Shannon Sharpe Pat McAfee Credit: The Pat McAfee Show

Shannon Sharpe made his first appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, and used the opportunity to voice his support for McAfee amid turmoil in his first year at ESPN.

In particular, as someone building his own digital content platform with Shay Shay Media and The Volume, Sharpe praised McAfee for blazing a unique trail through YouTube and podcasting and creating a first-of-its-kind partnership with ESPN.

“A lot of people don’t want to see you win,” Sharpe said. “And I said, ‘why?’ Do you understand what he’s been able to do?”

“You want to see him succeed because that way, it shows people the model that he’s doing actually works. Because he’s the first to do it. As big as he is, if it doesn’t work, what do you think the chances are with your little platform that you’re gonna be able to do it?”

Sharpe and McAfee continued their conversation discussing their respective controversies with recent interviews.

McAfee hosted Aaron Rodgers throughout the NFL season and got into hot water after Rodgers questioned whether Jimmy Kimmel was involved with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. On a smaller scale, Sharpe brought on some criticism after an episode of Club Shay Shay with comedian Katt Williams after Williams came for several other entertainers across Hollywood.

As two retired NFL athletes taking over sports media (and potentially the two future faces of ESPN), it may not come as a surprise that Sharpe and McAfee are friends.

But on a deeper level, the two bring a similar approach to the industry. They both built monster platforms away from big corporations and are thriving. And they both are newsmakers, making headlines with big-time interviews that used to go to the likes of Oprah or Bob Costas.

It’s a new era for sports media. McAfee and Sharpe are leading it, and they are aligned.

[The Pat McAfee Show on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.