This can’t make for a good working atmosphere! When I first heard about this story, the first 2 ESPN co-hosts that came to mind was Stephen A Smith & Skip Bayless, but nope – it wasn’t them! Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith, two of the co-hosts for ESPN’s ‘Numbers Never Lie’ reportedly got into a heated altercation over the weekend and from what we’re hearing – it’s pretty bad!
Report after the jump & stay tuned…
Douglas and Smith, both in Orlando for the National Association of Black Journalists convention, were attending a Sports Task Force party at the House of Blues when tensions rose and the pair had to be separated, sources said.
Douglas, a former NFL defensive lineman, is 6-foot-2 and more than 280 pounds; Smith, a journalist, is considerably smaller. It is unclear if the altercation got physical, but a source who witnessed most of the skirmish described the dust-up as “very ugly.”
Neither Smith nor Douglas have tweeted since the incident. One source who was at the party said the verbal barbs were so nasty that “there’s no way” Douglas will be on Numbers Never Lie this week. An ESPN spokesman wouldn’t confirm that.
[UPDATE: ESPN spokesman David Scott has just released a statement to The Big Lead: "We are aware there was a disagreement between Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith on Friday. We are looking into the situation."]
Lead photo via
UPDATE via DS:
… As Hill was just about to finish speaking to the group of 100-plus, Douglas came up to her, and demanded the microphone, even though he wasn’t scheduled to speak at the event. He might have been slurring, and he was certainly talking loud enough for others to hear it. Hill said no thanks. She apparently had to make some effort to keep the mic out of his hands. Douglas was not happy, and neither were Hill and Smith. This was embarrassing.
And that was just the start of the meltdown.
The next night, there was a party at the club, House of Blues, in Orlando. Douglas was, again, very drunk. Lots of people were drinking, so this was less of a big deal, but then he started making some movements toward the stage at the club. ESPN has had experience with drunk commentators doing regrettable things in public, as with Dana Jacobson in 2008. Things seemed to be headed in that direction. One person told us that Smith—who wasn’t drinking—told Douglas not to go up. It would be a mistake. Douglas apparently wasn’t in a state to be reasoned with. He didn’t go up there, but a few minutes later, Douglas was angry enough to finally tell Smith off.
“Uncle Tom,” Douglas told Smith, according to two people familiar with the altercation. Smith apparently did his best to ignore this. Shortly thereafter, Douglas had more words to say to Smith. He grabbed him by his arm. He threatened to beat him up. Some people, including security, had to break it up.