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ESPN Co-Host Absent from Airwaves After Ugly NABJ Incident

According to a Facebook comment relayed this morning by Journal-isms columnist Richard Prince, most of those attending an NABJ convention party last Friday night at the House of Blues in Orlando “had no clue” that former NFL player Hugh Douglas went crazy on his ESPN2 co-host Michael Smith. But thanks to weekend coverage of the alcohol-fueled scuffle by thebiglead.com’s Jason McIntyre and all sorts of subsequent media pick-up, it could cost Douglas dearly.

As noted by awfulannouncing.com, Douglas has been absent this week from his daily ESPN2 show Numbers Never Lie alongside Smith and third co-host Jemele Hill. From McIntyre’s follow-up item:

After the third [House of Blues party] threat, Smith tried to walk away, at which point Douglas grabbed Smith’s wrist and hurled two racial epithets at him, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and a “House N—-.” Smith, the witness says, turned around to protect himself, at which point onlookers rushed in to break it up.

Three independent sources have verified this version of events.

ESPN spokesman David Scott told McIntyre the network was “looking into the situation.” We have to agree with Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder; it seems assured that Douglas’ ESPN days are done.

P.S. At press time, there had been no activity on Douglas’ Twitter account since that fateful Friday.

Update (August 13)
An ESPN spokesperson has confirmed to TheWrap that Douglas is no longer with the sports network.

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