PAT McAfee has responded to the backlash hit his way following his huge ESPN contract while the sports giants have laid off a long list of stars.
McAfee, 36, is set to reportedly receive a five-year, $85million contract with ESPN — the same network that has axed 20 on-air talent personalities.
ESPN let go of ex-basketball star Jalen Rose as well as NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, NFL reporter Suzy Kolber and boxing talent Max Kellerman — among 20 others.
As a result, some sports fans on social media have seemingly pointed the finger at McAfee and his contract, amid ESPN’s layoffs.
And the former NFL All-Pro punter turned broadcaster has taken notice of the heat coming his way online.
McAfee spoke about the situation with ESPN, post on twitter that he’s “reflecting about our show’s journey while I was getting murdered on the internet today.”
After thanking his colleagues at The Pat McAfee Show, the 36-year-old wrote: “We’re very pumped to be joining ESPN and our goal is that “Mass exits” are never a thing again (and) we hope to help that .
“Obviously that’s a lofty goal but, that’s how I truly look at life.”
McAfee then shared his sentiment toward the stars who lost their jobs at ESPN.
“I wish we could’ve worked alongside a lot of the folks that got released today.
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“Some absolute legends, that we all respect, in the sports media world were trending today for losing jobs.
“That sucks.. no matter how you slice it.
He later concluded: “We’re gonna continue to control the things we can control.
“(We’ll) try to do daily sports coverage in an entertaining and informative fashion.
“And I’ll be thankful for all of the opportunities that have been earned thru a lot of hard work and commitment from the group of dudes I get to call coworkers.”
After playing eight seasons in the NFL and retiring in 2016, McAfee has transitioned to the media world.
In May, McAfee walked away from a four-year, $120 million contract he signed with Fan Duel in 2021, in order to sign a new deal with ESPN.
The deal will see The Pat McAfee Show air simultaneously on ESPN’s YouTube channel, ESPN, and ESPN+.
He already appears on “College GameDay” and some college football alt-broadcasts with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions for ESPN.
The Pat McAfee show is expected to stay on Youtube, but the details of how long and what the show will look like are unclear.