In a statement to The Wrap, Champion says, “I grew up watching ‘SportsCenter’ — it is the flagship show so I am living the dream. When I first started working here, I would casually petition for it — but there’s always a long line.”
Champion, who joined ESPN in 2012, was a permanent member of the network’s First Take show alongside Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Her last day on the popular segment was Friday (June 19).
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In an interview with VIBE in 2012, Champion also spoke about working on First Take. “I’m part of something on television that is unique—the biggest show on ESPN—and virtually came out of nowhere. I knew I was somebody but they didn’t know it yet [laughs]. But it’s exciting. I just hope I’m representing as an African-American woman on TV trying to hold it down.”