FOX Sports 1 could probably just re-brand itself as the “HTC” (Hot Take Channel), and nobody would know the difference. With a lineup that features Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock on the same show, feathers are bound to get rustled and takes are sure to be had.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that those hot takes are good takes. It also doesn’t mean that rustling feathers is the right way to go about entertaining people.
Just ask Shannon Sharpe, who’s a three-time Super Bowl champion and an NFL Hall of Famer. He’s supported Kaepernick against the Ravens’ handling of the quarterback and Michael Vick’s well-meaning comments. He’s also the Co-Host of Undisputed on FS1, and even he finds a skit (more so a caricature) on Whitlock’s show, Speak For Yourself, over the top.
Here’s the angle in question from Whitlock:
Keep in mind, this segment hasn’t yet aired, so the full context of what’s going on here is still an unknown.
That didn’t stop Sharpe, and others, from expressing outrage over the impersonation, though. In fact, he went as far as to call it unacceptable and he said he was going to take it up with the very head of the network.
Keep in mind, the main outrage over the picture is that at first glance, it appears to be a white man impersonating a black man, Colin Kaepernick. Of course, Kaepernick is part of a national discussion involving race and the way minorities are treated in the United States (no, it’s not just about football), so the first impression of this picture was that it was in poor taste.
Sharpe has joined the likes of Cam Newton, Von Miller and Aaron Rodgers as supporters of Kaepernick. Whitlock seems to veer further than NFL exec Tom Coughlin and an anonymous GM who have called out Kaepernick in recent weeks.
The move also comes just a day after former Raven Ray Lewis announced the reason Baltimore passed on signing Kaepernick was due to a tweet from the quarterback’s girlfriend.
It’s worth noting that TMZ did some digging into the matter and it turns out that the Kaepernick impersonator is actually Kid from Kid N’ Play (aka Christopher Reid), so perhaps there’s more than what meets the eye to this moment on FS1.
Still, Kaepernick and his protest is a topic that most media companies would tread lightly on considering the heated nature of the conversation on both sides of the argument.
Then again, FS1 isn’t trying to be known for treading lightly, is it?