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Stephen A. Smith Responds to Jonathan Papelbon’s ‘Racist’ Claim: Threatens Legal Action

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith (Source: Robin Marchant/Getty Images North America)

*Former MLB pitcher Jonathan Papelbon labeled ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith a “racist” after Smith criticized Mike Trout over a knee injury that he suffered. 

The Angels center fielder is facing surgery on his left knee to address a torn meniscus, raising uncertainties regarding Trout’s timeline for returning to the sport. Smith’s comments about the setback were not well-received. Last week, Papelbon, a NESN analyst, blasted him for being  “xenophobic” and a “fake person.”

“That’s not what the game needs,” Papelbon said while appearing on “Foul Territory” on Thursday, the New York Post reports. “Everybody wants to tune into the media, I get it. But at the end of the day, you have to be responsible for the s–t that you say. And unless ESPN holds him accountable for the stupid s–t that he says, guess what? He’s going to keep doing it.”

Papelbon later asserted that he was informed that Smith had been barred from the clubhouse for allegedly snooping through the manager’s office and the trainer’s room.

“I’ve always looked at this guy like a complete joke, and really shady,” Papelbon said. “When you get kicked out of a major league clubhouse, you should never be able to be a journalist ever again.”

Papelbon went on to say… “I challenge ESPN to do something about it.”

“I challenge ESPN to either fire him or cut his pay or do something about it, because honestly nobody wants to listen to his s–t. Because everybody knows that it’s just for likes, it’s just for followers, he really doesn’t actually know what he’s saying … this is just another idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he continued. 

Smith responded to Papelbon’s claim that he’s “racist” and “xenophobic” during a segment on “The Stephen A. Smith Show.” He also pushed back on the allegation that he was kicked out of the Phillies clubhouse, the New York Post reports. 

“What do you mean I was thrown out of a Major League Baseball clubhouse,” Smith said.

“I have been a reporter and a sports commentator for 30 years. That has never happened in any sport. I’ve never been thrown out of a locker room. I’ve never been thrown out of a clubhouse. … That is a lie. Now, I could sue your ass for lying, telling such a lie like that. But I won’t. I won’t waste my time.”

Smith claims he and Papelbon have never spoken to each other.

“I think that when people bring up the word racist, if they looked at you and I sitting together, I think they would look at you before they looked at me,” Smith said.

“I’ve never talked about you. You’re irrelevant. At least until today,” Smith continued.

“I’m a black man. We have a history of experiencing racism. And a lot of times, those experiences come courtesy of people who look like you. And I would never think to call you a racist. What you said is wrong, is irresponsible, is petty, and if it was to get a reaction, it’s desperate. Because now that you don’t have your playing career to lean on anymore, I guess you need help in other areas,” Smith added, the Post reports. 

“That’s about the most you’re gonna get from me. Be a grown-up, bro. The things that you said about me sound like a damn racist, and I still wouldn’t call you that unless I was sure.

OTHER NEWS FROM EURWEB.COM: Stephen A. Smith Apologizes to Black Community for Defending Trump | Watch

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