ESPN Employees Reportedly Criticize Stephen A. Smith For Interviewing Clay Travis; OutKick Founder Calls Woke Outrage B.S.

Videos by OutKick

Sports media’s liberal echo chamber lashed out at ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith after he interviewed one of the industry’s most successful and muscular pundits, OutKick founder Clay Travis.

It all started when the ESPN analyst and sports media legend dropped a new episode of his “Know Mercy” podcast, featuring Travis as his guest.

Stephen A. Smith Faces Backlash From ESPN Over Clay Travis Interview

So how did the same liberal industry hacks that call for the restricting of free speech react to the intellectually fruitful conversation?

They predictably lost their cool.

Just one day after the video interview between Clay and Stephen A. dropped, Awful Announcing owner Ben Koo reported, via anonymous sources, that ESPN talent was upset and questioning why Stephen A. Smith invited Clay Travis on his pod.

The report also took a subtle jab at Stephen A., faulting SAS for acting beyond ESPN’s ethical guidelines by talking to Clay.

WATCH: Clay Travis Tells Stephen A. Smith Why He Refuses To Bow To Cancel Culture

Quoting a tweet that cited frustration at ESPN, Koo tweeted on Tuesday, under anonymous sourcing:

“Stephen A has largely been paid and been playing by his own rules. ESPN folks have long understood and accepted this.

“His interview yesterday with ESPN’s biggest antagonist [Clay Travis] has had a major impact on how he’s seen internally. ‘Bad teammate’ is the kindest of what I’ve heard.”

Despite being rumored, it’s highly predictable that ESPN would castigate Stephen A. Smith for speaking to Clay, but to call the network veteran some kind of “bad teammate” over the interview was the worst take to come out of the Worldwide Leader In Sports since Kendrick Perkins’ last appearance.

More Outcry Spawns From Interview

Rather than promoting a discussion applauded by many as a major “reaching across the aisle” moment, the disgruntled folks at ESPN and typical woke sports writers are now looking to cancel Stephen A.

Koo, the main source in the Stephen A. rumors, was no exception.

Tuesday afternoon, Clay responded to Koo’s report. And since subtext is for cowards, Clay openly called out Koo’s report as B.S.; defended Stephen A.’s decision to bring him on the podcast; and called Koo a “tubby.”

Speaking of limiting speech, Koo turned off the comments in his response. Koo also dodged mentioning Clay’s name in his tweet because words are violence.


Stephen A. Defends His Decision

While Clay and Stephen A. Smith surely disagree on key political issues, the two understood throughout the discussion that it’s all love in the name of competitive sports and sports commentary.

Like two dudes sitting beachside, drinking a pair of Bud Lights Modelos, Clay and Stephen A. enjoyed a relaxed, amiable, hour-plus discussion.

For a video that has a 1,000+ like/13 dislike ratio (4/18/23), you’d think it wouldn’t spawn this much controversy …

Know Mercy Podcast / Stephen A. Smith (YouTube)

Even Stephen A. defended his interview Tuesday morning.

Smith tweeted,

“Many people lack a willingness to sit down and talk to someone they know they may disagree with on many fronts. I’m glad I took the time to sit down with Clay Travis and talk about that, among much else.”

“All the people who were mad at Stephen A. Smith for bringing him on, are the exact people who need to hear this interview,” read the podcast’s top user comment, perfectly highlighting the vital message behind rejecting the principles of cancel culture and woke critics.

Kudos have to be given to Stephen A., who interviewed Clay in all probability against the counsel of some within his circle.

SAS took on the most outspoken competitor to ESPN’s partisan coverage and still had a productive discussion, completely removed from pre-existing discourse. If only that were the standard in media these days.

And for the record, Clay is indeed banned from ESPN and CNN for his comments on sports, free speech and boobs. If you didn’t know that… welcome to the party.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the ESPN buzz:

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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