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Stephen A. Smith, the fiery ESPN analyst and co-host of blustery morning sports show First Take has found himself in the middle of another potential controversy after reportedly dropping the “n-bomb” on live TV. While discussing favorite subject the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Smith seems to have let the word slip while speaking on the All-Star’s foot injury.

Defending himself for a second time during his “First Take” tenure, Smith denied using the word at all and addressed the issue during this morning’s broadcast.

“[I] don’t want to distract away the intention of the show but obviously there have been numerous reports out there that I have uttered a word that I should not have uttered,” said a subdued Smith. “I’m gonna repeat this one more time. I did not do so. I am a New Yorker, I speak very, very fast and sometimes my words get misconstrued and I get that.”

Smith continued, “If I were to say such a word, because I work for this network, this network would never condone such a thing. I would instantly issue an apology because obviously it would be a huge mistake on my part if I did utter such a word. But I did not.”

Smith addressed the earlier incident from December 2011 where it appeared he called Miami Heat superstar LeBron James the “n-word” – and Smith then cleared it up by calling the claims “patently false” via Twitter without publicly addressing the issue until this morning.

Check Out Stephen A. Smith’s non mea culpa below.


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