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Stephen A. Smith Was Really Offended by Monica McNutt’s ‘First Take’ Claims

Stephen A. Smith doesn’t let Monica McNutt’s comments slide.

The ESPN personality addressed the barbs the two exchanged on “First Take” Monday on his podcast later that night.

During a lengthy segment discussing the feud between Caitlin Clark and Chennedy Carter, Smith tried to boast about how “First Take” has extensively covered the WNBA and women’s sports, but McNutt fired back with a comment that deeply hurt Smith.

“Stephen A., respectfully, with your platform, you could have done this three years ago if you wanted to,” McNutt responded.

The comment stuck with Smith to the point that he spent the first part of his podcast trying to push back on McNutt’s comment while repeatedly expressing admiration for his ESPN colleague.

Smith addressed the disagreement with McNutt after a lengthy rant about Clark’s impact on the WNBA, saying her comments about the debate on ESPN “absolutely shocked” him.

“To answer Monica McNutt’s point, I found it very unfortunate that she would say that,” Smith began after apparently expressing annoyance that Molly Qerim interrupted the hot moment to interrupt the program.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am the executive producer of First Take. Have you ever heard of Monica McNutt? You have it now. Because it is often the first take. Chiney Ogwumike, absolutely wonderful and spectacular basketball analyst. …ask him what it was like being on First Take. What about Andraya Carter? Who is a rising star in this business. How much do you think First Take helped with that? And Kimberly Martin? And Molly Qerim herself?

Smith continued his response by taking aim at people he “took a lot of crap from” before calling what he thought McNutt said about him “highly offensive” and “factually incorrect.”

Stephen A. Smith discusses some of the
Stephen A. Smith responds to some of Monica McNutt’s “First Take” comments during his podcast Monday. “Stephen A. Smith Show”

“I challenge anyone to find a show on sports television that discusses women’s issues and the WNBA, or women’s sports that highlights and features female analysts more than ‘First Take.’ This has been going on for years,” he continued.

“We have black women, we have white women. Mina Kimes, let me not forget to mention her,” Smith added in an attempt to emphasize the diverse nature of his show. “First Take has spearheaded diversity and equity. Do you have any idea how offensive it was for me to sit there and hear Monica McNutt say that about me when I was the one who picked our list on “First Take”?

The sports talk show host was keen to stress that his displeasure was only linked to the disagreement the two men had during Monday’s show and he praised McNutt and called her a friend.

Smith also mentioned that he would remain a “supporter” of McNutt, regardless of their disagreement.

During his podcast, Smith called her comment “blatantly false” while making sure to explain that he wasn’t saying she was a liar.

“I accuse him of not knowing. Because she’s not a liar, she’s an honorable person,” Smith continued. “She shouldn’t have known that. The WNBA, could I have done more? Well, guess what, Monica McNutt? I could have done less. Who did more? Hell, a legitimate argument could be made if the WNBA didn’t do this for themselves.

Stephen A. Smith and Monica McNutt exchanged barbs Monday.
Stephen A. Smith and Monica McNutt exchanged barbs Monday. @awfulannouncing/X

“The WNBA commissioner came first to thank us for what we were doing for the WNBA. Who else was doing it? Where were these people?

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert appeared on “First Take” in April and expressed gratitude for the increased media coverage and thanked the broadcast alongside ESPN and Disney.

New York Post

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