Things got a little heated on Undisputed earlier today.
Skip Bayless and Jenny Taft got into a war of words when Taft called out Bayless for criticizing Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy’s appearance.
The two got into a significant back and forth on the air, which sparked Shannon Sharpe to try to break the tension and get them back on track with the show.
The interaction sparked a lot of responses on social media, as you can imagine. Many were applauding Taft for having the guts to stand up to Bayless and speak her mind on a show where he gets paid $8 million per year. It’s too often hard for women in sports to be seen as credible because of the blatant misogyny that still permeates throughout the sports world.
So, for many, Taft speaking her mind at that moment was bigger than a disagreement about McCarthy, it was a woman in a male-dominated industry refusing to be shouted down. Also, many people hate Skip Bayless because he’s Skip Bayless and does Skip Bayless things. So seeing him owned on national television was the cherry on top of their sundae.
Sadly, the opinions of women in sports have been stifled for far too long — on-camera, behind the scenes, and in meeting rooms. When women do manage to work their way onto big-time sports shows, it’s often in the context of soliciting opinions from the men while being denied the space to offer their own.
Jemele Hill got on Twitter and aired out that one of her friends has had to deal with Bayless doing this type of stuff to her in the past. The friend she was talking about was likely Cari Champion, who used to be a host for ESPN’s First Take when Bayless worked with Stephen A. Smith.
Champion would quote the tweet herself with her sentiments.
Shoutout to Taft for claiming her space and doing something that was much needed — putting a man in his place.