Pat McAfee offered no apologies for his remarks directed toward ESPN executive Norby Williamson on Monday and instead lamented dragging another high-level official, Burke Magnus, into the drama.
McAfee said last week Williamson – the executive senior vice president of studio and event production – was among those attempting to “sabotage” his show. The remarks drew immense scrutiny around the show, and it came just hours after Aaron Rodgers created a stir with his comments about Jimmy Kimmel.
Broadcasting from NRG Stadium in Houston ahead of the college football national championship, McAfee joked he did not know “anybody was gonna hear it” because the remarks were on the YouTube and ESPN+ show and not the linear version.
“And the only thing I’m like super bummed out about it all is that a guy we like a lot, a man we watched a game with in his suite, Burke Magnus – who is currently new guy in charge at ESPN right below (chairman Jimmy Pitaro) – I guess he was kind of made to look bad because of what I did and how I did it. I would like to let everybody know, we love Burke Magnus. … We also love Jimmy Pitaro. Love (Disney CEO) Bob Iger,” he said.
“But there is quite a transition era here between the old and the new. And the old don’t like what the new be do. So, there’s certainly gonna be a couple of that but we’re very thankful.”
He thanked the crew that has been with “The Pat McAfee Show” and said he was thankful to ESPN and what the company has done for the show.
The former Indianapolis Colts punter doubled down on his remarks about Williamson.
“Now, there’s certainly people we do not like. Certainly. And they do not like us,” he said. “That’s how it’s going to be. And I don’t take back anything that I said about said person. But the overall storyline about us and ESPN, I think people need to remember (clasps hands) … We are strong, baby.
“We all understand what the future looks like. There’s some old hags that potentially don’t but we will move forward to that.”
ESPN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company addressed McAfee’s remarks last week.
“No one is more committed to and invested in ESPN’s success than Norby Williamson,” ESPN told USA Today. “At the same time, 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.”
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