ESPN is one of the most powerful networks in all of sports, as it has some of the best personalities in all of sports media. It also consistently produces high-quality TV shows like First Take and Get Up. However, it recently received backlash from fans on Twitter after a war between the network and an $8 million superstar nearly ignited. ESPN, though, quickly did some damage control to ensure that supporters of former NFL punter Pat McAfee remained happy.
Pat McAfee said that ESPN banned its personalities from his show
On the March 12 episode of The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee said that ESPN had banned its personalities from appearing on his show.
This comes after McAfee has worked for ESPN himself. He regularly appeared on College GameDay each of the last two college football seasons and has also been on shows like Get Up. McAfee even previously did some work in the booth, calling college football games during the 2019 season.
“A lot of people are reacting to the ESPN news; I feel like this is just business,” McAfee, who previously worked for Barstool Sports, said on the March 12 episode of his show. “We had a chance to be at Barstool when a similar thing happened with Barstool and ESPN where ESPN employees were no longer allowed to do any Barstool shows. So, this had happened before. I assumed that it would happen.”
This news ended up garnering a lot of attention from people on social media, too.
“Congrats [Pat McAfee] and welcome to the two man club,” former ESPN personality Colin Cowherd tweeted. “I take it as a badge of honor. Have since day one. Also congrats on making millions annually on YouTube and FanDuel. That freedom outweighs everything else. Keep kicking a**.”
However, ESPN ended up responding.
ESPN did some damage control
Richard Deitsch of The Athletic pretty much reported on McAfee’s comments immediately.
“If this turns out to be true — I’ll wait to see what they say — this would be an example of spectacularly dumb decision-making and self-inflicted bad PR,” he tweeted, after saying that he had reached out to ESPN for comment.
Deitsch then later reported ESPN’s statement on March 13.
“We didn’t intend to ban ESPN guests from the show and there is certainly no ban going forward,” the statement read, per Deitsch. “We are in the midst of figuring out the best process for future guests to appear on outside platforms and Pat will continue to make regular appearances on ESPN shows.”
It’s hard to say what ESPN intended to do with the reported mandate, but it appears that Pat McAfee and the network will still have some sort of relationship moving forward. This is probably a good thing for ESPN, too, as McAfee has become a superstar in the sports media world. No, he probably wouldn’t have continuously attacked ESPN in the future had the network actually decided to ban personalities from his show, but there is a good chance that his fans might have.
This is all because of his success, too, as it has given him significant influence in sports media and among sports fans.
Pat McAfee has racked up an excellent net worth and has become a sports media superstar
Pat McAfee was one of the best punters in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. However, after retiring following the 2016 season, McAfee has become one of the biggest stars in sports media.
He has his own radio show that also airs on YouTube, and has accumulated two million followers on Twitter, as well as 1.3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. McAfee has additionally done his work with ESPN, as well as some with the WWE.
This has led to him racking up a nice net worth, too, as Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Pat McAfee is worth $8 million.
Pat McAfee’s success in his post-football career has given him a significant reach and a nice net worth. With his influence in the sports media world right now, ESPN would probably be pretty wise to keep a good working relationship with him.