ESPN Fires Hugh Douglas Over Verbal Altercation With Michael Smith

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Hugh Douglas Michael Smith

You knew this was coming once they took Douglas off the air after his verbal altercation with Michael Smith at the NABJ conference in Orlando was made public.  It was alleged that Douglas in a drunken state called Smith a House Nigger and an Uncle Tom.

ESPN said they were looking into the matter, but Douglas who was also accused of trying to physically fight Smith at the NABJ party was banished from the show he hosted with Smith “Numbers Don’t Lie” and twitter.

ESPN issued a statement via SI.com

“He no longer works for us effective today,” said an ESPN spokesperson.

Not much of an explanation, but you can read between the lines.  Smith has worked his usual duties at ESPN and Douglas was fired, so it is pretty clear who they believed was at fault.

Here is what Hugh Douglas had to say courtesy of Deadspin.

“I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time.”

Some would say it is a bit hypocritical of ESPN to report on Riley Cooper’s use of the word Nigger, while not speaking much about what happened between Douglas and Smith.

I can see both sides, because both happened outside of the workplace and Douglas and Smith are public figures.  I think ESPN could have explained the reasoning for the firing a little more and made a strong statement that type of language won’t be tolerated by their employees, but they decided to keep it internal.

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