Hugh Douglas tells the Michael Smith ESPN story
- Updated: July 15, 2014
First of all, I couldn’t be more excited to have launched “Cheap Shots,” my radio show with former Philadelphia Eagle and Carolina Panther Luther Broughton. We had our maiden voyage on Tuesday night, July 15th and were delighted to have former Eagles DE Hugh Douglas joining us.
Hugh was an awesome guest who weighed in on a variety of topics including the state of the Eagles, Cris Carter’s calling for the dismissal of Josh Gordon and – for the first time ever – what really happened between himself and Michael Smith that got him fired from ESPN.
You can listen to the entire episode here.
Hugh speaks publicly about what really happened that night, when he was eventually accused of calling Smith a “house n*gger” and/or an “Uncle Tom,” depending on whose version of events you believe. So, if you don’t want to listen to the whole show, here is Hugh’s take on what happened that night:
“First of all, I enjoyed working at ESPN, it was a great experience working with the guys there” Douglas said. “And you know basically it was unfortunate the way it went down that it did. But, I want to say this. I was out of line from the sense that I was loud and boisterous. You know me, I’m a loud and boisterous guy. I never called Michael Smith out his name. I never called him a house whatever or an Uncle Tom. Never said any of that. Never happened.”
“Let me tell you the story the way it happened. Me, Mike and Jemele [Hill] were sitting around and they were getting ready to do a podcast and I told Mike ‘hey man, I’m going to come to your podcast later on.’ He was like, ‘sure no problem, come to the podcast.’ This was the first night. So I came to the podcast, but I came late. I came to the podcast late. So yeah, they’re right, I did try to grab the mic, the young lady told me I can’t have the mic. I said fine.”
Host Luther Broughton then asked Douglas how many beverages he had consumed at that point.
“We had a couple beverages, but I wasn’t drunk,” Douglas continued. “It was a party. Everybody…it was a party. So, I go there, try to grab the mic, the young lady tells me I can’t grab the mic. Then she proceeds to let me raffle off tickets, like I’m raffling off prizes. You know in my little funny announcer voice, I’m like ‘hey, everybody, dah, dah, dah…'”
“So that was the first night. So, this was the night Mike was talking about. So, Mike goes up on stage at the House of Blues. Now mind you, House of Blues has cameras, they have a digital feed all around the place. So, Mike was on stage, him and Jemele. And so I’m at the bottom of the stage, banging on the stage, I had just got there. So uh, Mike is on the stage, he’s doing his thing, he’s kind of looking at me, he’s giving me a funny look right. So, I try to go on stage, I did try to go on stage. Again, they told me I couldn’t come on stage. Fine. So I walk away.
“So, Mike comes off the stage, and I walk up behind him and I’m like ‘Yo Mike, what’s going on?’ Mike puts his finger in my face and tells me ‘don’t you ever effing do that again.’ So, I laughed right, cause I laughed at first, I laughed. So I’m like ‘who is he talking to? I’m like, who is Mike?’ Cause you know Mike, Mike’s a little, he’s a little sensitive.
“He says ‘don’t you ever effing do that again. And so I looked at him and I’m like ‘Mike what’s the matter?,’ and he walks away, so I walked behind him. And I’m like ‘dude, what’s going on?’ So he stopped and he’s talking to this young lady. So I walk up to Michael and I whisper in his ear. I said ‘Mike don’t you ever talk to me like that again, because I will beat your M F’ing A.’ Just like that.
“So Michael, he goes off like a little…, he goes from 0-60 and starts screaming and hollering and saying that ‘I’m going to get you fired, I’m going to get you fired, you’re done, yada, yada, yada.’ So the girl looks at me and says, ‘can he do that?’ And I was like, ‘well you know, Mike thinks he has the big piece of chicken, I’m going to call him when I get outside, everything will be fine.’ So, I go outside, and I call him. I said ‘hey, man. Let’s squash this like men. You know, let’s squash this, let’s talk about his.’ I don’t hear from Mike. So, I continue partying and I’m like hey let him blow off a little steam, you know I’ll just talk to him tomorrow.
“So, I get up in the morning. And you know how when you get up in the morning and you know something is wrong? And you know what it is, cause he’s told everybody. He’s built it up more than what it was. So I get up in the morning so everybody’s kinda looking at me weird. So I said ‘okay, let me get out of here.’ Cause if I see Mike and if he tries to say something to me, I’m gonna put my….you know…it’s gonna get ugly. It’s gonna get ugly. I’m going to do something. So I’m going to leave.
“So, I get an early flight, so I go back to Connecticut. I’ll just talk to Mike at work tomorrow. We’ll figure it out tomorrow. So, I try to call him again, he doesn’t answer his phone at all. So, I get back to Connecticut and my agent calls me and was like, ‘you know, what happened between you and Mike?’ And I was like, ‘what do you mean?’ I said, ‘we got into an argument, but that was it, I was going to talk to him Monday.’
“He said, ‘Naw, this is bad.’ And I’m like ‘what do you mean?’ He said, ‘Mike said you called him names and tried to fight him.’ And I said ‘are you kidding me?’ He was like ‘yeah they said Mike said you tried to fight him.’ I’m like ‘dude, they got security in the building. I didn’t do any of that. I didn’t touch this guy.’ I just whispered in his ear and I told my agent what I told him.
“Well, Mike goes in and he goes to HR and he tells them that I called him all kinds of names and yada, yada, yada. Yeah, he went to HR. So, I get a phone call from a – I’m not going to mention his name – but somebody from ESPN, a close friend of mine called me and was like, ‘he’s out to get you. And they are saying whatever.’ And that was it.”
“Mike is a different cat. You know, I had a lot of respect for him, but when he did that…I mean I’m not mad because you know, I mean I didn’t see it coming. You know how they say you’re supposed to be able to identify snakes? Didn’t see that one coming. That one’s on me. I thought our relationship was more than what it was. You know, I thought we were cool, bottom line. But, we weren’t, so.”