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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Pat McAfee accuses ESPN executive of sabotaging his show

Pat McAfee in a tank top

Grab your popcorn, because the drama between Pat McAfee and ESPN is just beginning.

McAfee announced in May that his show would be moving to ESPN in the fall. His daily talk show, which is available in both audio and visual formats, first began airing on ESPN in early September as part of a 5-year, $85 million deal. There were questions at the time about whether ESPN would change McAfee.

Now we are about to find out how well their relationship will go.

Earlier this week, McAfee’s show drew attention because of what Aaron Rodgers said to spark a controversy with Jimmy Kimmel. On Thursday, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that McAfee’s ratings aren’t great and that the host isn’t worth the headache.

McAfee is well aware of the negative stories being written about him. On his show Friday, he specifically accused ESPN executive Norby Williamson of trying to “sabotage” the show.

“Now there are some people actively trying to sabotage us from within ESPN. More specifically, I believe Norby Williamson is the guy who is attempting to sabotage our program. I’m not 100 percent sure. That is just seemingly the only human that has information, and then somehow that information gets leaked and it’s wrong. And it sets a narrative of what our show is,” McAfee said.

“Are we just going to combat that from a rat every single time? I don’t know.”

McAfee said that there were people who never wanted his show on ESPN and that those people have actively tried to sabotage the show.

“Some people didn’t necessarily love the old addition of ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ to the ESPN family. There’s a lot of those. We’ve heard them anonymously quoted in The Washington Post, in the New York Post, in The New York Times, in the LA Times, in Wall Street Journal. And they’re never like, ‘ya, love the show.’ It’s always like little things to try to tear us down.”

McAfee specifically said his issues with Williamson, who is one of the highest-ranking ESPN officials, go back to 2018.

“That guy left me in his office for 45 minutes — no-showed me — in 2018, so this guy has had zero respect for me,” McAfee said of Williamson.

OutKick’s Bobby Burack says that McAfee was hired over Williamson’s head and that Williamson didn’t want the host.

The whole situation has Marchand saying he doesn’t think McAfee will end up lasting all five years of his contract with ESPN.


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