During Wednesday's installment of ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams got into a heated exchange over the Kyrie Irving vaccine saga, particularly the latest revelation that Irving is refusing to take the vaccine to stand in solidarity with those who've lost their jobs over the vaccine mandate.
“I’ve been covering the NBA now for almost 25 years,” Smith says. “This is some of the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever seen. Just flat-out stupid.”
That apparently struck a nerve with Williams who called out Smith for his use of the word "stupid."
“I’m just telling you how it feels from people, Stephen A. When you start calling people ‘stupid,’ or you start saying that they’re selfish, these things start going all over the internet, that creates a different narrative and people start fighting back against that narrative.”
“I’m just telling you how it is on the other side, Stephen A. I know you have your thoughts and how you see things…”
WIlliams added that he doesn't agree with Irving's position but said it's his to hold. “That’s his own personal decision,” Willaims said. “He’s choosing to do that, for him. And when you go through an unprecedented time in the history of this country, you have your own individual right to make your own decision about what you want to do for you and your family. I just respect that right, I’m not saying I agree with that right. I respect it.”