ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith says he’s not a fan of watching women in the Octagon, and would rather not see them compete in combat sports.
Smith, who last year drew the ire of MMA fans when he made comments about Donald Cerrone’s performance against Conor McGregor, was asked his thoughts on the hiring of women in managerial roles inside the MLB and NBA. Speaking on the Black on the Air podcast, Smith praised the employment of women, but took a moment to share his displeasure of seeing them trade punches.
“First of all, I love it. I think that there’s an awful lot of women that are incredibly qualified to do the jobs that they’re doing,” Smith said (as transcribed by MMAJunkie). Where I jump off the bandwagon is when they try to engage physically. For example, I don’t ever want to see a woman boxing a man. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man even though there are some women out there that’ll kick a dude’s butt. We get all that. When I think about pugilistic sports, I don’t like seeing women involved in that at all. I just don’t like it.
“I wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but I don’t want to see women punching each other in the face. I don’t want to see women fighting in the octagon and stuff like that, but that’s just me. What I would adamantly be against is them fighting men. I don’t think that’s cool. Plus, you don’t ever want to give men license to believe that it’s all right to be physical with a woman, to be quite honest with you. You don’t want to do that.
“And so, outside of that, when you think about them in executive positions, first of all they’re smarter than (men) a lot of times, they’re more composed than us a lot of times, they’re incredibly knowledgeable about these respective sports. They’ve had to go through trials and tribulations one couldn’t even imagine most of the time. For them to get to that point, they deserve the opportunity to showcase their skill sets. Just like we have women in corporate America doing an incredible job leading companies, being executives, pushing businesses forward, etc., etc. There’s no reason on earth why they can’t do the same in the sports world. I support it, I’m a fan of it, and I hope we see more of it.”