Stephen A. Smith will not be reprimanded for saying the N-Word on First Take this morning, ESPN has determined. It appears the powers that be huddled for a couple hours this morning, and Stephen A. Smith convinced them that he didn’t say “Nigga please,” even though 99 percent of people who have seen the video. His non-apology denial is laughable. “I’m a New Yorker! I speak very, very fastly!” (He really said that.)
The first and obvious question: If he didn’t say it, why was the word scrubbed from subsequent airings of the show?
Reminder: This is the same network that suspended a Sportscenter host for saying “chink in his armor” when talking about Jeremy Lin earlier this year. That anchor, Max Bretos, was suspended for a month. It was almost universally agreed that ESPN made a terrible decision in that instance. I’m guessing here, but I think the opposite will be true on in regard to this Stephen A. Smith situation. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they changed their mind a put Stephen A. on the bench for a few days after the public sees his non-apology.