Stephen A. Smith is in hot water after expressing his disinterest in seeing women compete in mixed martial arts and boxing.
“I think that there’s an awful lot of women that are incredibly qualified to do the jobs that they’re doing. Where I jump off the bandwagon is when they try to engage physically,” Smith said (h/t MMA Junkie). “For example, I don’t ever want to see a woman boxing a man. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man even though there are some women out there that’ll kick a dude’s butt. We get all that. When I think about pugilistic sports, I don’t like seeing women involved in that at all. I just don’t like it. I wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but I don’t want to see women punching each other in the face. I don’t want to see women fighting in the Octagon and stuff like that, but that’s just me. What I would adamantly be against is them fighting men. I don’t think that’s cool. Plus, you don’t ever want to give men license to believe that it’s all right to be physical with a woman, to be quite honest with you. You don’t want to do that.”
Unsurprisingly, these controversial rant from Smith did not go over well with a number of female fighters and several women in the MMA media.
I appreciate your transparency @stephenasmith . Although I wish everyone at ESPN—and throughout the world—saw women’s sports in a positive light, I assure you that we women don’t need your support. #2020WorldMMAAwardsFightOfTheYear #NationalGirlsandWomenInSportsDay
— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) February 3, 2021
“Shut up.” – Weili Zhang https://t.co/xhbCMTk4KH
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) February 2, 2021
You’ve got to be kidding me
— Molly McCann (@MeatballMolly) February 2, 2021
If you intend to continue giving Stephen A. Smith a platform to preach inequality in sports, you are taking an incredible risk in alienating fans and athletes alike. It is incredibly disappointing that you would promote a person who is so derisive women in sport @espnW
— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) February 3, 2021
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) February 2, 2021
.@RondaRousey went 12-0 with 12 stoppages & made more money in 2015 than ANY fighter.@stephenasmith You have a right to a preference…but without WOMEN, you wouldn't have the @ufc product you represent on @espn https://t.co/1csjBUnl7S via @MMAFighting
— Nancy Kidder (@NancyAnnKidder) February 2, 2021
Women have been fighting for their place in the world, in sports, in MMA since it all began.
It’s his opinion, yes. But when you have a massive platform, your words have influence to perpetuate the idea that women don’t belong in certain spaces, and that is wrong. https://t.co/519Nb4Obw9
— Alex Savas (@alexsavas) February 2, 2021
Several notable male fighters also responded to Smith, expressing their objections to his comments.
I don’t ever want to see Stephen A. Smith hit mitts again. I know women that would hurt this dude. https://t.co/2pM5QnWc4y
— tim means (@MeansTim) February 2, 2021
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Smith’s comments have gotten him into trouble with fight fans, and given that his schtick depends on making controversial comments, it won’t be the last.
What are your thoughts on the recent comments from Stephen A. Smith?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM