Some of the worst human beings on the planet today work in the media.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the so-called “mainstream” media or the sports media, they’re just the worst people.

That was proven earlier this week by this talking head who did something to an NFL player on live TV that is criminal.

A lot has been made about the decline in viewership for live sporting events in recent years.

But an aspect of the declining ratings that has been overlooked is the fact that sports media content has been declining much longer and in a far more drastic manner.

ESPN lays off thousands of employees on a seemingly annual basis, and networks like the NBC Sports Network are just going off the air entirely by the end of this year.

So, needless to say, those who are still clinging to their cushy jobs talking about sports on television are possibly more desperate for attention than the contestants on the Bachelor.

And that’s exactly why FS1’s perpetually wrong blowhard Shannon Sharpe pulled a move on Monday’s episode of one of the worst shows in sports TV, Undisputed, that can only be described as deplorable and shameful.

While arguing with his cringeworthy co-host, Skip Bayless, about the ongoing situation with wide receiver Julio Jones wanting to be traded from the Atlanta Falcons and the team needing to trade him to clear cap space, Sharpe whipped out his phone and called Jones live on air.

Only Sharpe didn’t tell Jones that he was live on national television having a call he thought was simply between himself and what was supposedly a “friend” recorded for the entire world to listen to on the Internet and dissect.

In the video, you can even hear a third person on the show repeatedly tell Sharpe to tell Jones that he’s being recorded live on national television, but he never mentioned it until he was literally hanging up the phone after he had gotten what he wanted out of Jones.

The idea that Julio Jones didn’t know he was live on air isn’t just speculation or an assumption either, as ProFootballTalk’s Chris Simms confirmed on Tuesday that Jones was completely unaware of the situation, and that he and his agent were “disappointed” in Sharpe’s scumbag move.

“From what I know, from people I know in the NFL, he had no idea he was on the air yesterday,” Simms said. “I discovered this thanks to someone knowledgeable here. Yes, he and his agent were very disappointed afterwards.”

Fortunately, the worst thing Jones said was that he was “out of there” when asked if he was staying with the Falcons, and that he had no interest in playing for the Dallas Cowboys because, as he said, “I want to win.”

Julio Jones has always been rather reserved, and has never been one to do anything but focus on doing his job as well as he can, as you would expect from a player who was recruited and coached by Nick Saban.

But, if we’re being honest here, it really doesn’t matter what Jones actually said.

What matters is the fact that Shannon Sharpe totally and completely exploited a friendship that most likely dates back roughly a decade in order to get people to care even a little bit about something that happened on his show.

He used Julio Jones, and made the choice to put Jones’ future and reputation at risk basically for his own entertainment and personal gain.

Thinking he was simply having a private one-on-one call with a friend, Jones could have easily said something that blew up his future opportunities, or that was taken out-of-context or in the wrong way, damaging a reputation he’s been building for over a decade in the NFL.

We do live in the world of cancel culture, and it would have been very easy for Jones to make a joke that he thought only his buddy is hearing only to have the PC police use it to destroy him.

Not only that, but what Shannon Sharpe did to Julio Jones appears to be completely illegal.

The state of California, which is where Undisputed is recorded, has a “two-party consent” law that makes it a crime to record a private telephone call without the consent of all parties involved.

The potential legal issues of Sharpe’s stunt could very well explain why neither he nor anyone else on Undisputed ever mentioned that call on their show on Tuesday, as they’re likely hoping that any possible legal ramifications might just go away if they let the story die.

Regardless of whether or not Shannon Sharpe faces legal issues for this stunt, this story doesn’t need to die.

Viewers, and especially other athletes, need to be reminded often that Shannon Sharpe is such a scumbag that he will gladly exploit a friend for attention and always puts his own success over their well-being.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.