The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Stephen A. on slur: I must own perception
Tue, 10/30/2012 - 1:23pm  

Stephen A. on slur: I must own perception

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith joined Mut & Merloni Tuesday to discuss the upcoming NBA season and the controversy that has surrounded him since uttering what sounded like a racial slur last week on ESPN's "First Take."

While discussing Kobe Bryant's status for the Lakers' season opener against the Mavericks last week, Smith said what sounded like, "Kobe Bryant is going to miss it because 'My foot is sprained?' Are y'all crazy? [Expletive] please." Smith denied using the slur, though he said that if ESPN had decided to suspend him for the incident, he would have accepted it. 

"I would not have faulted them one bit whatsoever because we live in a business where perception is reality," Smith said.

Here is Smith's complete answer to Lou Merloni asking about the reaction to the incident:

"Well first of all, I totally understand the reaction. Secondly, I categorically deny that I said it, but please understand that those who think I did are not alone. I have four older sisters. I have my mother, OK, and three of them thought I said it and two did not. I understand it, and there's a level of heat that comes along with that because of the position that I'm in. 

"The fact of the matter is that if you're on the airwaves, you have no business articulating such a word, but I think people need to remember one thing about me, and it's very, very simple: If I thought said it, I'd admit it. I'd have no qualms about that. If I ended up getting suspended by ESPN, I would have had no problem with that, even though I sit here and emphatically tell you that I did not say that. 

"Please understand something about me: If ESPN had said, 'Well listen, it sounds like you said it, and as a result we feel we have to take this position and we're going to suspend you,' I would have shook their hands, I would have said 'I totally understand that the image of the brand is far more important than that of Stephen A. Smith and that's because these are your airwaves.' It's that simple to me. 

"Now, I'm not going to get into the fact that what I heard when they replayed it for me is entirely different what I hear from these links that are posted online. It seems to me some doctoring is going on. That's neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is I've got to speak slower, I have to make sure that I articulate my words clearly, and I do understand because some of my family members said they thought I said it, so I get the fact that the public feels that way. 

"All I'm asking the public to understand is that I don't run from being who I am. I don't run from the things that I say and the things that I do. I'm not flawless, I'm not perfect, I'm not infallible, but the one thing I can promise you is this: If I thought I said it, or even because the public by and large thinks I said it, and ESPN came to me and said to me, 'We need to make sure there are repercussions here and we're going to suspend you,' I would not have faulted them one bit whatsoever because we live in a business where perception is reality, and I have to own that perception, so whether it's you or anybody else who thinks that I said it, I'm going to tell you I didn't, but please know that I have absolutely positively no problem with you saying, 'Well I think I heard differently' and acting accordingly. It does not bother me at all. 

"I've got to make sure I don't come close to even hinting that something like that could happen again. If I do, I'm going to pay the price for it, and that's what comes with the territory. That's big-boy rules. It's what grown men do, and last time I checked, I stopped being a little boy a long time ago." 

Asked what he actually did say, Smith replied, "I don't even remember."

Smith also discussed the Celtics, Heat and the rest of the major contenders in the NBA. For more on that, check the Green Street blog shortly. 

For complete NBA coverage, visit weei.com/celtics




Audio On Demand

NFL SUNDAY with Dickerson…

NFL SUNDAY with Dickerson and Price - Football after Deflategate ... it does exist 5-24-15

Price tells Greg about what is in store for football fans and Patriots fans beyond Deflategate. We will, after all, move on at some point.

NFL SUNDAY with Dickerson and Price - The latest on the Brady suspension and appeal 5-24-15

Greg and Chris discuss where we are with Tom Brady's fight against the NFL in the Deflategate suspension.

Mike Petraglia, WEEI.com, joins NFL Sunday with Dickerson and Price 5-24-15

Trags calls the boys to discuss the latest on Deflategate, Kraft's decision to not continue the fight and where we go from here. He gets into the latest on Brady as well. Also, we get a battle between Trags and Greg on Led Zep vs the Beatles.

Dickerson and Tomase disc…

Dickerson and Tomase discuss the Celtics and their upcoming playoff series against the Cavs 4-19-15

Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?

Brian Scalabrine: I am the biggest Marcus Smart fan. 4-2-15

Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.

We Love Anthony Davis - Celtics Playoff Push, 3-25-15

Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.

