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

Peter King with Dale and …

Peter King with Dale and Holley

We check in for our weekly chat with Peter King, who says things are not looking bright for the 2014 Patriots given the current constitution of the roster.

It Is What It Is Cast: On to Cincinnati

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price talk about what the Patriots need to do to turn things around before Sunday night's game against the Bengals.

Chris Price is on to Cincinnati, 10-1-14

Christopher Price, WEEI.com, was at the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady press conferences today. He spoke w/ MFB to talk about the upcoming game at home against the undefeated Bengals.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Bruins sign Torey Krug an…

Bruins sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, 9-29-14

DJ Bean, WEEI.com, joined the guys to talk about the Bruins signing two young stars to 1-year contracts.

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

Bill Belichick is a dink …

Bill Belichick is a dink 10-1-14

The guys opened the show discussing the coaches less than amicable conversation with Dale & Holley.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Ebola is everywhere 10-1-14

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

Tom Brady on the blowout loss in Kansas City 10-1-14

Tom Brady discussed the blowout loss.

Chris Price is on to Cinc…

Chris Price is on to Cincinnati, 10-1-14

Christopher Price, WEEI.com, was at the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady press conferences today. He spoke w/ MFB to talk about the upcoming game at home against the undefeated Bengals.

Three For All - FCC aims to ban the word 'Redskins' 10-1-14

A bill in California has been signed into law, banning stores from using plastic bags. A Canadian football player talks trash into a hot microphone shortly before an in-game interview. The FCC is looking to ban the word "Redskins" from television and radio.

Tedy Bruschi says Tom Brady is no longer one of the elite quarterbacks, 10-1-14

The fallout from Monday night continues as former Tedy Bruschi criticized Tom Brady's play over the first 4 games. The show re-visits Rodney Harrison's comments from yesterday, specifically, that Brady is "scared to death" in the pocket.

Peter King with Dale and …

Peter King with Dale and Holley: Brady can't do this alone

We check in for our weekly chat with Peter King, who says things are not looking bright for the 2014 Patriots given the current constitution of the roster.

Is the sink really sinking for the New England Patriots?

Abandon ship! The dynasty is over! Is the Patriots blowout loss an indication that this is the beginning of the end of this era? We discuss it with you.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Redeeming Blowout Edition - 10-01-14

We tackle four Patriots stinkers in which they bounced back and rebounded from getting smoked the week before.

The always hilarious Lenn…

The always hilarious Lenny Clarke joins the show

Mikey, Villani and a double dose of Lenny. Lenny Megs and Lenny Clarke are in and talking about where the Patriots went wrong on Monday Night Football, and taking predictions on this Sunday's Pats-Bengals game and talking about why they think certain scores may hold up better than others.

The Patriots defense vs the running game

Mut and Chris Villani are talking about the issues the Patriots defense faced against the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly in the running game.

Are the Patriots weak?

The Patriots seemed to have no answer for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mut and Price talk about how the Patriots were exposed in all aspects of the game.

The Bradfo Show: Angels' …

The Bradfo Show: Angels' infielder John McDonald weighs in on American League playoffs

Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox, and current Angel, John McDonald to discuss were his team stands heading into the postseason, his thoughts on its opponent, the Royals, and what the Yoenis Cespedes trade might have meant the A's. McDonald also bemoans the loss of the television show, 'The Baseball Bunch,' which was alive and kicking during Kansas City's last playoff run.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

SoccerCast MLS Latest/Champions League

Ben and Russ break down some rumors surrounding Real Madrid and Manchester United. Also on the docket is the MLS and your New England Revolution.

Tom Brady on the blowout …

D&C's Breaking Balls Podc…

D&C's Breaking Balls Podcast: Gerry loves Brady and the guys are going to lunch 9-30-14

Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Gerry's passionate defense of Tom Brady, going to lunch and clock issues in the third edition of Breaking Balls.

More from this show

Bill Belichick is a dink …

Bill Belichick is a dink 10-1-14

The guys opened the show discussing the coaches less than amicable conversation with Dale & Holley.

More from this show

Dino walks out mid segmen…

Dino walks out mid segment 9-30-14

John Dennis left the show mid segment.

More from this show

The Patriots are a bad fo…

The Patriots are a bad football team 9-30-14

The guys opened the show discussing the Pats brutal Monday night loss.

More from this show

Weei Writers