Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless

Former President Donald Trump is the kind of person who garners some pretty heated reactions. The same can be said of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving these days. Bring the two of them into an argument at the same time and you’re liable to create some fireworks. That was the case on Friday’s episode of Undisputed when Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless got pretty heated while discussing the reactions to Irving and Trump and their antisemitic situations.

The two were discussing Houston Texans owner Bob McNair’s comments in 2017 regarding NFL players who knelt during the national anthem. McNair, who opposed the social justice protest, said that the owners “can’t have the inmates running the prison,” which was about as tone-deaf and offensive as you could possibly get.

McNair was not punished or censured in any notable way. When Bayless asked Sharpe what he thinks should have happened to McNair and whether or not he should have been forced to sell the team, Sharpe got fired up about the reality of the situation.

“Nothing happened,” said Sharpe. “It wasn’t what should have happened! Nothing happened! That’s what the problem was — nothing happened!

“It seems to me that they can say things, and their actions, they’re not bound by the same restrictions as we are when we say things or do things. And that is the problem a large portion of the black community have.”

Bayless responded by saying that he would like to think that if things were flipped and a white athlete shared a movie that was “venomously anti-black,” they would lose their entire career. However, Sharpe wasn’t feeling the comparison and instead shifted to comments made by Trump regarding American Jews and Israel.

“After what President Trump has said about the American Jews versus the Israeli Jews and what he’s tweeted and what he’s posted, and he ain’t got canceled yet,” Sharpe said. “So don’t give me that if this would’ve happened, if that would’ve happened because we’ve seen in instances when they have done things. They’ve never been canceled!”

“They cancel us, no questions asked!” Sharpe continued. “There’s not enough apology. Kyrie can get on his bended knee, he can come to the people in the most humble way he know how, bow head humble on bent knee, and that’s still not enough for some!”

That’s a fair assessment to make and it’s hard to argue with the reality that Irving has been punished in a way that many other pro athletes and team owners have not.

The only caveat that is worth noting is that it stands to reason that many people who were okay with Kyrie Irving being punished for promoting an antisemitic movie would LOVE to see Donald Trump punished for the many, many, many offensive and damaging things he has said. That’s less a lack of desire and more an inability to convince Trump’s supporters to see common decency.

However, the point stands and it’s absolutely fair for Sharpe and other Black sports personalities to feel as though the playing field is very different for them. There’s ample evidence to support that and the anger over the way this situation has played out.

While Irving didn’t receive too many supporters for his promotion of the antisemitic film, the way that the suspension has been handled by the Nets and NBA has come under fire from various people in the sports world, including LeBron James, Darius Slay, Ed Reed, and ESPN’s Jay Williams.

[shannonsharpee, Mediaite]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to