Thursday, June 20, 2024

No beef with Pat McAfee despite reports [Update]

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Update March 9: Stephen A. Smith says there’s no beef between him and fellow ESPN talking head Pat McAfee.

“There is no dispute whatsoever. Pat McAfee is my teammate. Pat McAfee and I work together on ESPN,” Smith said. “There is no banishment from First Take or any other show. He is more than welcome to come on First Take in the future and I’m gonna be more than welcome to come on his show

“I don’t know how many times I’m gonna have to say this but I’m gonna try this one more time, not just relying on a statement or a quote that I issued through ESPN. But I’m going to look into the cameras and say this to you, nationally and globally: I root for my teammates. I root for my colleagues. I don’t root against anybody. The people out there who do that are idiots. A rising tide lifts all boats.”

ESPN talking heads Pat McAfee and Stephen A. Smith recently engaged in an explosive phone call over creative differences that escalated to the point where the former Indianapolis Colts punter called the latter a “motherf*cker,” according to a New York Post exclusive.

The argument came from a project that Smith will be doing on ESPN in the future and is executive producing the segment through his own production company, the Post reported. After the spat, Smith banned McAfee from appearing on his show, First Take in the future, according to the report.

McAfee previously would appear every Tuesday during football season to provide commentary but said he was not aware of a ban, according to the Post. Smith stated there never was one in the first place, per the story.

Both sides indicated that their beef had been resolved, the Post reported.

Both McAfee and Smith have been successful in their respective shows for ESPN, bringing in a record-high 496,000 viewers for First Take last year and 298 million views across all platforms for The Pat McAfee Show since being produced through ESPN.

“We are No.1 and he has absolutely contributed to us remaining No.1. McAfee was asked to come on each Tuesday through the Super Bowl and he did just that, kicking ass each time he came on the air,” Smith said in an email to the Post. “If McAfee wants to be on First Take next season, he will be on First Take. I love winners and McAfee has proven he wins — which helps ME win. I don’t know how many times I have to tell folks that he’s trail-blazed a path into a new era for so many of us. I’m grateful to have him as a part of my team and the ESPN Family. And I’m looking forward to having him on for years to come. I sincerely hope that I will not have to repeat myself on this nonsense again!”

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