ESPN presenters Michael Smith and Hugh Douglas nearly came to blows Friday during a heated argument that involved racial slurs, according to reports.
The two men, who co-host the show 'Numbers Never Lie' along with Jemele Hill, were attending a Sports Task Force party at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida, when an inebriated Douglas attempted to take the stage, but was stopped by Smith.
According to those who attended the event, Douglas reacted by hurling racially charged insults at his colleague and nearly hitting him.
The story was first reported by The Big Lead, whose sources described the incident during Friday's VIP charity event organized by the National Association of Black Journalists convention as 'very ugly.'
According to the website, Douglas, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound former defensive lineman, and his colleague, who is significally smaller in build, had to be separated by security and other party-goers.
The site Deadspin shed more light on the dust-up in Orlando, revealing today that Douglas had been drinking heavily, and Smith allegedly tried to keep him from speaking out.
Minutes later, the enraged former Philadelphia Eagles player allegedly called his co-host 'Uncle Tom' and a 'house n*****.' Both Smith and Douglas are African-American.
According to the Deadspin report, the skirmish on Friday had its roots in an incident that happened a day earlier at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
On Thursday, Smith and Hill, who are both sports reporters by trade and long-time friends, were speaking to more than 100 aspiring journalists about a podcast they have been hosting for several months when they were approached by Douglas.
The former athlete, described by eyewitnesses as extremely inebriated, demanded that Hill hand him the microphone, even though he was not scheduled to speak on the panel.
Hill declined to let him speak, and reportedly a brief tug-of-war over the microphone ensued, leaving everyone involved feeling uncomfortable.
The following night during the party in Orlando, Deadspin reported that Douglas, once again drunk, made it for the stage, apparently planning to say something to the crowd.
A source told the site that Smith, who was sober, caught up with his co-host and asked him not to speak.
Douglas heeded the advice, but a few minutes later he allegedly hurled the 'Uncle Tom' comment and other racially charged epithets at Smith.
According to witness accounts, the ex-NFL player then grabbed Smith by the arm and allegedly threatened to hit him, saying: 'ill f*** you up.'
Neither Smith nor Douglas commented on the incident. Meanwhile, an ESPN spokesperson acknowledged to MailOnline that there had been a disagreement between the two men, saying in a statement that the network is looking into the situation.