ESPN co-hosts Douglas, Smith in altercation that involved racial slurs


ESPN host and former Jets star Hugh Douglas shouted racial slurs and threatened to flatten a colleague during an ugly confrontation in Florida over the weekend.

A drunken Douglas called his “Numbers Never Lie” co-host Michael Smith an "Uncle Tom" and a "House Nigger" at the House of Blues in Orlando Friday night, where they had been attending an event hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists, according to The Big Lead sports Web site.

“We are looking at the this incident internally,” an ESPN rep said today, declining any further comment.

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Douglas -- honored as AP’s 1995 Defensive Player of the Year -- reportedly grabbed Smith's arm and the two colleagues had to be separated by security and others in attendance.

Douglas, drafted in the first round by Gang Green, was pulled aside by another ESPN staffer and quickly left the party.

Smith, Douglas and Jemele Hill co-host the daily show that breaks down sports issues with statistical analysis. Douglas did not appear on the show yesterday and today.

The beef was hatched a day earlier when Smith and Hill -- long-time friends and both former print journalists -- were speaking to at an NABJ, according to

Smith and Hill do a podcast “His & Hers with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill” in addition to their “Numbers” gig. As they wrapped up their presentation, a drunk Douglas approached and wanted the mic -- but Hill didn’t surrender the floor, witnesses told Deadspin.

Douglas, as an ex-jock, reportedly feels outnumbered by the two print pals Smith and Hill. Adding to Douglas’ anxiety, ESPN recently hired sports and political stats guru Nate Silver, with an eye toward possibly adding him to “Numbers,” according to Deadspin.