Malika Andrews has had it with Stephen A. Smith and what he thinks about the Ime Udoka situation.
Udoka was suspended for violating multiple team guidelines (notice that’s plural), and Smith was hellbent on making sure everyone knew he wanted the unnamed woman to be be named, or at least be punished, for her part in everything, too.
“It said, in the numerous news reports, that it was a consensual relationship and violated an organizational policy. So only he is in violation of a company policy?” Smith said on the program. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation? He gets to get mentioned and put on front street? We don’t know who she is.”
Let’s clear a few things up before we jump into what Andrews responded with.
While we still don’t have all the details regarding what exactly happened, even after Friday’s press conference with Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, what we do know is that a law firm was brought in to handle the investigation before the C’s decided on a punishment they believe was warranted.
Also, if the relationship wasn’t disclosed then we’re looking at a power imbalance within the workplace. If Udoka was having a relationship with a staffer — although consensual — dating a subordinate is a big no-no. And at the end of the day, the Celtics still are a business.
Udoka allegedly made “unwanted comments” toward the individual, which prompted the Celtics to open an investigation.
It takes two to tango, yes, but once potential claims of harassment are brought to light, we don’t need to know who the woman is. We don’t need to know who the woman is regardless.
Besides, plenty of female Celtics staffers were wrongfully dragged through the mud because the internet is a vile place.
Andrews was not about to have Smith continue to place the blame on a woman.
“Stephen A., with all due respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” she said. “What became apparent to me, in this press conference, is that we do not have all of the information here and it was frustrating to me that the Celtics declined to elaborate or give more specifics about what exactly the rule-breaking was that led up to this point.
“We are not here, Stephen A., to blame women. That is not why we are here.”
As you probably could have guessed, Smith wasn’t happy with that claim and said he’s not placing blame on anyone except Udoka.
Smith also has made it clear that the events surrounding Udoka — including his romantic life — are no one’s business. But the season-long suspension apparently has grounds to be our business. He went on and on about how the situation should have been handled privately, but wants the woman to be named? You can’t have it both ways.
This conversation probably is far from over, and it’s probably something we’ll never have the full details about. Smith probably won’t backtrack his comments, but it’s certainly something he should consider.