Wade Miley Player of the …

Wade Miley Player of the Game Interview 5-24-15

Joe Castiglione talked to the Sox lefty, who allowed one run in eight innings as the Sox beat the Angels at Fenway.

Mike Napoli Player of the Game Interview 5-23-15

Joe & Dave talked to the Sox first baseman, who hit two homers at Fenway tonight in the win against the Angels.

Sox Manager John Farrell with Dale and Holley

Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton speak to Red Sox Manager John Farrell live from Fenway Park for our weekly visit.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney wit…

Bruins GM Don Sweeney with Dale and Holley

Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the Sunday Skate crew to discuss the future of the Bruins franchise 4-19-15

The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.

Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Naoko Funayama and Pete Blackburn - HOUR #2 - 4-19-15

In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!

Shirley Leung defends Bos…

Shirley Leung defends Boston's Olympic bid 5-22-15

Shirley Leung joins Dino, Gerry and Kirk to look at Boston's Olympic hopes.

Stephen A. Smith on Tom Brady's suspension 5-22-15

Stephen A. joined us to discuss Tom Brady's suspension.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Child molester 5-22-15

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Three For All - 19 Kids a…

Three For All - 19 Kids and Counting Scandal, 5-22-15

The guys talk about the charges surrounding one of the stars of 19 Kids and Counting and what TLC should do with the show.

Reactions to Bill Polian's interview and more Deflategate talk, 5-22-15

Lou, Christian and Greg react to their interview with Bill Polian and take calls from listeners to get their take on the latest surrounding Deflategate.

The Lou Merloni Baseball Minute, 5-22-15

With all the Deflategate news, Lou hasn't had a chance to complain about the Red Sox and their poor start. Christian and Greg give Lou a minute to get all his thoughts out as fast as he can.

4at4 - Our Favorite David…

4at4 - Our Favorite David Letterman Moments.

David Letterman has wrapped up his show and we picked out four of our favorite moments from his career.

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post talks Goodell's credibility

Roger Goodell's integrity and credibility is in question and Sally Jenkins wrote a scathing piece on Roger Goodell joins us.

Don Sweeney: I want to have a philosophical alignment with the team's coach

Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.

Pump It Up- Mikey Adams S…

Pump It Up- Mikey Adams Song

The definitive deflate gate song

Planet Mikey Show - Where's Your Proof, Morons?

Mikey Adams is joined by Chris Villani as they take calls on the Friday night Two Minute Drill and discuss the ongoing DeflateGate saga with the New England Patriots and Roger Goodell's role in hearing the Tom Brady appeal.

05-12-15 Planet Mikey Seg. 2

Continued conversation on deflate-gate and the aftermath of the Brady suspension and sanctions passed down to the Patriots organization

We Love Anthony Davis - C…

We Love Anthony Davis - Conference Finals Edition

Julian Edlow of the Green Street Blog and Draftkings.com joins the program to break down the the two conference finals series, the NBA Draft, and whether or not Corey Brewer is the ugliest player in the game?

SoccerCast - Jermaine Jones Cant Play CB; Transfer Rumors

Ben, Russ, and Alex recap the Revs loss to Sporting KC and discuss what the Revs need moving forward. Also discussed is the FFP and how it will affect the transfer window.

D&C's Breaking Balls: Dino is back from rehab 5-18-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss Dino's rehab experience.

Sally Jenkins of the Wash…

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post talks Goodell's credibility

Roger Goodell's integrity and credibility is in question and Sally Jenkins wrote a scathing piece on Roger Goodell joins us.

More from this show

Pump It Up- Mikey Adams S…

Pump It Up- Mikey Adams Song

The definitive deflate gate song

More from this show

4at4 - Our Favorite David…

4at4 - Our Favorite David Letterman Moments.

David Letterman has wrapped up his show and we picked out four of our favorite moments from his career.

More from this show

Stephen A. Smith on Tom B…

Stephen A. Smith on Tom Brady's suspension 5-22-15

Stephen A. joined us to discuss Tom Brady's suspension.

More from this show

Reactions to Bill Polian'…

Reactions to Bill Polian's interview and more Deflategate talk, 5-22-15

Lou, Christian and Greg react to their interview with Bill Polian and take calls from listeners to get their take on the latest surrounding Deflategate.

More from this show

Weei Writers