Marcellus Wiley will not be joining the expanded 90-minute version of Speak For Yourself on Fox Sports 1 until September 10, but he isn’t waiting until that date to establish some early ground rules with his co-host Jason Whitlock. On Thursday, Wiley hopped on Twitter to tell Whitlock that he should enjoy his "uncontested shock jock rants" for now because when he arrives, those takes won’t be tolerated in his presence.
Wiley’s response comes after Whitlock spent nearly four minutes whining about LeBron James’s new HBO show The Shop where a group of predominantly black celebrities from all walks of life get together in a barbershop to discuss a wide range of topics. If you haven’t seen the video, let me go ahead save you the waste of time and more importantly, a click that would support this show.
Whitlock’s first gripe with The Shop has to do with the fact that they are drinking red wine from "goblets." They aren’t drinking from goblets, but this guy has never been afraid of a little hyperbole. Also, it doesn’t take a LeBron stan to know that he has been something of a wine connoisseur over the last few years. It wouldn’t seem out of the question that wine would be the drink of choice on a show that is being executive produced by him.
Whitlock is shockingly upset over the appearance of the "token white dude" Jon Stewart, who was "dominating and driving the conversation" throughout the show. He goes on to mention some famous alternatives to Stewart, or at least, someone who can speak more openly about the black experience. Even if the former Daily Show host was replaced by someone like, say, Arsenio Hall—as he suggests—who’s to say Whitlock will not nitpick the show for having a lack of diverse voices. It’s a lose-lose situation for James in Whitlock’s eyes.
As for the cursing on the show, Whitlock complains that there were, like, 60, 70, who gives a shit how many times a curse word was said? Prior to the premiere of The Shop, LeBron told The Hollywood Reporter, "The show is real, it's candid and it’s the essence of conversation." What we saw in that debut episode was the real, unfiltered dialogue of athletes and entertainers set in a barbershop where nothing is off-limits or out of bounds. Whitlock tries to validate his point-of-view by harking back to his younger days in the barbershop, but it’s probably been a while since this guy has stepped foot in that establishment. Maybe he’s the one that's out of touch with what’s being said in the barbershop these days.
When Wiley does join Speak For Yourself, we can only hope that he stays true to his word and keeps Whitlock in check over these ridiculous remarks. It would be a nice change of pace considering everyone has been afraid to confront him over these idiotic takes leading up to this point.