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Stephen A. Smith facing backlash over controversial Josh Gordon take

Stephen A. Smith is facing heavy criticism over a questionable take on the Josh Gordon situation, and even one of his former ESPN colleagues has called out the outspoken sports media personality.

Smith made what many people have argued were insensitive and ignorant comments Thursday night about Gordon’s ongoing and longtime battles with addiction.

“I don’t want to come across as harsh or unsympathetic to Josh Gordon,” Smith said in part, as transcribed by the New York Post. “But let’s be very, very clear here. You’ve got a whole bunch of people out there talking about ‘It’s a disease, it’s a disease’ because it’s an addiction.

“Well, I’m not going to debunk or eliminate the notion that it’s a disease, but how did it become one? Because you can’t get addicted to something you never try. This isn’t cancer. This isn’t Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or something like that. This is self-inflicted.”

Longtime ESPN reporter Darren Rovell, who left the company earlier this year to take a job with Action Network, called out Smith on Twitter, citing the “damage done” by his former colleague’s Gordon comments.

The news had come through earlier in the day that the Patriots wide receiver had been returned to the Reserve/Commissioner Suspended list indefinitely, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gordon’s designation was preceded by him issuing a statement early Thursday morning announcing he was taking leave from the Patriots to deal with mental health issues.

There appears to be no evidence yet that Smith has responded to the backlash to his thoughts on Gordon.