Red Sox Icon Accuses Stephen A. Smith of Racism, Claims Phillies Clubhouse Ban

MLB controversy erupts over analyst's comments and conduct.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Red Sox Icon Accuses Stephen A. Smith of Racism, Claims Phillies Clubhouse Ban
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In a candid episode of the "Foul Territory" podcast, Boston Red Sox legend Jonathan Papelbon leveled serious accusations against ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, calling him a "racist" and challenging ESPN to take disciplinary action.

The controversy ignited after Smith criticized Los Angeles Angels standout Mike Trout for his recent injury, a torn meniscus, which will sideline him indefinitely. The comments from Smith came during an episode of ESPN's "First Take," where he expressed frustration over Trout's injury history and questioned the physical regimen of baseball players.

"How the hell is he always hurt?" Smith lamented on the show. "It drives me nuts when I see baseball players get hurt. What is it that you're doing with yourself physically that you can't stay healthy playing baseball?" Papelbon's Harsh Critique The fiery critique did not sit well with MLB fans, who voiced their displeasure across various platforms.

However, Papelbon’s response went beyond mere disagreement. On the podcast, he described Smith as not only a racist but also xenophobic and inauthentic, accusing him of stirring controversy merely for social media traction.

“I look at him [as] three things," Papelbon said. "A racist, xenophobic, and fake. That’s not what the game needs. Everyone tunes into the media, I get that. But you have to be responsible for the things you say. And unless ESPN holds him accountable for the stupid things he says, guess what? He’s going to keep doing it”.

Papelbon also brought to light a past incident involving Smith that allegedly led to his ban from the Philadelphia Phillies' clubhouse. According to Papelbon, while Smith was working for the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was caught snooping around the manager’s office and training room, leading to his expulsion from the premises.

This revelation sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of Smith's career and raises questions about the responsibilities and boundaries of media personalities in sports. As the story unfolds, the sports community is left weighing the impact of media critiques on players and the accountability of those who make them.

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