Michael Strahan recently sat down for a candid interview about his life and career in football, as well as in TV journalism, and the ex-footballer seemingly threw some major shade at at his former Live co-host, Kelly Ripa.
While speaking with the New York Times, Strahan was asked the differences in working in TV as opposed to playing professional football, to which he responded: "The stakes are definitely different. Football will be the hardest thing I will ever do when it comes to work, because it requires you, mentally, to take yourself where you never thought you could go physically. That's not required now. But the mental aspect of working in TV is like it was in football. I don’t want to be on the show and feel like everyone else is carrying me. I want us all to be successful. I’ve done things where I went in with team concepts, and I got there and realized it’s not about team. It’s selfish, and I don’t operate well under that."
Strahan's "selfish" comment prompted the interviewer to ask is if the star was "talking about sports or television." Strahan replied, "Both."
"In sports, you can put as many great players as you want on a team, but if one guy out there is worried about himself, it will not work," he said. "Then on television, I've had jobs where I got there and felt like: Wow, I didn’t know I was supposed to be a sidekick. I thought I was coming here to be a partner."
The current Good Morning America co-host then called being on Live "an experience," and affirmed that he "remained the same person I was from Day 1."
"One thing I will not do is alter my attitude for somebody else's," he continued. "I learned so much from Kelly, so much from [Live producer] Michael Gelman. When it was time to go, it was time to go. Certain things that were going on behind the scenes just caught up."
Going on to address his "departure" from Live, Strahan admitted that he felt like "it could have been handled better," adding, "I didn’t wake up and say, 'I want a job at 'G.M.A.' I was asked to do it by the people who run the network."
"It was really not a choice. It was a request," he went on to share, "But it was treated as if I was the guy who walked in and said, 'I’m leaving.' That part was totally misconstrued, mishandled in every way. People who should have handled it better have all apologized, but a lot of the damage had already been done. For me, it was like: Move on. Success is the best thing. Just keep on moving."
Regarding his relationship with Ripa while he was "still on the show," he revealed, " One thing I tried to do is have a meeting every few weeks with her. We met a few times, and that was fine. But then eventually she said she didn't need to meet. Can't force somebody to do something they don't want to do."
Ultimately, however, there is no bad blood on Strahan's side, as he stated that he finds Ripa to be "brilliant," adding, "If people think, Oh, he hates her — I don’t hate her. I do respect her for what she can do at her job. I cannot say enough about how good she is at her job."
Strahan co-hosted Live from 2012 until 2016, then moving on to GMA.