(NewsNation) — ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith joined NewsNation’s “CUOMO” on Tuesday to discuss the sports world’s hottest topics: New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62nd home run, Tua Tagovailoa’s controversial head injury and a report of systemic abuse in women’s sports.
Smith said Judge’s American League record 62nd home run should come with no asterisk and said the Dolphins’ handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s head injury means “someone should be fired.”
Smith said when he heard about a new report that detailed systemic verbal and sexual abuse within the National Women’s Soccer League, it “did not surprise me at all … because we have been hearing about these stories for far too long.
“The cover-up doesn’t span a few weeks or a few months. It spans years,” Smith told NewsNation host Chris Cuomo. “Think about what happened at Michigan State. Think about what happened in various other places where you saw young females being mistreated, young females being groped, being touched, being sexually assaulted. We find out more and more and more about this.”
Smith called the Miami Dolphins’ handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s head injury “egregious” and called for someone to be fired in wake of the controversy.
“And this is the problem I think the Miami Dolphins have, you have a coach in Mike McDaniel who is a first-year coach. He’s doing a hell of a job. We don’t want to accuse anybody of doing anything wrong intentionally,” Smith said. “But the doubling down, the ‘we handled everything properly, we did nothing wrong. I completely co-sign with what procedural issues we followed.’ No. Can’t do that based on what we’ve seen here.”
Moments before Smith joined Cuomo, Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season, passing Yankees legend Roger Maris for the most home runs hit in a season in American League history. Yet, many believe Judge should be considered the all-time leader in both leagues, given every National League player to hit more than 61 home runs in a season did so while using performance-enhancing drugs.
Smith said it is clear Judge’s record requires no asterisk like those of National League sluggers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, but added it feels hypocritical for the media pundits and league officials to criticize the records set by those who were using performance-enhancing drugs.
“Even though I’ve always been a critic of those who say that asterisk needs to be attached to these other guys, not to say that it didn’t, but you’re the network. You were collecting the money. You’re the league. You were collecting the money,” Smith said. “Then after you collect the money and the hype and all the hoopla that went along with it, then you want us to forget about the Barry Bonds, the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s. I don’t like that. If you wanted to accept it and take the money, then take everything that goes with it. Put them in a Hall of Fame. Just put an asterisk next to the name and call it a day.”