Joe Rogan never heard of John Skipper before this week, but if it were up to him, the former ESPN president who was the victim of an extortion attempt would still be running Disney’s sports network.
Dave Portnoy joined the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience and during the more than three-hour long podcast, the Barstool Sports founder briefly spoke about his rocky relationship with ESPN. In 2017, Skipper abruptly canceled Barstool Van Talk after just one episode, citing an inability to distance the show from Barstool. Portnoy labeled Skipper an enemy after the decision and promptly celebrated his unceremonious resignation later that year.
“I don’t know who that is,” Rogan said at the mention of Skipper’s name.
Barstool Van Talk was canceled by ESPN on Oct. 23, 2017. Less than two months later, Skipper resigned from his position as president of ESPN following a cocaine extortion attempt.
“He had to leave ESPN because of a coke dealer?” Rogan asked with surprise. “That’s f*cking so stupid, the guy was doing coke.”
“Maybe I’m naïve,” Portnoy added. “But to be like, ‘yeah, I’ve done coke.’ Who cares?”
“I think in that world, you can’t even admit you did coke,” Rogan said. “It’s a stupid world. It’s a stupid world where you have to pretend to be a fake person.”
When Skipper resigned from ESPN in 2017, he cited substance addiction as the reason, adding that he needed to focus on treatment. Months later, Skipper revealed an extortion attempt led to his departure. Skipper maintained that he resigned and was not fired, but it’s always been curious that he and Disney couldn’t work out a leave of absence to focus on treatment, especially after he joined DAZN as their executive chairman six months after departing ESPN. Currently, Skipper is CEO of Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media.
“Jesus Christ! The guy did good work, so he likes to do a little coke,” Rogan said. “27 years at Disney, washed down the toilet for a little coke. Meanwhile, you look at the body of work that he did, did he do a good job? I don’t know. But if they kept him f*cking hired for that long I would assume he was doing good work. F*cking knuckleheads.”
Ironically for Rogan, his UFC commentary now airs on ESPN, partially because of Skipper’s departure. It’s been documented that Skipper wasn’t a fan of MMA and his abrupt exit opened the door for Dana White to reach a rights deal with ESPN.