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Stephen A. Smith Claps Back After Heated Monica McNutt Debate Over Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark / Photo: G Fiume/Getty Images
Caitlin Clark / Photo: G Fiume/Getty Images

*Stephen A. Smith is defending his fiery debate with Monica McNutt over Caitlin Clark during Monday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take.

McNutt called out Smith over how the WNBA is covered by that show and the media as a whole. As the New York Post reports, Smith boasted about how “First Take” has extensively covered the WNBA, but McNutt fired back.

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

During the passionate debate about fairness in refereeing for Clark, she criticized Smith for only spotlighting women’s sports with the emergence of rookies Clark and Angel Reese.

“I get that we’re at a special place when it comes to women’s basketball and the growth of the game,” said McNutt, Awful Announcing reports. “I think what I was frustrated with in our conversation earlier is that we can hold more than one truth. The idea of some players being jealous (of Clark)? Yes, that probably exists. But I think since Caitlin’s debut, there has been a large and loud push that it’s Caitlin versus the (WNBA). And that is unfair.”

McNutt continued, “I mean, would you be jealous of someone who got a $28 million shoe deal before they ever stepped foot in the pros? I just need all of us to do a better job holding room for multiple truths. The prevailing idea that it is the WNBA versus Caitlin and that these women don’t understand the power of the eyeball she’s brought to the league. That’s just unfair.”

Her comments left the host speechless, and after the broadcast, Smith said McNutt’s remarks “absolutely shocked” him.

“To address Monica McNutt’s point, I found it very unfortunate that she would say that,” Smith stated on his podcast.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am the executive producer of First Take. You ever heard of Monica McNutt? You have now. Because she’s on First Take a lot,” Smith continued. “Chiney Ogwumike, absolutely wonderful, spectacular basketball analyst. … ask her how it’s been to be on First Take. How about Andraya Carter? Who’s a rising star in this business. How much do you think First Take helped that? What about Kimberley Martin? What about Molly Qerim herself?”

Smith said McNutt’s comments were “highly offensive” and “factually incorrect.”

“I challenge anybody to find a show on sports television that discusses women’s issues that discuss the WNBA, or women’s sports that highlights and profiles female analysts more than ‘First Take.’ It’s 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.

“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’m the one who hand-picked our roster on ‘First Take?’”

Smith also noted that the commissioner of the WNBA appeared on “First Take” to thank him for highlighting the games.

“Who else was doing it? Where were these people at?” he said.

“I’m accusing her of not knowing,” he said of McNutt. “Because she’s not a liar, she’s an honorable person. She must not have known. The WNBA, could have I done more? Well, guess what, Monica McNutt? I could’ve done less. Who’s done more? Hell, a legitimate argument could be made if the WNBA wasn’t doing it for themself.”

Smith stated, “I will applaud myself for making sure that people know I fight for y’all.”

He continued, “It’s not be bragging about it, it’s me saying there’s warfare and I embrace it. I fight for Molly [Qerim] every day. … I fight for M&M [McNutt] every day. The list goes on and on. I was raised by five women, for crying out loud. I know what the fight is. People sometimes don’t know what you’re doing behind the scenes.”

READ MORE FROM EURWEB.COM: Pat McAfee Apologizes for Referring to Caitlin Clark as a ‘White B*tch’ | WATCH

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