ESPN officials are investigating reports of an altercation between co-hosts Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith that allegedly occurred Friday night at a party in Orlando.
Douglas and Smith, who co-host ESPN afternoon show “Numbers Never Lie,” were allegedly involved in a verbal altercation that nearly escalated to violence, The Big Lead reports. The television personalities were reportedly visiting Orlando for the National Association of Black Journalists Convention.
According to sources, Douglas and Smith both attended a Sports Task Force party at the House of Blues in Orlando, The Big Lead reports. At some point on Friday evening, the ESPN analysts were involved in an argument so intense that they had to be separated. While it is not yet clear if the confrontation became physical, a source claims that the altercation was “very ugly.”
An ESPN spokesperson initially declined to comment on the situation, The Big Lead reports. However, Pro Football Talk eventually received a statement from the company regarding the incident. “We are aware there was a disagreement between Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith on Friday. We are looking into the situation,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told Pro Football Talk.
A witness to the argument claims that Friday’s argument was so tense that “there’s no way” Douglas will appear on “Numbers Never Lie” this week, The Big Lead reports. Pro Football Talk confirmed on Monday that Douglas will not appear on Monday’s edition of the show.
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Douglas, a former NFL star who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs a reported 281 pounds, is no stranger to confrontation. The 41-year-old was a consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 when he became involved in a similar argument with star wide receiver Terrell Owens, Pro Football Talk notes. The incident is believed to have contributed to Owens’ bizarre behavior at the time.