It’s still uncertain Falcons receiver Julio Jones knew he was being recorded Monday when he told Shannon Sharpe on “Undisputed” that he wants to move on from Atlanta.
According to multiple reports, however, neither he nor the Falcons was aware the call was being recorded live on national television, creating “a stink bomb” between the Atlanta organization and Fox Sports.
Michael McCarthy and A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports reported on Tuesday that the Falcons were “blindsided” by the now-viral clip, and had no knowledge or input on the interview. FOS, citing sources close to the situation, reported that Atlanta believes the call undercut its bargaining position to move the All-Pro receiver and his massive salary cap hit.
“It’s become a huge deal,” one source told FOS.
MORE: Did Julio Jones know interview with Shannon Sharpe was live during trade admission?
FOS, again citing an unnamed source, also reported that Julio’s representatives at the Creative Artists Agency have reached out to Fox about the situation.
That would seem to corroborate a report by NBC Sports’ Chris Simms, who on the Tuesday episode of “ProFootballTalk” said sources told him Jones “had no idea” he was on the air.
“From what I know, from people I know in the NFL, (Jones) had no idea he was on the air yesterday,” Simms said on the show. “I found that out from somebody in the know here. Yes, he and his agent were very disappointed after.”
If Sharpe failed to notify Jones ahead of time that his call was being broadcast on national television — he only did so on air after Jones told him, “I’m outta there” — then it could result in legal ramifications. “Undisputed” is taped in California, a two-party consent state. Per state penal code 632, California requires all parties’ consent to amplify or record confidential communication. The penalty for violating the law is a fine of up to $2,500 and/or a year in jail.
According to Front Office Sports, which spoke to the Los Angeles Police Department, no complaint has been filed against Sharpe or Fox Sports.
None of Jones, the Falcons, the NFL, Fox Sports nor Sharpe has publicly commented on the interview since it aired on Monday.
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