ESPN has fired Numbers Never Lie personality Hugh Douglas after reports that he hurled racial slurs at co-host Michael Smith.
Both Douglas and Smith were in Orlando two weeks ago for the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention. At a party at the House of Blues, Douglas and Smith got into a heated argument. Douglas, who was allegedly drunk, tried to get on stage with the DJ, and Smith tried to stop him. Douglas then threatened to beat Smith up and called him an “Uncle Tom” and a “house n****r.” Reports say that Douglas threatened Smith three times.
Bystanders and security were able to break things up before the argument escalated. An ESPN spokesman said that the network was “looking into the situation.”
Tuesday, Douglas tweeted that he was leaving ESPN. A spokesperson confirmed that he was no longer employed by the network.
“He no longer works for us effective today,” the spokesperson said.
ESPN was criticized for the way it handled the incident, especially in the wake of Philadelphia Eagles’ wideout Riley Cooper’s use of the n-word a week and a half ago.
The New York Daily News noted that ESPN Radio didn’t mention anything about Douglas calling Smith the n-word. Finally, last Wednesday, a caller to Stephen A. Smith’s show said that he hadn’t heard anything about the incident between Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith.
“I’m not going to bring up an internal (ESPN) matter and discuss it on these airwaves,” Stephen A. Smith said. “The company is handling it. It’s none of our damn business.” The Daily News also said that Smith continued to attack the caller, telling him, “It’s just an ignorant, dumb question. How can you not comprehend that?”
I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time
— Hugh Douglas (@Bighugh53) August 13, 2013
Douglas, who was the New York Jets first round draft pick in 1995, played in the NFL for almost 10 years. He finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. He was also named defensive rookie of the year in his first season with the Jets.
What do you think of the way ESPN handled the Hugh Douglas/Michael Smith situation?