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ESPN presenter apologizes for D'Tigers comments

ESPN presenter Stephen A. Smith has apologised for his comments regarding the names of members of the Nigerian basketball team during a rant on a TV show “First Take” after D’Tigers beat the USA on Saturday.

The Americans lost 90-87 to Nigeria in its first of five exhibition games before the Olympics in Tokyo. The USA were the favourite to win the game (and the Olympics) as the number one ranked basketball team in the world.


The American TV personality Smith purposely mispronounced and mocked the names of the players. His comments were met with backlash and even the Nigerian basketball team responded to his actions via a social media post.

“You can lament your loss without slandering the players who gave blood and sweat to grind out a win. Put some respect to their names,” NBBF said

At the opening of “First Take” show on Tuesday. Smith began the show by tendering his apologies. “When I spoke about the Nigerian basketball team, on the very same show, I hurt people as well,” Smith said

“So it doesn’t matter what my opinion was, or what my intentions were. What matters is that I messed up. I intend to learn and listen to people in those communities.”

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