Pat McAfee on Monday referenced an iconic Martin Luther King Jr. speech, then contended he’s been “canceled” by both political parties amid his talk show’s recent controversies.
The polarizing ESPN host began the latest episode of “The Pat McAfee Show” by noting it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day before seemingly impersonating the civil rights leader giving his “I Have a Dream” speech.
“He had a dream, and I think LANK was one of the closest we have had to potentially that dream coming to fruition,” McAfee said, appearing to refer to a viral segment on ESPN’s “College Gameday.”
“So let’s realize that, as we look around, that we’re maybe more close than we’ve ever been, and there’s an election about to take place … where we need to remember that we are more close than we’ve ever been,” McAfee continued.
“As somebody who was canceled by both parties last week … we are still alive,” he said. “Let’s remember, we don’t need all the outside noise. All we need is a little bit of love.”
The “LANK” reference seemed to harken back to McAfee’s “College Gameday” co-host Rece Davis saying in a report this month that Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe often wears apparel featuring an acronym for “Let A Naysayer Know.”
McAfee interrupted Davis’ report, saying, “That is not what I thought. Boy, ‘Let A Naysayer Know?’”
McAfee’s comment earned laughs from fellow panelists Joey Galloway and Desmond Howard, while a smiling Kirk Herbstreit expressed surprise that McAfee spoke over Davis.
Monday’s episode of “The Pat McAfee Show,” meanwhile, became the latest to make headlines in 2024. Earlier this month, Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers contended on the show that late-night host Jimmy Kimmel would be unhappy if a list naming associates of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was released.
Rodgers declined to apologize a week later, insisting he wasn’t accusing Kimmel of pedophilia but claiming the mere existence of the list would mark the latest instance that Rodgers was right about something Kimmel teased him about.
McAfee also sparked controversy when he accused an ESPN executive of leaking his show’s ratings, saying he believed Norby Williamson was “attempting to sabotage our program.”
ESPN denounced Rodgers’ Kimmel remark and said the McAfee-Williamson situation would be handled internally.