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ESPN First Take Headline Controversy: Sports Fans React

Stephen A. Smith looking on at the NBA Celebrity Game

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 14: Head coach Stephen A. Smith of Team Stephen A. looks on before the 2020 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Presented By Ruffles at Wintrust Arena on February 14, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

ESPN's First Take was criticized by some sports fans this week for an insensitive headline given what's happening in Ukraine.

Longtime ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith blasted the NBA Dunk Contest last weekend, calling it a "global atrocity."

On Wednesday, falling Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that headline ran on the screen during ESPN's First Take program.

With Russia invading Ukraine, referring to the NBA Dunk Contest as a "global atrocity" feels a bit extreme.

"Look, I get the Stephen A. Smith bit. 10,000%. It’s pro wrestling sports talk TV. But imagine having the, let’s say “unmitigated gall,” to say something like this today. Dunk contest, global atrocity, FOH," one fan tweeted.

Others were in agreement.

There was likely nothing intentionally harmful here, but still, try to have a little perspective, ESPN's First Take.