By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Oct 26, 2012 11:24 AM EDT
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith landed in the hot seat again after possibly saying what might have been the "N" word live on ESPN's "First Take" on Thursday, Oct. 25.
Smith was discussing Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant's foot injury in an exchange with NBA player Dahntay Jones. While denying the possibility that Bryant might miss the opening of the regular season, Smith made an off-the-cuff remark that may have included a racial slur.
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"Opening night. Kobe Bryant is going to miss it because, 'my foot is sprained?'" said Smith. "Are you crazy, n*** please," Smith may have said.
The comments following the offensive slip has left a divide online whether he said it or not. Some media reports think he "may have" said it while others claim he "definitely" dropped the offensive remark.
Big Lead wrote Smith "may have said" it while BuzzFeed Sports claims Smith "definitely" used the phrase. However, Smith later addressed the reports to viewers on "First Take." In a one-minute address, Smith claimed he never used the "N" word.
"There have been numerous reports out there that I uttered a word I should not have uttered," said a visibly frustrated Smith. "I'm going to repeat this one more time, I did not do so."
Smith claimed he was misunderstood because he was speaking too fast - that his words became jumbled which caused viewers to misunderstand him. Smith said that if he did say the "N" word, he would have immediately apologized to viewers that were offended.
"If I were to say such a word ... I would instantly issue an apology," said Smith. "But I did not."
He did not issue an apology but he did remind his fans that this the second time he's had to make a statement about a word he never used. In December 2011, reports surfaced that Smith may have used the "N" word while commenting on the fact that Miami Heat NBA champion LeBron James is not a great player like Bryant.
At the time, Smith denied it on Twitter.
Smith is a commentator, radio host and ESPN.com columnist. On ESPN2's "First Take," Smith comments on the key sports topics. Additionally, Smith also writes a features column on ESPNLA.com and ESPNNY.com.
Watch Smith on ESPN's 'First Take," in the incident where he denies that he used the "N" word.
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