There were reports earlier that ESPN “Numbers Never Lie” co-hosts Michael Smith and Hugh Douglas got into an altercation at the Orlando, FL House of Blues. They were in town for the National Association of Black Journalists convention and the party was hosted by Sports Task Force. The Big Lead has been covering the story as details emerge. The story starts with an inebriated Hugh Douglas allegedly attempting to beat up a Michael Smith.
From The Big Lead:
According to the source, Douglas, who appears on Numbers Never Lie on ESPN with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, was trying to get on stage where the DJ was playing, and threatened to beat up Smith if he couldn’t help out. After the third threat, Smith tried to walk away, at which point Douglas grabbed Smith’s wrist and hurled two racial epithets at him, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and a “House N—-.” Smith, the witness says, turned around to protect himself, at which point onlookers rushed in to break it up.
Three independent sources have verified this version of events.
An interesting note, Douglas played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1998-2002, and the Eagles are embroiled in a racial slur controversy of their own following Riley Cooper’s comments at a Kenny Cheseny concert.
A quick thinking ESPN person in attendance pulled Douglas aside and got him to leave before things got worse. ESPN has pulled Douglas from the program as it sorts out details from the night and figures out what to do. Neither side has responded to requests for comments from the Big Lead.
ESPN spokesman David Scott released a statement on the incident:
“We are aware there was a disagreement between Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith on Friday. We are looking into the situation.”