As a veteran broadcaster and a pro football Hall-of-Famer, Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe can offer an interesting perspective on Draymond Green’s war against the old media. And after Richard Jefferson aligned with Green’s “new media” takeover last week, Sharpe fired back Monday morning.
In the latest episode of Michelle Beadle’s What Did I Miss? podcast, Jefferson claimed recent athletes are “getting into the media space to set the record straight, to give a more honest retired players viewpoint.” According to Jefferson and Green, the influx of athletes into the media will help prevent broad generalities and hot takes from dominating sports shows.
But Jefferson isn’t just ready to get rid of Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and other more traditional sports talkers. In fact, Jefferson sees value in keeping them around, handing them the task of talking about the sports he has no interest in covering as a former NBA player.
“You need them because I don’t want to f*cking talk about football,” Jefferson said. “That sh*t is so hard. They have to talk about everything, so they have to use generalities. I couldn’t do Stephen A.’s job, I couldn’t do Skip Bayless’s job. I couldn’t do that. I say I couldn’t as in I don’t want to
Sharpe ripped Jefferson’s take Monday morning, explaining that when he teamed up with Bayless on Undisputed, he “immersed” himself in all sports to ensure he was well-versed and well-rounded. And if Jefferson, Green, and others aren’t capable of doing the same, maybe sports media isn’t the right career path for them.
Shannon Sharpe calls Richard Jefferson's media approach "lazy" pic.twitter.com/pKzfiaSbIY
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) June 20, 2022
“You’re being lazy, Richard!” Sharpe ranted. “You should want to go out and learn more about football. I wanted to learn more about basketball so I watched intently, every single game so I can talk about football, I can talk about basketball. I can talk about Juneteenth, I can talk about George Floyd because I read, I’ve immersed myself in that. And I feel very comfortable when I sit out here and that cameras on me, I feel very confident that I’m talking with a pretty good degree of certainty, I feel very comfortable in what I’m saying.”
Sharpe should be commended for transforming himself into someone who can cover more than the sport he played. But between game coverage, podcasts, sports radio, and debate shows, there should be room for the media that wants to focus on one sport and those who can cover multiple.
Troy Aikman covers the NFL, there’s no appetite to hear him talk about basketball. Jeff Van Gundy covers the NBA, we don’t need him to also cover the NFL. Jefferson and Green can stick to the NBA and still be media assets, but they’re not about to supplant the “old media” that way.