Stephen A. Smith, sports journalist and host of ESPN’s “First Take,” is denying media reports that he said the "n-word" live on ESPN. Did he or didn’t he?
According to Buzzfeed, Smith was debating with Skip Bayless in a segment discussing Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant’s recent foot injury. “First Take” is a debate show that covers current trends and hot topics in sports. Smith verbally spars with Bayless over everything from the world of sports. Buzzfeed firmly believes Smith, who is black, said the n-word.
On Thursday’s show, Smith appears to drop the n-word during the Bryant segment, according to Buzzfeed. Smith supposedly does so after adamantly defending his position that there is no possible way Bryant would miss the Los Angeles Lakers NBA season opener at the Staples Center against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
According to The Huffington Post, Smith reportedly said "Opening night. Kobe Bryant is going to miss it because, 'my foot is sprained?' Are you crazy, n---- please." This is not the first time Smith has been at the center of a “did he or didn’t” situation in regards to the n-word. The Huffington Post reports that in December 2011, Smith reportedly said the n-word, also on “First Take,” while discussing Miami Heat superstar LeBron James. That segment also included a heated discussion about Bryant.
That time, Smith issued a denial via his Twitter stating, "Recently, someone incredibly irresponsible has tweeted on numerous occasions I used the "N" regarding LeBron James. That is patently FALSE.”
Smith again has denied using the n-word, this time on television. Later in the day, ESPN aired a video of Smith denying the usage of the word. You can view the video of the reported incident, as well as his denial video below.
The video where Stephen A. Smith reportedly uses the n-word.
Stephen A. Smith's denial video.