tensions flare between Malika Andrews Stephen A. Smith over Ime Udoka

Stephen A. In “First Take”, there was tension between Smith and Malika Andrews over the Ime Udoka scandal. ESPN’s talent would eventually land the plane in the segment, but it started with furious blows from both sides.

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The 27-year-old host of “NBA Today” Andrews called into the show after the Celtics held a press conference on Udoka.

“If I could first start with this: Stephen A., with all due respect, this is not about finger-pointing. Stop,” Andrews said. “What became clear to me at this press conference is that we have Not all information is here. It was frustrating, to me, that the Celtics refused to elaborate or provide more details about what exactly the rule breaker was that led us to this point.

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Andrews said it stood to him that Brad Stevens was troubled by “massive Twitter bull-tee” on women in the Celtics organization on social media this week, and speculation about the women having a relationship with Udoka. got it. was “gross and unnecessary”. He criticized the Celtics for not providing more information about Udoka’s violation at the press conference.

“The fact that this was able to go on all day. The fact that we’re sitting here debating whether or not someone else should be suspended. We’re not women here blaming Stephen A. That’s why we’re here are not.” Andrews said.

Smith, 54, replied: “First of all. Let me be very clear. I don’t appreciate where you’re going with this. I’m not blaming anyone but Ime Udoka. If they were to fire her going he should be fired. If you’re not going to fire him, don’t fire him. My point is all this hype. The point I’m trying to make

Andrews cuts it down the middle and Smith cuts it away.

“Sorry,” he said. “I heard you. You’re the one who’s telling me to put my show on hold. It’s not happening. Right? He’s No. 1. No. 2, I already said, he should be fired, or should be and for them to handle it privately. If you’re not going to handle it privately, to publicize it in such a way, obviously it makes everybody angry to know that OK, who’s in it?

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The root of the misunderstanding involves what is reported by ESPN and what is reported elsewhere. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Udoka had a “consensual relationship” with a woman in the organization. Shams Charania reported in The Athletic that Udoka was also accused of making “unpleasant remarks” towards the woman.

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ESPN has not yet provided details about those allegations. In similar situations in the past, ESPN PR has stated that they would not trust other news organizations’ reporting with sensitive information.

Smith’s comments on Thursday and Friday’s “First Take” stemmed from reporting that Udoka had a consensual relationship. He has not forgiven Udoka and has repeatedly stated that the coach made an error in judgement, but has also said that workplace matters happen in all professional sports and that it has brought a perceived imbalance that it should How is it handled for people who are black (like Udoka) vs. white.

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Smith is accused of leaking to the Celtics that Udoka had an affair. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck strongly denied these claims in a press conference on Friday.

Smith’s main point is that Udoka should have been retained or fired. A year-long suspension by the Celtics while they sit on their contract rights and reserve the right to make a decision on his employment at a later date is unfair.

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“Considering how pervasive this stuff has been in professional sports for many years,” Smith told Andrews, “my whole point is, make sure you handle it the way it’s always been handled.” . You could take him out and then we could guess till the cows come home, but he’s gone. But keeping him there, but suspending him for a year, then that year is indefinite, that’s my point.

“No one is trying to protect Ime Udoka and certainly no one is trying to instigate the women involved. I am talking about how things in this case are usually handled by HR. perspective, how it was handled from an organizational perspective. Not in line with what we’ve seen over the years. I’m not trying to attack anyone, and if someone deserves to attack, he should put himself in this position. Ime is Udoka to keep.

Andrews replied, “I appreciate that clarification. And I guess coming back to Molly [Curim’s] initial question. My response to the press conference is the only thing that was made clear to me was that we Missing important pieces of information. This is my response.

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Kareem asked what she was saying by this.

Andrews said that, if she had been at the press conference, her question would have been, “You are not helping the women you are supposed to protect, you are claiming that the organization needs to look within your business.” Women need transparency

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