Will Smith hits Chris Rock: The best sporting reactions after Oscars incident

Oscars: Phillip Schofield questions what’s next for Will Smith

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Will Smith shocked the world on Sunday night when he hit Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony. The 53-year-old, who would later go on to win the Academy Award for his performance in ‘King Richard’, struck the presenter following a joke made about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. And it soured what should have been a memorable evening for the Men in Black and Hancock star.

Smith and his family attended the Oscars on Sunday night hoping for the 53-year-old to win the award.

Yet though he did just that, the evening was tarnished after he slapped Rock on stage following a joke about his wife.

Rock joked that Pinkett Smith was preparing for a role in GI Jane: 2 due to her shaved head, with Demi Moore previously sporting a similar haircut in the original 1997 title.

But Smith, who initially appeared to laugh it off, then proceeded to get up on stage and strike the presenter in the face.

He’d go on to claim the award for his performance in ‘King Richard’, where he played Serena and Venus Williams’ father in a story about their mercurial rise to the top.

But the world has been left shocked by the drama at the Oscars and how it unfolded.

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Figures from within the sporting community have now reacted, with Gary Lineker among them.

“Will Smith should play Muhammad Ali in a movie,” the former Tottenham and Leicester striker joked during the early hours of the morning.

NFL players have also taken to social media to share their reactions, too.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson said ‘ain’t no way that was real #Oscars2022’ on his own account, accompanying the message with a shocked emoji.

Raiders pass-rusher Chandler Jones said similar, chipping in with: “Someone tell me that was fake?? #Oscars.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes initially said the word ‘bro’ before following it up with: “Ain’t no way…”

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Commanders star Antonio Gibson couldn’t resist getting involved either, cracking a joke about Smith’s previous role in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

“Bout to get sent back to Bel Air,” he said, accompanying his message with laughing emojis.

Figures from UFC have also reacted to the incident, too.

President Dana White shared the video on his Instagram, writing: “FINALLY!!!! There’s an Oscar’s show worth watching. AND @chrisrock has a chin.”

And UFC ring girl Arianna Celeste appeared to show support for Smith, sharing the video and saying: “I love Will Smith so much…”

Smith was tearful when he won the award and apologised for hitting Rock, while also labelling his success as a ‘beautiful moment’.

He said: “I want to apologise to The Academy, I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.

“This is a beautiful moment.”

The ‘King Richard’ star is, however, now at risk at losing his Oscar due to the Academy’s ‘Standards of Conduct’ guidelines.

They read: “In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.

“There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognised standards of decency.

“The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality.

“The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.”

The Academy also addressed the incident on Sunday, saying: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.

“Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

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