life with such high levels of insecurity. Hopefully he gets help, because between that obvious narcissism and his aggressive reliance on pandering to toxic conservative politics, he clearly needs it.

    • CreightonRabs

      Actually, you might be the one who needs help with your idiotic and closed minded hate because someone has the audacity to express an opinion that you don’t agree with. But, hey, you do you…

      • namingrightsforsale

        What suggested I had idiotic and close-minded hate? I don’t see where I say anything about hating anyone because they have the audacity to express an opinion I disagree with. In fact, you clearly express opinions I disagree with, but even so I don’t hate you.

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  • Jane Gray

    The weird dynamic to Clay’s current bandwagon approach is that he is actually a liberal. He has a long history of voting poorly and doesn’t mind sharing that, especially when he can rely on said poor voting record to deny racism with his typical “I voted for Obama twice” defense. For the record, I don’t think he is racist, just someone that follows Cowherd’s “be interesting” mantra to the fullest extent that he’s capable of. Cowherd is clearly far more interesting and intelligent so he pulls it off considerably better but hard to fault Travis for trying to make the best of his situation given his limited faculties and talent. Just as he latched on to the manosphere nonsense when he couldn’t think of any other approach to getting an audience he will continue to follow path’s thought up by other people and when he goes too far with social/political issues that are quite frankly beyond his grasp, he ultimately will run to the next thing until he fails at that as well. He will still vote horribly and against his own self interests because someone told him that was the thing to do and doing what other people tell him will make him popular is just what Clay Travis does.

    • namingrightsforsale

      Voting for liberal candidates is voting “poorly” and “horribly” and against his own self-interest? Are you sure you’re qualified to act as if you have a better grasp of social and political issues than you claim he does? It really doesn’t seem that way.

  • inku palios

    People like Clay Travis & Jason Whitlock should keep their conservative values on Fox News. Or they could join Infowars.

    • CreightonRabs

      Translation: “Lupica, Feinstein and other left-leaning sports yakkers (especially those ESPN folks) can push whatever social justice BS down out throats because I agree with them. But, Clay Travis should shut up and stick to sports.” Very open minded of you, idiot.

      • namingrightsforsale

        Why are you opposed to social justice? You don’t think that society should be equal and fair? That’s the whole point of what the Constitution was trying to accomplish, even if it hasn’t successfully accomplished it yet.

        • CreightonRabs

          Just keep the social justice crap out of sports reporting and we’re good.

          • namingrightsforsale

            So it’s only “BS” if it’s in sports reporting because you don’t think it belongs in sports reporting? Otherwise you support it?

          • CreightonRabs

            “Social justice” as a whole is crap. It sure as hell has no place in sports journalism when I want to escape from the BS of politics. Is that a hard concept for you to understand?

      • Deon Hamner

        Feinstein hates ESPN and haven’t been on in years and Lupica just got fired from Sports reporters… Damn you dumb..

        • CreightonRabs

          Reread the comment, jerkoff. IN. NO. WAY. DID. I. IMPLY. THAT. FEINSTEIN. OR. LUPICA. WORKED. FOR. ESPN.

          I can talk slower if you still don’t understand what my point was, but I don’t feel like wasting words on a douche like you.

          • Deon Hamner

            Oh yes you did. Why mention them then?! 40 year old man and name calling.. you a funny guy.. please talk slower on a comment post… please have at it

          • CreightonRabs

            You missed my point completely, but then again, you’re a lost cause. I just find it odd that the right-leaning sports talkers are told to stick to sports but not the left-leaning hosts. But, since you’re stupid enough not to understand common sense, nor do you know me from a bag of shit, I guess that’s your problem.

          • Deon Hamner

            Bag of shit… correct…

    • wah wah sniffle sniffle.

  • BobLee Says

    Or… this article is simply using 2nd / 3rd hand “he saids” to regurgitate the subject of mixing sports and politics. i.e. Lets talk about what others can, should, should not talk about…
    I’m not complaining since I find that debate far more interesting than 90% of “just sports” blather.
    I do agree with Putterman that without his “political slants”, Clay Travis is just another sports yakker.

  • Clay Travis is absolutely what sports talk needs. I tire swiftly of the social justice warriors.

  • Dan Middleton

    What the hell is the purpose of that ridiculous iPhone panopticon he’s sitting in front of in that picture? Why would you go to the effort and expense of configuring something like that only to end up with less screen space than one $100 monitor?