Stephen A. Smith Clarifies That He’d Like Shannon Sharpe On ‘First Take’ But Not As A Full-Time Co-Host

Shannon Sharpe is leaving Fox Sports, and Stephen A. Smith is interested in the longtime NFL tight end bringing his television talents to First Take … if it’s under the right circumstances. In a clip from Smith’s podcast last week, the ESPN personality expressed that he’d love for Sharpe to join him on the desk once his time debating Skip Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed comes to an end.

Despite this, Smith once again addressed Sharpe’s situation on the most recent episode of his pod. While he made clear that he wants to have Sharpe as a member of the First Take family, he made it a point to say that he wouldn’t want him to come on as a full-time co-host at the expense of the number of the other personalities on the show.

“Let me revisit a conversation that I had last week or a discussion that I had last week about Shannon Sharpe, real quick,” Smith said. “I meant what I said, I respect the brother. If he wants to come on First Take, I’m here for it. I support him. He wants to go elsewhere, that’s fine. He wants to get his own show and he’s got his own aspirations, I’m fine with that, too. Got a lot of respect, again, for Shannon Sharpe.”

Smith went on to say that, despite this, he loves the list of contributors that appear on First Take and spar with him on a daily basis, shouting out Ryan Clark, Keyshawn Johnson, Marcus Spears, Bart Scott, Dan Orlovsky, Jeff Saturday (if he returns to television), Mina Kimes, Kimberly Martin, and Michael Irvin.

“I welcome Shannon Sharpe to First Take, but it would be in the mix of being a part of the family,” Smith said. “I like the potpourri of contributors. I like the action and the action and the fun on the show. Adding people into the mix is one thing, changing the complete makeup and formula of the show is entirely different, and that ain’t happening for anyone.”