ESPN will handle Pat McAfee, Norby Williamson issue “internally”

The simmer went to full boil on Friday between ESPN and Pat McAfee, with McAfee accusing ESPN executive Norby Wiliamson — on ESPN’s platform — of sabotaging McAfee’s show and being a “rat.”

On Saturday, ESPN issued a statement presumably aimed at defusing the situation.

“No one is more committed to and invested in ESPN’s success than Norby Williamson,” ESPN said. “We are thrilled with the multi-platform success that we have seen from The Pat McAfee Show across ESPN. We will handle this matter internally and have no further comment.”

The use of the word “internally” contrasts sharply with McAfee’s decision to take the beef public.

On Friday, Alex Sherman of CNBC reported that ESPN is looking into the matter, but that ESPN has no plan to suspend McAfee. Instead, ESPN hopes to find a path forward for Williamson and McAfee.

It remains to be seen whether McAfee is similarly inclined. On Saturday morning, he posted without comment a clip from Scarface, in which Al Pacino’s character says this: “What you looking at? You’re all a bunch of fucking assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me, so you can point your fucking fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’ So, what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”

To summarize, Aaron Rodgers made an inflammatory remark about ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday while appearing on McAfee’s show, sparking an ABC vs. ESPN fight under the umbrella of their common parent, Disney. On Friday, McAfee took public aim at a high-level ESPN executive, on ESPN.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens on Monday’s show. Tuesday’s show becomes even more compelling; that’s when Rodgers is due to return to McAfee’s show.

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