Shannon Sharpe’s imminent breakup with his ‘Undisputed’ co-host Skip Bayless is the result of a ‘power struggle’ between the two FS1 stars, according to retired NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley.
‘This wasn’t hard to figure out, if you had the proper information,’ said Wiley, a former FS1 host, said on his YouTube show.
‘Because I used to work there, I was privy to that information that most of you guys weren’t. So, putting this all together, what happened was, there was a power struggle. There was a power dynamic that shifted right before their very eyes and they didn’t want to adjust to.
‘And I say ”they” because I’m sure Shannon wanted to adjust it, it’s just Skip was stuck in his ways,’ he continued. ‘So, now Skip is going to be stuck without the popular cohost named Shannon Sharpe.’
As the New York Post reported, Sharpe has reached a buyout with Fox Sports, and will be leaving after the NBA Finals. What’s more, he’ll be taking his popular podcast off Fox Sports’ platform as he makes a clean break from the network.
Bayless and Sharpe began working together in 2016, but are now headed for an imminent split
Marcellus Wiley (pictured) addressed the split on his own YouTube show recently
‘Skip Bayless runs that show and he’s always run that show. And by the stripes on his sleeve, he should run that show,’ Wiley said.
But while the 71-year-old Bayless has more power within the network, due to his seniority and longer history of success, the 54-year-old Sharpe is a rising star – and that’s a threat to his co-host, according to Wiley.
‘Shannon started to get way more popular – how about this: more popular than Skip Bayless, some would say,’ Wiley said. ‘Shannon is poppin’, even more than Skip.’
While some FS1 hosts like Colin Cowherd are more flexible, Bayless remains firmly in control of all aspects of ‘Undisputed,’ Wiley claimed.
‘Not only does Skip Bayless make the most money over there, he has the most power in terms of how he runs this show,’ Wiley said. ‘Colin [Cowherd] runs his show, but also Colin will be a little more open minded in terms of his show, a little more. But not Skip, oh no, no, no, no.’
And even with Sharpe’s rising popularity, nobody can supplant Bayless in the show’s hierarchy, Wiley explained: ‘Nothing is changing [because] you still have to be under [Bayless] in terms of the show.’
Many, including Sharpe, took offense at Bayless’ tweet, which was seen as flippant
News of the split hardly came as a surprise. The two grew acrimonious during several on-air debates, including one over Bayless’ ostensibly flippant tweet in the wake of Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest in early January. But it was a personal insult – Bayless’ suggestion in December that Sharpe was somehow jealous of Tom Brady – that may have sealed their fate.
‘The moment Skip claimed Shannon was ‘jealous’ of Tom Brady, and Shannon took his glasses off, that was the moment they were separated,’ Fox Sports host Parker told the Post. ‘Skip even told him to put his glasses back on, and Skip didn’t like that at all.’
Wiley, a former Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers edge rusher, noticed a similar undertone in their broadcasts.
‘They’re not talking like friends,’ Wiley said. ‘They’re not even talking like friends that are beefing. They’re talking like strangers.’