Hugh Douglas Fired by ESPN for Racial Jabs at His Co-Host

Image: Hugh Douglas Fired by ESPN for Racial Jabs at His Co-Host Hugh Douglas, left, and Michael Smith.

Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 01:53 PM

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Hugh Douglas, co-host of ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie," has been fired by the network after a confrontation with co-host Michael Smith in which he reportedly called him "an Uncle Tom" and a "House (N-word)."

Douglas got into a heated exchange at a National Association of Black Journalists convention event in Orlando earlier this month where sources said he made the disparaging remarks about Smith, TMZ reported.

TMZ.com said ESPN made its move on Tuesday to cut ties with Douglas, a former defensive end with the Philadelphia Eagles. Douglas, in turn, went to Twitter to express his feelings.

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"I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time," Douglas tweeted.

According to USA Today's blog "The Big Lead," a source said while at a party connected to the convention, Douglas threatened to beat up Smith three times. The source told USA Today that when Smith tried to walk away, Douglas grabbed him, using the racial language.

The source told USA Today that onlookers separated the two men and Douglas eventually left the party.

The New York Daily News reported that sources said Douglas was not fired because of the racial slurs but his overall behavior that night and that ESPN executives investigating incident could not confirm that Douglas used the N-word but said he did get grab Smith.

The Daily News' Bob Raissman wrote that the party incident may have been preceded by another incident at the convention when Smith and Jemele Hill, who is a third co-host on the "Numbers Never Lie" show, refused to let Douglas speak at an earlier convention program they moderated.

Douglas was in the NFL from 1995 to 2004, playing six seasons in Philadelphia after he was drafted by the New York Jets and played three years there, according to DatabaseFootball.com. He also played one season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Douglas has served as an ESPN analyst since August, 2011, according to IMDb.com. In 1999, he started the Hugh Douglas Foundation to help children in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, according to the website.

Related stories:

ESPN Layoffs Confirmed by Network; Could Affect as Many as 400

NY Times' Nate Silver Moving FiveThirtyEight Blog to ESPN


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