Monica McNutt ‘Respectfully’ Calls Out Stephen A. Smith On His WNBA Coverage

It’s not often that someone can leave Stephen A. Smith speechless. However, basketball analyst Monica McNutt did just that when she recently called out Smith’s WNBA coverage.

Smith was joined by McNutt and Shannon Sharpe during an opening segment on ESPN’s First Take on Monday, June 3rd. They spent 40 minutes discussing backlash over the controversial flagrant foul Chicago Sky’s Chennedy Carter committed against Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark on Saturday, June 1.

Toward the end of the segment, Smith wanted more credit for his coverage of the WNBA than other sports shows after McNutt accused him of making a big deal out of the hard fouls on Clark.

“Who talks about the WNBA and women’s sports more than First Take,’” Smith asked after McNutt in a clip shared online.

“Stephen A., respectfully, with your platform, you could have been doing this three years ago if you wanted,” she shot back.

Smith was visibly taken aback and replied with back-to-back “wow”s.

The exchange quickly went viral across social media, with many offering mixed reactions to which analyst was on the right side of the debate.

“I been watching first take for years. Stephen A… def showed the WNBA more love than any other platform, I seen but at the same time– u can’t force topics on ppl the audience weren’t interested in the WNBA to be talking bout it regularly,” one viewer wrote.

“She’s 100, sadly. They could have been doing it ten years ago if they wanted,” added someone else. “Storylines make the league, and it’s been a big miss in the marketing dept of the WNBA to not have narratives debated on these shows.”

By the end of the day, Smith took to his Stephen A. Smith Show to double down on his argument of being the reason why many sports fans have been informed about the WNBA in recent years by female analysts like McNutt.

“You ever heard of Monica McNutt?…you have now, because she’s on first take a lot,” Smith said in a clip shared online.

Fans called the response a “terrible look” for Smith as it appeared he was attempting to take credit for helping to launch the sports analyst careers of women rather than being more understanding of the point McNutt was trying to make.

McNutt’s initial point about the Caitlin Clark debate was that the star player is having a typical “welcome to the league” moment, which has always been a thing in the WNBA—and other professional sports. However, heated discussions around Carter’s flagrant foul on Saturday have been blown out of proportion in a way that villainizes the league for its treatment of Clark.

Sharpe invited McNutt to his Nightcap podcast with Chad Johnson to allow her to finish the point she was trying to make on “First Take.”

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