Stephen A. Smith has done it again.
The ESPN analyst created quite a stir with his thoughts about women competing in MMA, stating “I don’t want to see women fighting in the octagon again.” Many fighters didn’t take too kindly to Smith’s comments.
Yes I saw what he said about women fighting. Don’t tag him. Don’t even say his name. He is irrelevant so don’t give him a voice in our sport. Send him back to the NBA to make absurd comments about the other sport he couldn’t hack it in as a competitor.— Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) February 4, 2021
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
♀️ ♀️ ♀️ ...a lot I want to say here but I think the emoji sums it up just fine. https://t.co/WcuhMYzybv— Laura Sanko (@laura_sanko) February 3, 2021
Hi @espn— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) February 3, 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
Who even cares about what this guys wants to see? Close your eyes https://t.co/0oxNP16Fj9— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) February 3, 2021
Hey @stephenasmith i'm not mad at you for your comments.However I wouldn't expect you to be educated on female fighters/fighting.i've seen you fall asleep during the live fighting broadcast.Make sure your opinion is educated Especially when you have & able to influence others.— Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) February 4, 2021
It’s not the first time Smith has come under fire from MMA fans for his opinions. He savaged Donald Cerrone following the octagon vet’s quick loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 246, saying Cerrone didn’t show up to fight and was “disgusted” with what Cerrone offered in the fight. That prompted a wave of condemnation from high-profile MMA figures including McGregor, who said the ESPN personality should apologize for his words. Smith stood by his words and later gloated when Cerrone admitted he was off his game.
Since that controversy, Smith has been noticeably absent from UFC broadcasts, though he’s continued to opine on the sport at large, which led to his latest controversial comments.