Lamar Odom Hits Back After ESPN Host Mocks Drug Use!
Let’s be real: Lamar Odom’s been through enough.
He lost his mother at a very young age, he lost his third child, he lost the love of his life, and he lost his career.
And yes, some of those things were more in his control than others, but still, the guy has had a tough life.
He doesn’t need to deal with others carelessly mocking him about his lowest moments.
But still, that’s what happened Thursday on the ESPN show, First Take.
Host Stephen A. Smith went off on Phil Jackson, the president of the New York Knicks — a team that signed Lamar in 2014.
“His very first move as executive was to sign Lamar Odom — who was on crack!” Smith screamed on the show.
“I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him and we’re wishing nothing but the best.”
“But,” he added, “metaphorically speaking, his first move as the executive of the New York Knicks was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack!”
As you can see, Smith wasn’t even upset about anything Lamar himself did — he just used his history with addiction to slam someone else.
And Lamar isn’t standing for it.
He had his lawyer, Saam Zangeneh, write up a letter to ESPN, and he shared the entire thing on Twitter.
In the letter, Lamar’s lawyer pointed out that “Lamar passed all the required physicals and medical tests necessary to play in the league.”
But, putting that aside, he asked the network to “look at what this statement does, not only to Lamar, but to any and all professional athletes that are struggling with addiction.”
The letter explains that addiction is a disease, and “Mr. Smith chose to jokingly disparage Lamar for having a disease.”
“Mr. Smith chose to shout out the fact that Lamar was sick, and to use his disease as the butt of a joke.”
“To say that his conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface.”
“Think about the others that are battling addiction,” Lamar’s attorney suggested.
“Those that have not had the strength or opportunity tp share their struggle like Lamar.”
“Imagine the effect this grotesque statement would have on any young athlete who is privately fighting this disease. To become the punch line of a vulgar joke.”
In closing, the letter asked that “those at ESPN will actively voice their disdain for Mr. Smith’s inappropriate statement and take the proper action to support those that are fighting this disease.”
“We would hope that your network would use this situation as an opportunity to become more actively involved in this case.”
When he shared the letter on Twitter, Lamar added the hashtags “slander” and “I hope we are better than this.”
Like we said, Lamar’s been through enough, and that includes his battle with drug addiction.
Good for his lawyer for standing up for him — and shame on anyone who would use his past in such a vulgar way to insult someone else.
As Lamar pointed out, we should all be better than this.