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Monday’s “First Take” talk centered on Caitlin Clark got almost as contentious as the rookie’s games.
A discussion about Clark’s action-packed weekend, which included a hard hip-check Saturday from Sky veteran Chennedy Carter and the worst game of her young career Sunday in a blowout loss to the Liberty, resulted in Monica McNutt calling out Stephen A. Smith for not covering women’s sports and Smith being rather ticked off.
“Who talks about the WNBA, who talks about women, who talks about women’s sports more than ‘First Take’?” Smith asked during the segment.
“Stephen A., respectfully, with your platform, you could have been doing this three years ago if you wanted to,” McNutt responded, drawing short responses from Smith.
Host Molly Qerim estimated that “First Take” spent 40 minutes discussing Clark and the WNBA on Monday, but the segment became contentions toward its conclusion.
Monday’s show featured a discussion of how opposing teams are bullying Clark, which only intensified after Carter’s flagrant foul.
“We’re talking about the maximizing their great potential,” Smith said. “And because we bring that up and talk about what potentially might get in their way — which we do to men all the time — now we gotta sit up here and watch every syllable. I resent that and I’ll leave it at that.”
McNutt then fired back.
“I know we got to go to break. Welcome to the world of being a woman, Stephen A., and how you have to dance about your word choice and you have to please everybody and anybody as you navigate your being,” McNutt said. “We are talking about the world’s greatest athletes…”
7 The “First Take” crew from Monday’s show. @awfulannouncing/X
“How about being a black man?” Smith interjected.
Shannon Sharpe attempted to get in a word before being shouted over in what became a common theme.
“There are so many layers in this conversation around the way that it’s being discussed…,” McNutt said.
7 Monica McNutt reacts to a comment from Stephen A. Smith. @awfulannouncing/X
Sharpe had another attempt to get in his two cents but McNutt blocked him again.
“No, no, no, I know y’all are going to say you know, and Stephen A. … you just shared that you talked about the WNBA on your program too. You guys may not have said everybody, but the prevailing sentiment for folks that are just joining the WNBA and following women’s sports, is unfair to the women of this league, to your point, who have laid the groundwork for Caitlin Clark to come in and now take it the next level,” McNutt said. “That’s all I’m saying in these conversations.
“Chennedy Carter’s behavior is not indicative of the entire league. We are still talking about competition, where you are allowed to get a little extra elbow in if you are competing and do it within the parameters of the game. The game is physical, Caitlin is helping to grow the league, these women understand that, but she cannot be babied as a rookie. That’s all I’m at.”
The segment then got awkward when McNutt fired back with her jab about Smith using his platform to talk about the WNBA three years ago.
7 Molly Qerium looked like she needed a vacation during the segment. @awfulannouncing/X
Smith, with a stupefied look on his face, took a whole second before responding.
“Wow,” he said in an incredulous tone. “Wow, wow.”
That’s when Qerim attempted to finally get to that commercial break as the shouting began.
7 Stephen A. Smith responds to a point. @awfulannouncing/X
“Alright, we gotta go, you guys,” Qerim said.
Smith interjected: “So, did you say the shows…”
“You know you’re my guy…” McNutt replied.
Smith interrupted: “Who does more for, than us?”
“Stephen A., I’m talking to you, I’m talking to you,” McNutt responded.
7 Another one of Stephen A. Smith’s expressions from Monday’s segment. @awfulannouncing/X
“Wow,” Smith said.
“Don’t do that,” McNutt followed. “I’m talking to you about the power that you have.”
Smith uttered an “Oh, my Lord” while shaking his head before saying “OK” several times.
The back and forth ended awkwardly with McNutt telling Smith he’s “her guy,” and Smith just responding, “I got it,” several times.
Qerim tried again to end the segment, but Smith wasn’t going to let this one go.
“Guys, guys, guys, I really appreciate…” Qerim said.
7 Things got contentious at the end of the segment. @awfulannouncing/X
Smith cut her off and said to McNutt: “You’re my girl, but you missed a lot of episodes of ‘First Take.’ You missed a lot.”
McNutt didn’t let Smith get in the final word.
“Stephen A., three years ago, you were not talking about the WNBA at this level, don’t do that,” she said.
Qerim again tried — notice a theme? — with a string of “guys” and then Sharpe finally got in some words.
“You’re making Stephen A.’s point, Monica,” Sharpe said. “Monica, you’re making Stephen A.’s point.”
7 Stephen A. Smith and Monica McNutt traded barbs Monday. @awfulannouncing/X
Qerim then mercifully ended the segment, clapping to show she meant business.
“Hey, gentlemen please,” Qerim said. “Let me do my job. Please let me do my job. We’ve gone for 40 minutes straight, it was a riveting discussion. I have to get into commercial break.”

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