The Internet is buzzing about the possibility that ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith appeared to have dropped the n-word during a segment on ESPN’s First Take.

While on-air, Smith mocked the idea that Kobe Bryant could miss the Lakers season opener on Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks because of a foot injury.

Smith joked, “Opening night. Kobe Bryant is going to miss it because, ‘my foot is sprained?'”

He then appeared to say, “Are you crazy, ni**a please.”

Smith appeared later on ESPN to deny any claims that he used the racial slur.

“There have been numerous reports out there that I uttered the word I should not have uttered … I did not do so,” said Smith. “I’m a New Yorker. I speak very very fastly, and sometimes … my words are misconstrued and I get it.”

He went on to say that if he had used the word he’s been accused of using, he would immediately offer an apology, but he maintains that he had never used that word at any point.

This is the second time Smith has been called out for using the offensive racial slur on the show.

The first time was in December of 2011 when he supposedly said it while venting about Lebron James’ performance.

When today’s broadcast was re-aired, Smith’s verbal slip-up was bleeped out.

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