Shannon Sharpe FOX
(via Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Shannon Sharpe and FOX In Trouble After Julio Jones Call

Yesterday, Shannon Shape called Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones live on UNDISPUTED, and FOX might have to fire their talk show host for his blunder: Sharpe failed to mention to Jones that UNDISPUTED was live, and Jones gave a very candid answer to Sharpe’s inquiry.

The fallout began in earnest for FOX and Sharpe today, however, as the Falcons are reportedly not happy about Sharpe’s call with Jones because of its interference with the organization’s trade negotiations.

“The Falcons, according to sources, believe the interview — where Jones told Sharpe “I’m out of there, man” about Atlanta while also dismissing the Dallas Cowboys as a possible destination — undercut their negotiating position as they try to trade the All-Pro wide receiver to another NFL club.”

via FrontOfficeSports

The Falcons have every right to be pissed. Although Jones had previously requested a trade, the organization now has even less leverage in any trade negotiations than they did prior to the phone call. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk laid out some of the legal implications that could be in play if Jones was in California when he answered the call.

“Then there’s the possibility, theoretically, of criminal liability for Sharpe. In California, both parties to a phone call must consent to the call being recorded or to others listening in. Penalties potentially apply under the California Penal Code ($2,000 fine and/or a year in jail, as noted by McCarthy and Perez).”

via ProFootballTalk

Florio also pointed out the obvious: that the controversy could be beneficial for FOX and Sharpe, as the clip quickly went viral.

“It quickly became obvious that the producers recognized that they have a problem. For example, they declined a request to use the footage on Tuesday’s PFT Live. That’s a courtesy routinely extended among networks, and not just to be nice. It gives a show from one network free air time on a rival network. For FOX to say “no” means that FOX knows Sharpe and his producers would have been better off seeking permission in advance, not forgiveness after the fact.”

via PFT

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