ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless Spar Over Michael Sam ‘Controversy’

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are not strangers to confrontations on ESPN. In fact, these two colorful “analysts” have had their fair share of entertaining moments on the four-letter word. 

However, they took it to an entirely new level in a recent segment focusing on Tony Dungy’s comments about St. Louis Rams rookie Michael Sam. The following is from ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday morning.


Smith took one stand, while (shockingly) Bayless took a completely different stand.

For his part, Smith had this to say…

I’m really disgusted at all the hoopla and the noise that has been made because of Tony Dungy’s comments…I don’t find them remotely controversial.

Smith continued…

I am a proponent of most of the causes the gay community has fought for. And I think that it’s wrong how they’ve been prejudiced against. But having said all that, I think it’s important to recognize that that doesn’t mean [you] have a right to (people) being comfortable with you.

Of course, there are going to be people that are going to be uncomfortable with your sexual orientation. That’s not necessarily an issue here. Smith is right in stating that you have the right to feel how you feel.

The question then becomes does a coach have the right to impress upon his organization his own opinion on specific situations in society? That opens up an entirely new can of worms.

Bayless responded to Smith’s comments with “utter shock,” in his own words.

From that point on, the entire segment turned into nothing less than a shoutfest between the two. We know, we’re shocked too.

Photo: Fox Sports