When Skip Bayless left ESPN’s “First Take” for a gig at Fox Sports, the talk of the sports media world was who would take over his seat next to Stephen A. Smith. While no decision has been announced yet, and Smith is on vacation this week, ESPN had an all-female panel filling in on Wednesday’s edition of the shoutfest.
And that (albeit temporary) move, has sparked an onslaught of sexist remarks on social media.
Comments on Twitter range from comparisons to “The View” to photos of a “First Take” hat in a trash can.
When TheWrap asked ESPN about the backlash, vice president of production Marcia Keegan reminded that “there were a lot of positive comments. … Unfortunately, it’s something all women in the public eye go through.”
And viewers should get used to the female cast, at least for the remainder of the week.
Sarah Spain, Jen Lada, Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Annie Apple filled in on Wednesday. Thursday’s episode features Fagan, McManus and Spain alongsite host Cary Chow. And Friday’s show will include another woman, Anita Marks, along with Ohm Youngmisuk and Freddie Coleman.
Keegan explained how the all-female panel came about.
“We were looking for substitutes and, you know Sarah and Kate, Anita Marks and Jane, on occasion, fill in. The names were all there, and there was talk about Kate and Sarah, and then I said, ‘We should add Jane and just do the trifecta,'” Keegan said.
“It was very natural and organic. There was no stunt aspect to it.”
Check out some of the most egregious tweets below.
— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) June 29, 2016
ESPN giving different people a chance to be on First Take is cool and all, but this lineup is not it.
— Tupac Chopra (@O_Shaw) June 29, 2016
All female First Take and they talking about the ????????
— Andrew Martin (@Marty_Digital) June 29, 2016
@FirstTake worst panel ever they belong in the kitchen.
— andres rios (@bytrios) June 29, 2016
— Jordan Jacobs (@jordan_jacobs19) June 29, 2016
— Saad (@Homicidalswag) June 29, 2016
— moe john (@MauriceBoyd4) June 29, 2016
— ViolentMenace (@teehaumus) June 29, 2016
— つ ◕_◕ ༽つ (@TheJayHimself) June 29, 2016
— H.P. (@YaBestBoy) June 29, 2016
First Take is ???????? without Skip
— WJCIII (@wcrane53) June 29, 2016
— Robert Underlee (@RUnderlee) June 29, 2016
Y'all done fucked around an ruined first take smh. https://t.co/wQUUHF9sft
— Alex (@ohmyalex_) June 29, 2016
@FirstTake I hope your ratings drop like a stone. Your a joke now even more so with a bunch of jabbering females calling The Flash a puppy
— Joshua (@Jaushkevin) June 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd suggested on Tuesday that ESPN’s Max Kellerman will be named Bayless’ permanent replacement.
“Max Kellerman’s leaving [‘SportsNation’] … he’s gonna be on ‘First Take,'” Cowherd said in comments that were broadcast on Periscope.