Skip Bayless’ 12-year run at ESPN ended yesterday, as the longtime
troll journalist emotionally left his post at First Take for FOX Sports after inking a massive deal a few months ago. And after a bunch of ESPN employees WENT IN on Bayless following some tweets about LeBron James folowing the Cavs’ NBA title Sunday night, it’s safe to say no one’s going to miss ol’ Skip.
And after hearing what Ryen Russillo said on his radio show, Russillo & Kanell, here’s another reason people probably clapped as Bayless walked out of Bristol for a final time—because, according to Russillo, no one at the Worldwide Leader could ever disagree with Skip.
Per Pro Football Talk:
Russillo: “Here’s my thing, If I had a position where I kept saying Tom Brady was the worst all the time and there’s really a lot of evidence that tells you he’s not the worst – or if I say Brady’s Super Bowl, you know, he could have done it without David Patten, that kind of stuff. If [Dan] LeBatard went out and said “I can’t believe Russillo said this, or Mike & Mike can’t believe Russillo said this, I would be OK with this, but I may disagree with them, but I would be OK with it. The problem is when you disagree with Skip, you’re not allowed to. Then he gets mad at you about it. So like, nobody wants to deal with it. And that’s why when the LeBron stuff comes up, if you’re going to be so clearly doctoring the results to keep pushing that you don’t like LeBron or you don’t think he’s any good, then go ahead and keep doing it because it’s clearly great for business, but you can’t get mad at other opinion people for being like ‘Well, that’s just insane and I don’t even know if you believe it.’ That’s always been my point with any of that stuff.”
Kanell: “Isn’t there a time, where you have to go ‘I was wrong’. Isn’t there a time? It’s probably not after the NBA Finals when LeBron was just so dominant.
Russillo: But that’s not good for business. It’s not good for business. You’re right, Danny, but it’s not good for business. And do you know what? Business is good, so I respect that part of it, but we’re all big boys, we all say stuff, and all of us, since we’re opinion guys, disagree with each other all the time. But when you disagree with Skip, it’s handled a different way and a lot of us are just like, whatever. So that’s why we never bring it up.
Kanell: Well, we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Doesn’t sound like there’s much love for Bayless from Ryen Russillo, huh?
Following the commentary, an ESPN spokesperson forwarded a statement from Russillo to PFT regarding what he said on-air:
“What I referenced yesterday was something personal between me and Skip,” Russillo said. “It had nothing to do with ESPN policy.” It’s a fair point, but there’s a huge difference between “policy” and “practice.” If in practice, criticism of Skip Bayless triggered internal complaints from Bayless that were supported directly or indirectly by management, “ESPN policy” is irrelevant.
OK, so all this tells me is that Russillo shares the sentiment of pretty much every sports fan who has ever watched Skip Bayless on TV—he’s an outspoken, stubborn, narcissistic talking head who he’s happy isn’t with ESPN any longer. Can any of us really disagree?