There are a couple things that bother me about ESPN's response after Stephen A. Smith said the N-word on First Take on Friday morning.
One, the same network fired editor Anthony Federico after using the headline "Chink in the Armor" in response to Jeremy Lin's New York Knicks back in February.
Apparently that same rule doesn't apply to Smith.
But, more than anything, Smith's response was as classless as it comes.
Smith fired back, saying that he's a New Yorker and he speaks "very, very fastly" and "sometimes his words are misconstrued."
He went on:
If I were to say such a word, because I work for this network, because this network would never condone such a thing, I would instantly issue an apology because obviously it would be a huge mistake on my part.
Except he did say such a thing. And I'm not hearing an apology at all. All I'm hearing is ESPN trying to sweep this under the rug and tell us that we all can't hear; that we all are delusional.
So much for taking responsibility for your actions.
Let me get this straight; a 28-year-old admits to his mistake, saying that he used that headline "at least 100 times" throughout his career at ESPN and didn't mean for it to come off as racist and gets fired, but a 45-year-old man blatantly lies and gets away with it?
That's what I have an issue with the most. It's not even the fact that Smith said it; it's how it was handled.
If Smith had simply admitted it, I wouldn't have shouted from the rooftops for him to be fired. But, knowing full well that everybody knows what he said, Smith came out and upheld his reputation; a classless media personality.
Now ESPN moves on as if nothing ever happened, hoping we can forget all about it.
But lying to its audience is not how a journalistic enterprise is supposed to behave.
The original video is below. WARNING: Explicit language.
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