“Undisputed” co-hosts Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless have certainly had their public clashes, one of which may have even led to the former NFL tight end’s departure – but when it came time for goodbyes on Tuesday, there was nothing but love between the two.
“Skip Bayless. You fought for me, bro,” Sharpe began, addressing his co-host across the table at the Fox Sports 1 studio where the two have locked horns since Sharpe joined the show in 2016. “I’m here because of you. You allowed me to share the stage with you, you allowed me to share the platform. I’m going to cry in the car but I’m not going to cry now.”
Sharpe was wrong about that, as he began to tear up and dab his eyes with a tissue in the next moment:
“The opportunity that you gave me, to become what I became – I’m very indebted to you,” Sharpe said. “I’ll never forget what you did for me. You’ve helped me grow more than you’ll ever know.”
At that point, Bayless also began to show emotion: “OK, this is not easy for me, either,” he said, before Sharpe interrupted him with “one more thing” – which is funny, since Sharpe loudly complained during their most recent heated exchange that Bayless wouldn’t let him finish his monologue without interruption.
“All I ask,” Sharpe said, continuing to dab his eyes, “is that when you lay your head on that pillow at night, know I gave everything I had.”
“You did,” Bayless said.
Sharpe vs. Bayless brawls were a regular part of the special sauce for “Undisputed,” which often feature their clashing points of view in its promos. But an altercation from early this year spilled into the news when Bayless tweeted about the status of the football game involving Denny Hamlin, rather than focusing on the stricken player’s health.
Sharpe took issue, and skipped the taping of “Undisputed” the following day. When he returned, the two had it out.
“There’s been a lot of speculation to why I wasn’t on air yesterday,” Sharpe said on the Jan. 3 episode. “Skip tweeted something, and although I disagree with the tweet, and hopefully Skip would take it down” – which is where Bayless interjected.
“Timeout, I’m not gonna take it down, because I stand by what I tweeted,” Bayless said.
Frustrated, Sharpe responded, “I can’t even get through a monologue without you interrupting!”
The New York Post first reported that Sharpe would be departing the show in June, and though no reason was given, it was widely speculated that their feud over the Hamlin tweet touched off a confrontation about who controls decisions regarding subject matter.
Sharpe has not announced his next move, and it’s not been announced who will replace him. Bayless is on a four-year contract that runs through 2025.