Polarizing sports commentator Skip Bayless is officially a former ESPN employee, as his last episode of “First Take” aired on Tuesday morning.
“Thanks to all of you for watching ColdPizza/FirstTake the last 12 years. I love you all, even when you don’t love what I just said,” Bayless tweeted.
The show played a highlight reel of Bayless’ greatest moments — set to Boyz II Men’s sentimental classic “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” — followed by his emotional goodbye, which can be seen above.
It appears Bayless won’t be missed by too many of his former ESPN colleagues. Ryen Russillo and Danny Kanell recently said they aren’t allowed to disagree with Bayless, while other current and former ESPN personalities have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts.
Bye, Felicia https://t.co/qpeK5LcRpw
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) June 20, 2016
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 20, 2016
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) June 20, 2016
Vintage. Smh. Enough. https://t.co/aEcAlJKusu
— Dana Jacobson (@danajacobson) June 20, 2016
“That’s the end of it. It is time to find a new axe to grind if you have made your living ripping him. Find a new act,” Van Pelt said, regarding James winning the NBA title in Cleveland.
Bayless is leaving ESPN to join Fox Sports, where his former ESPN boss Jamie Horowitz is now running the show.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who battled Bayless on “First Take” on a daily basis, promised at ESPN’s upfront presentation last month that the show will be “even better” without Bayless.
“As you can see, I’m alone. I’m all by myself. Because my guy, Skip Bayless, has decided to depart,” Smith said. “It’s MY show now,” the ESPN personality emphasized, and cited a few ways he’ll improve the show. “You will not be hearing about Tim Tebow, or the Dallas Cowboys, or Johnny Manziel.”
Additionally, in the not-too-distant past, popular on-air talent Bill Simmons, Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Keith Olbermann all left ESPN as well.
A replacement for Bayless has not been named.
Check out Bayless’ goodbye above.