On August 21, during an episode of First Take on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith discussed Lonzo Ball’s meniscus injury.
Smith claimed to have received information from a source stating that Ball was having difficulties sitting down and standing up.
In response, Ball demonstrated his ability to perform those actions and questioned the credibility of Smith’s sources.
Surprisingly, on The Stephen A. Smith Show, Smith revealed that Ball’s doctors were the ones who had provided him with the information.
Stephen A. Smith claims his sources are Lonzo Ball’s doctors
“Would you like me to tell you the names of the doctors that operated on you? I know the actual Doctor’s…..if I said it it’s because someone close to you told me.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) August 24, 2023
Many viewed this as a confirmation that Smith had violated HIPAA laws, which regulate the usage of private medical information.
In this case, Smith’s violation comprised Ball’s medical team sharing confidential medical information with him, and Smith broadcasting that information on national television.
Despite the severity of these breaches of journalistic ethics, ESPN has stated that Smith will not face any consequences for his actions.
ESPN asserted that Smith’s podcast is separate from his role at the network and therefore, his comments on The Stephen A. Smith Show should not be associated with his position at ESPN.
However, it is important to note that the information was initially disclosed on an ESPN platform, as Smith made these claims on First Take, which is his primary role with ESPN.
Although it is uncertain whether Smith actually violated HIPAA laws, his decision to expose his source and defend his claims despite being presented with conflicting information is just another example of the recent missteps he has made.
Neither Ball nor Smith has responded to these comments or the allegations of violating medical legislation.
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