WATCH: Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith Praise Dawn Staley, Criticize Kim Mulkey’s Responses To Fight

Two of the biggest voices in sports media gave props to Dawn Staley for how she handled her team’s fight with LSU.

In Sunday afternoon’s SEC Tournament Title bout between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the LSU Tigers, Dawn Staley’s squad winning the program’s eighth tournament title in program history wasn’t the leading story, nor was it MiLaysia Fulwiley’s career performance.

Instead, it was the fight that took place with 2:08 left in the game that left Kamilla Cardoso disqualified for fighting and the Gamecocks’ entire bench, outside of two players, ejected for leaving the bench area during the altercation.

After the game, Staley immediately took the chance to apologize for her team’s role in the scuffle. Several in the sports media world have lauded her actions and words, and that carried over into this morning with ESPN’s First Take, where Shannon Sharpe would give immense credit to Dawn for how she handled the situation.

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“Did you see the two differences in the stories and the coaches [responses]?

You see what Dawn Staley said and how she tried to downplay it?

And you see Kim Mulkey’s [statement], how she tried to up-play it? – Dawn Staley showed the utmost class and respect not only for the game itself, but for her team and for the opposing team.

I wish Kim Mulkey had shown that level of respect. I just wish Kim Mulkey could have taken the stance that Dawn Staley did.”

Stephen A. Smith responded to Sharpe by agreeing with his stance “1000%” and hinted that if the roles were reversed, the magnitude of the blowback could’ve been different as well.

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“[Dawn] might have been treated significantly different than Kim Mulkey had those words come out of her mouth.

So Dawn Staley exercised class, and not only that, she elaborated extensively even more y’all when she said this team from last year, who was significantly more experienced, that [the fight] would not have happened because we would have calmed the waters.

The players would have said ‘No, we’re not about that,'” Smith recalled.

“In the end, it does come down to leadership and when you see Dawn Staley articulate and verbalize her position and you pair it with Kim Mulkey’s, Kim Mulkey exercises a lot of leniency, a lot of latitude with the things that she says [and is] almost never held accountable for them, and we know that would not applied to Dawn Staley.”

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