Former ESPN Host Cari Champion Says Executives Made It Obvious ‘She Did Not Matter’ as a Black Woman During Her Three Years Moderating “First Take”

Cari Champion felt stifled by her role as moderator on “First Take.”

Champion appeared on the “I Am Athlete” podcast this week and reminisced about the period where she was the moderator on the ESPN debate show with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Champion said that she, Jemele Hill and a “bunch of blonde women” auditioned for the role.

(Dana Jacobson, who hosted the debates before “First Take” was a standalone show, and is not blonde, was the third finalist for the role, The Post was told.)

“I went into the audition knowing they already wanted a blonde, because this is Monday through Friday on a popular show; you’re not going to hire a black girl — especially not a brown-skinned black girl. You’re not hiring me! That’s how I went in,” Champion said.

She recalled believing that she nailed the audition but still not believing she’d land the role. Lo and behold, they asked her to be ready for football season.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Ryan Glasspiegel