Yahoo – Stephen A. Smith lived out an ESPN viewer’s fantasy on Thursday when he flipped the bird to everyone’s favorite punching bag, Skip Bayless, during a live segment on “First Take.” The vocal personalities were discussing Eli Manning and Tom Brady when the finger wagging occurred. Bayless made the point that there’s not as much pressure on Eli in the Super Bowl because he isn’t regarded as highly as Brady. Smith, as he’s obligated to do, disagreed. As he was talking, Bayless was shuffling papers in his hands. Smith asked, “Skip, why you flickin’ the papers in your hand.” He then raised the offending finger and kept it up for a little more than a second. Nobody on either set seemed to notice and the segment loudly continued.
Viewers took to Twitter to discuss the incident and the reaction quickly got back to Smith. He insisted it was an accident. He wrote:
First off, I guess shit gets real when Eli vs Brady gets brought up. And second, have we become that much of a pussy society/population that now we’re complaining about a dude giving the middle finger? Everyone knows that basic cable is allowed to say every word besides like, fuck and cunt. So a middle finger, meeehhhh, not that big of a deal. And of course he isn’t going to cop to it. No one ever does. Celebs, athletes, basically anyone rich or powerful, they all make mistakes and lie about them. We all know what happened. A picture says a thousand words bro. I didn’t even need HD for that shit. Now do I think ESPN is the appropriate place for flipping the bird? Probably not. But then again, have any of you tried to listen to Skip Bayless talk? Its like listening to your girlfriend/wife/mother/sister/or any female in an argument. All he does is repeat, repeat and repeat. And heaven forbid he become right about anything- like Tebow winning a game or what have you- and he’ll make sure you never, ever forget about it. That’s just like a bitch for ya.