Fox Sports host Shannon Sharpe thought he was just making good TV this past week when he broadcasted a live call with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
Unfortunately, he may have inadvertently broken the law in the process.
During an episode of FS1’s “UNDISPUTED” on Monday, Sharpe called up Jones and asked if he wanted to remain with the Falcons.
“I’m outta there man,” Jones replied nonchalantly.
In the immediate aftermath, many took to asking the obvious question: did Jones know that he was on the air at the time of his conversation with Sharpe?
Because “UNDISPUTED” is produced at the FOX Sports studio in Los Angeles, it’s important to remember that California is a two-party consent state. That essentially means you cannot record on-air conversations like the one Sharpe and Jones had unless both parties agree to it.
As a result, if it’s proven that Jones didn’t know he was on air (and should he want to press charges), Sharpe could be charged with a misdemeanor under California Penal Code Sec. 632 — which carries up to a $2,000 fine and/or a year in jail.
According to Michael McCarthy and A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports, Sharpe’s decision to call up Jones is already having massive ramifications for Fox Sports.
“Sharpe’s controversial TV interview with Julio Jones has ignited a ‘massive stink bomb,’” they wrote, “putting a strain on the billion-dollar relationship between Fox Sports and the NFL.”
It appears everyone involved is upset.
“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,” the report continued.
“The team had no advance knowledge or input into the interview. Sources said Jones’ reps at Creative Artists Agency have reached out to Fox about the situation.”
That’s one way to get over a loss. https://t.co/17jpFpu2Ej
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 23, 2021
While it unlikely that Sharpe actually will go to jail as a result of this situation, it will be interesting to see what it means for Jones’ future.
The Pro Bowl wide receiver has made it abundantly clear that there is one team he desperately wants to play for. Similarly, the Falcons have staked out their asking price for his services. Will all parties involved ultimately walk away getting everything they hoped for after this week’s fiasco? Time will tell.