Pat McAfee Says ESPN Bans Appearances On His Show, ESPN Responds

Videos by OutKick

Pat McAfee said during his Friday show that ESPN created a mandate banning its employees from making an appearance, but ESPN said its intentions weren’t to ban guests and “there are no bans going forward.”

“They are not allowed on the show … teammates, friends, people I’ve known for years — not allowed anymore,” he said during The Pat McAfee Show on Friday. “Don’t come, can’t do it.

McAfee said he believed his show was singled out in this “mandate,” but mentioned that it had happened previously with ESPN and Barstool.

“We had a chance to be at Barstool when a similar thing happened where ESPN employees were no longer allowed to do any Barstool shows …,” he said.

ESPN football analyst Dan Orlovsky, a regular guest of McAfee’s mentioned in the video clip, replied to McAfee’s tweet about the situation with a gif.

“Me missing you already,” Orlovsky’s gif reads.

During the show, which broadcasts on SiriusXM and YouTube, McAfee said he got a text and follow-up call informing him of the new “mandate” banning ESPN employees from appearing on his show.

McAfee said he wouldn’t stop calling or texting his friends who happen to work at ESPN, which led the crew to test the theory: does calling or FaceTiming a friend who works for ESPN, while live/on-air, qualify as having them on the show?

McAfee FaceTimed ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and when he answered, McAfee aggressively said: “You’re not allowed to be on here! … Why did you answer?!”

“Are we on air?” Helwani replied. He did not make a peep after he realized McAfee was on-air.

McAfee screamed, “yes!” before there was a few seconds of silence — he went on to say, “I set you up, that’s on me — I apologize.”

Helwani texted McAfee and said, “Not Cool, come on. Why are you doing that?”

In short, it seemed to indicate there was a ban at that time and that it did cause some concern with any form of an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show.

McAfee was asked if this means he won’t go on ESPN anymore.

“Well, now, yeah, do I have to? I guess I would because I spent a million dollars traveling around the country working for that company,” he said. “So I guess I would have to maybe not go on their thing ever again, too.”

On Saturday, ESPN said it did not intend to ban guests from his show and there is no ban going forward, in a comment to OutKick’s Bobby Burack:

“We didn’t intend to ban ESPN guests from the show and there is certainly no ban going forward. 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.”

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. I know clay has had Fbomb and Herbstriet on wins and losses but I wonder if ESPN doesn’t have a ban on Outkick? Same with CBS sports. I missed hearing Charles Davis this year. We know Barstool has a ban since Kayce won’t come on anymore but to be fair she is starting to go woke.

  2. Who cares about ESPN. McAfee’s show is awesome and who needs ESPN anyway. Unless you want a lecture on why white people are racist there aren’t too many ESPN personalities one would even want on a show. Jay Bilas, Dan Dakich, maybe Chris Fowler, that’s about it really.

  3. It is not the direct ban by ESPN that is important.
    It is the indirect ban. If someone wants to work at ESPN one day then they will know that working for Outkick will mean they are not allowed in for an interview.

    This is part of “cancel culture” that isn’t understood.

    Your social media AND work history are examined to see if you are progressive enough to get an interview. For face talent this can be overcome if you are profitable enough. But, for all of the people who work behind the face talent. This is a career killer in sports media.

  4. ESPN is dead to me except for game broadcasts — and I almost feel like a sell-out doing that. They are a vile, divisive, despicable group of cowards who’s goal it is to inject their politics into the souls of their viewers. Unconsionable.

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