NFL legend turned Fox Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe and controversial co-host Skip Bayless have turned heads with bizarre comments on the Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers playoff series.
The veteran talking heads were discussing Thursday night's Game 3, which ended in a resounding win for the Lakers, when they offered up an unusual and surprising critique of Suns star guard Devin Booker, who was assessed a flagrant 2 and tossed for a decidedly borderline foul on Los Angeles guard Dennis Schroder in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. The fraught incident nearly touched off a brawl between the squads, with several furious Lakers players saying after the game that the play was "dirty."
The apparent frustration foul was clearly not a basketball play, and came with the second-seeded Suns heading toward a second consecutive loss and a 2-1 deficit against the defending NBA champions. And, according to Sharpe, it wasn't just frustration boiling over for Booker -- but rather a symptom of a "light skin disease."
"I think the thing that Booker is suffering from is light skin disease," Sharpe said. "A lot of times, [their opponents], they say, 'You're soft.' And so he's trying to say, 'I'm not soft.'"
"Okay," Bayless responds. "I got it. 'Watch this.'"
"Yeah, like, 'I'm gonna show you,'" Sharpe replies.
The ham-handed discussion was noted by several users on social media, who seemed to be taken aback by the crude expression of colorism, and the cavalier and flippant tone.
Sharpe, a Football Hall of Famer, made headlines earlier this week over an on-air stunt involving Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, in which it was unclear whether Jones was aware he was live when he told Sharpe and Bayless that he wanted out of Atlanta. The incident was the subject of intense media scrutiny, with some outlets reporting that the loud-mouth hosts had put their network at odds with its longtime broadcast partners at the NFL.