Stephen A. Smith hits back at critics stating ESPN is protecting Dana White: “Deserves the same punishment he would hand down to one of his fighters”

By Josh Evanoff - January 12, 2023

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith wants to make clear that he’s not happy with UFC president Dana White.

Earlier this month, the UFC president was spotted in a Cabo, Mexico nightclub, alongside his wife, Anna. The pair were seemingly in an argument in a video that was captured by TMZ. In the video, White was slapped by Anna, who then responded with several of his own.

Luckily, the altercation was broken up by onlookers before it could get any worse. Since the release of the video, White has been the talk of the MMA world. Despite the promoter pleading with fans and fighters not to defend him, that hasn’t happened. Instead, names such as Jamahal Hill have come to White’s defense, stating that his wife holds the blame.

However, several have also come after Dana White for the incident. Beyond just the UFC president himself, ESPN and WME have also taken some heat. White’s Power Slap League debut was also later delayed by TBS following the video’s release.

Stephen A. Smith has also taken a lot of heat for the situation. The ESPN analyst discussed the situation last week, with a clip of the video quickly going viral. After Smith’s comments came under fire, he responded in a recent edition of First Take.

Dana White, Power Slap

“I want to get into this. Because this is First Take, and we don’t run from issues, and we ain’t about to start now,” stated Smith. “And people who have implied that somehow, someway we run from issues or we soft-soak stuff, I don’t think they know what the hell they’re talking about. So I’m gonna speak for myself.” (h/t MMA News)

He continued, “I’ve already stated for the record: Number 1, I spoke to Dana White. Dana White knows exactly where I stand. He was wrong. You do not put your hands on a woman. Period. I also said that Dana White deserves the same punishment he would hand down to one of his fighters.”

“…But the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, Dana White was wrong. You do not do what he did to his wife, which he has openly admitted. Does he deserve to be punished? Yes, he does. Does he deserve to be the person who decides what his punishment is? No, he does not. He does not. Somebody else needs to be able to make that call, which is what I said.”

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