Nia Long remains grateful for the outpouring of support she continues to receive months after her personal life became a hot topic in the media. Though she has not made many public comments about the situation, her latest statement speaks volumes. It comes on the heels of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith saying that she is still owed a public apology.
Last fall, her ex-fiancé, Ime Udoka, made headlines for all the wrong reasons when his alleged affair with a Boston Celtics staffer was uncovered. The indiscretion cost the NBA veteran his head coaching gig with the franchise and his decadeslong relationship with Long.
However, after laying low for some time, Udoka resurfaced earlier this week for a press conference regarding his new role as head coach of the Houston Rockets. There, he addressed the scandal and took responsibility for the fallout caused by his actions. “I took leadership sensitivity training and some counseling with my son to help him improve the situation I put him in. I spent the year, you can grow from adversity, and I think I’ve done that this year, in the right direction,” said Udoka on Wednesday (April 26). There was no mention of Long.
On Friday (April 28), Smith posted a clip from the April 27 episode of the “Know Mercy” podcast calling out Udoka for humiliating Long. “Can I ask all the ladies out there and all the men out there something? What about the sister, the Black woman named Nia Long, that was thrown to the wolves by having all of this publicized? Did she deserve that?” he asked. “This beautiful, gorgeous, smart, intelligent, accomplished woman, a sensational actress, crossing all lines and barriers. Even if they’re not together, that is the father of her child. If you mention him and another woman, inevitably, she’s going to come up.”
Long commented on the post to express gratitude toward Smith. “Thank you @stephenasmith for your support. TBC,” she wrote. She doubled back with a second comment that read, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. – Malcolm X.” The often-referenced quote was delivered during a 1962 speech, where the human rights activist highlighted Black women’s strength, resilience, and their need to be protected by Black men. He said, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
View the clip of Stephen A. Smith’s comments below.