Pat McAfee appears to have the full support of his ESPN colleagues after just a few short months. First there was Adam Schefter sharing Aaron Rodgers' latest anti-vax promo on The Pat McAfee Show last week. Now, in the wake of the report that McAfee pays Rodgers to appear on his show, Stephen A. Smith carved out some special time on First Take to tell McAfee that anyone who has a problem with it can kiss his ass. Twice.
"I would like you to play this soundbyte when you and Aaron Rodgers are on the air together today. I want you to tell the public out there whose been critical and questioning ya'll relationship to kiss your ass. They wish they had the relationship, okay? All of these people... tell them to kiss your ass twice. That's right. Quote Stephen A., okay? This is ridiculous. Anybody in this business knows that all of us, anytime, you can have a relationship with an elite player who is unapologetic about the commentary he provides. All of us would want those relationships. Props to you for having it. And the hell with all of those naysayers. I'm saying that. Pat McAfee's not saying that. I'm saying it."
So Stephen A. Smith said it. But what exactly was "it?" Is this an endorsement of paying guests to come on shows? Is this common practice? And to celebrate Aaron Rodgers being "unapologetic about the commentary he provides?" Gross.
The weirdest part of this whole thing is that it's coming now. Tuesday. Days after this newscycle ended and it's been reduced to some flippant comments on Twitter. McAfee didn't face any repercussions for what he admitted to the New York Post's Andrew Marchand. Nor did any of his employers have anything to say about him calling Marchand a "rat" for publishing something McAfee had directly confirmed in the first place.
Who is Stephen A. Smith even taking about here? At this point it seems unlikely that either he or McAfee actually know, but the point had to be made. Whatever they have to do for content is necessary and anyone with a problem with this doesn't matter.