Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at Oscars; sports world reacts to live TV moment

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One of the wildest moments in the history of the Oscars took place Sunday night as Will Smith walked onstage and slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock for a joke Rock directed at Smith’s wife, fellow actor Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock joked that he was excited to see Jada Pinkett […]

One of the wildest moments in the history of the Oscars took place Sunday night as Will Smith walked onstage and slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock for a joke Rock directed at Smith’s wife, fellow actor Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock joked that he was excited to see Jada Pinkett Smith in “G.I. Jane 2,” a reference to the actress’ alopecia condition, which results in hair loss. Jada Pinkett Smith has shaved her head as a response to the diagnosis.

Will Smith — who minutes later won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard” — walked up to Rock, slapped him and then headed back to his seat.

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“Oh, wow,” Rock said. “Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.”

Responded Smith from his seat: “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth. Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”

Here is the moment as it appeared on American television (the uncensored version can be seen here, from the Japanese broadcast of the event).

It should be noted that Will Smith, when accepting his Oscar, apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees — but not Rock.

The absurd unfolding of events naturally resulted in reactions from across social media. The same was true for those in the sports world.

Below are some of the more notable reactions to Smith’s slap of Rock:

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