Shannon Sharpe is no longer on Fox Sports or Undisputed, but it seems like someone doesn’t even want his name to get mentioned on the show.
Last Wednesday, new Undisputed contributor Richard Sherman was discussing Travis Kelce’s availability ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs season opener with the Detroit Lions and he fittingly cited the name “Shannon.”
“Even the Hall of Famers say he’s the best tight end to ever play,” Sherman said. “I sit with Tony Gonzalez on the desk on Amazon for Thursday Night Football and Tony Gonzalez consistently says, ‘He’s the best tight end to ever play.’ And I’ve heard Shannon say something similar to that. When you have Hall of Fame tight ends saying, a guy currently playing is the best to ever play, I mean, that speaks for itself.”
“Shannon” was in reference to Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, who was Skip Bayless’s full-time debate partner on Undisputed until he reached a buyout agreement with Fox Sports in June before joining Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take. The reference was timely and seemed harmless enough. Sherman was touting Sharpe as an expert on the tight end position, he wasn’t praising the Hall of Famer’s prowess as a debate show host. Still, someone at Fox Sports appeared to take issue with the name “Shannon” getting a mention on Undisputed, because this is how the episode reaired Thursday morning.
“Even the Hall of Famers say he’s the best tight end to ever play. I sit with Tony Gonzalez on the desk on Amazon for Thursday Night Football and Tony Gonzalez consistently says, ‘He’s the best tight end to ever play.’ When you have Hall of Fame tight ends saying, a guy currently playing is the best to ever play, I mean, that speaks for itself.”
Interestingly, no mention of “Shannon.” Similarly, Undisputed uploaded a video of the segment to their YouTube page and scrubbed Sherman’s “Shannon” reference from the clip.
Clearly, Fox Sports doesn’t have a blanket policy against referencing names from other outlets, as proved by Sherman citing Amazon, Thursday Night Football, and Tony Gonzalez in the same thought as Shannon. But “Shannon” was the only name to get scrubbed.
The near seven-year partnership between Sharpe and Bayless undisputedly ended on a sour note. But not allowing the name “Shannon” to be uttered on Undisputed seems like an immature reaction to the Sharpe-Bayless divorce, from whoever ordered the directive. Contrarily, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe have no issue with the name “Skip” getting mentioned on First Take.