Hugh Douglas has confirmed his departure from ESPN. The former football player and host of “Numbers Never Lie” was fired following reports of an alleged confrontation with his co-host Michael Smith at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair in Orlando earlier this month, Variety reports.
Douglas was let go on Tuesday, following media claims that he had threatened to beat Smith up at the convention, purportedly calling him an “Uncle Tom” and a “House n****” during the incident. Initially, the network said that it would look into what unfolded and that inquiry has apparently now come to a close.
Earlier this month, Deadspin initially published details about what allegedly unfolded at the journalism conference — and here’s just a small tidbit:
…there was a party at the club, House of Blues, in Orlando. Douglas was, again, very drunk. Lots of people were drinking, so this was less of a big deal, but then he started making some movements toward the stage at the club. … One person told us that Smith—who wasn’t drinking—told Douglas not to go up. It would be a mistake. Douglas apparently wasn’t in a state to be reasoned with. He didn’t go up there, but a few minutes later, Douglas was angry enough to finally tell Smith off.
“Uncle Tom,” Douglas told Smith, according to two people familiar with the altercation. Smith apparently did his best to ignore this. Shortly thereafter, Douglas had more words to say to Smith. He grabbed him by his arm. He threatened to beat him up. Some people, including security, had to break it up.
Following this spat, the network decided to let the former NFL player go. Douglas confirmed the news on Twitter Tuesday, writing, “I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time.” So far, though, he hasn’t issued additional comments.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for ESPN also told Sports Illustrated, “He no longer works for us effective today,” in reference to the former football player’s employment.