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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Articles tagged: Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith responds in video to Joe Rogan’s criticism

Stephen A. Smith and Joe Rogan are at odds over the ESPN personality’s analysis of the main event at UFC 246 last weekend.

Smith, who is an MMA outsider and doesn’t often comment on the sport, provided commentary alongside Rogan and Michael Eaves on ESPN after Conor McGregor beat Cowboy Cerrone in the main event.

Smith was critical of Cerrone for lasting just 40 seconds and opined that the spotlight was too much for the veteran fighter. Smith also said that the quick win over Cerrone did not prove anything about whether or not McGregor was “back” after a long layoff.

Rogan, who has been an interviewer for the UFC since 1997 and is an accomplished mixed martial artist himself, took issue with Smith’s commentary. Rogan feels Smith was too harsh on Cerrone.

Here is what Rogan said on the “JRE MMA Show” podcast, as transcribed by MMA Junkie.

“For Conor to smash ‘Cowboy’ like that in front of his wife, his kid, his grandma and the whole world. You’ve got to have some respect for that man, and this sport demands a different perspective. It’s not the same thing as a ball going into a hoop. It’s not the same thing as crossing a line with a football. It’s different. It’s very intense and very personal, and it’s also very (expletive) dangerous and to play it off like it’s just a game, I don’t agree with it,” Rogan said.

Rogan also said the commentator’s shtick doesn’t belong in MMA

“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said. “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for [Smith], it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. But the thing about him is he’s really popular. (He just got a contract extension) because his personality is so fun. He’s a fun guy to watch and people love (expletive)-talking and they love people arguing about (expletive) and one person is better at arguing. Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.”

You can read more of Rogan’s comments at MMA Junkie.

On Saturday, Smith responded with this video where he focused on and defended his take that McGregor did not prove anything.

McGregor got involved in the discussion and told Smith to apologize for not being more respectful of the way Cerrone lost.

Smith doesn’t know the intricacies of MMA, so hearing him talk is infuriating to the hardcore fans and knowledgeable commentators. But ESPN brings Smith on for his hot takes delivered in his entertaining style, and that’s exactly what he did. And now he’s created a beef out of it, which is why he’s paid the big bucks.

ESPN wants to help grow the sport, and having someone like Smith on to do his thing helps appeal to more people. But at the same time, if you’re going to do that, you have to work hard not to alienate your core fans who are the the heart of the business.

Here is the original video of the postfight analysis from Rogan and Smith.

Terrell Owens tells Stephen A. Smith that Max Kellerman seems ‘blacker’ than him

Stephen. A Smith has been highly critical of Colin Kaepernick for the way the quarterback handled last Saturday’s workout, and Terrell Owens called Smith out over his take in a big way on Thursday.

Owens was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take,” and he defended Kaepernick for changing the location of his workout and wanting “transparency” from the NFL. Owens then told Smith that co-host Max Kellerman, who has defended Kaepernick, seems like he is “blacker” than Smith with the way he has spoken about the situation. As you might expect, Smith didn’t appreciate it.

Smith told Owens he “crossed the line” and then criticized him and others for trying to “bait me” in front of the black community. He also addressed the situation with a tweet.

Like others, Smith concluded from the way Saturday’s events unfolded that Kaepernick does not actually want to play football. He ripped the 32-year-old for showing up to the workout with a T-shirt that alluded to slavery and said he needs to seize the opportunity at some point if he actually wants to play again. Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid then accused Smith of “tap dancing for the NFL,” and Smith unloaded on Reid in a Twitter rant.

We believe we have uncovered the real reason why the NFL tried to organize a workout for Kaepernick, and it seems like both sides have their agendas. The issue is, and always will be, about more than just football.

Eric Reid takes shot at Stephen A. Smith on Twitter

Eric Reid

Eric Reid took a shot at Stephen A. Smith on Twitter Saturday night, and the media personality responded in a big way.

Smith shared a video on Twitter containing his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick. The way Kaepernick handled Saturday’s workout — by moving it to a high school rather than conduct it at the Atlanta Falcons’ facility as planned — led Smith to conclude it was another sign Kaepernick does not really want to play in the NFL, despite the free agent’s claims.

Reid, who kneeled with Kaepernick when they were teammates in San Francisco and joined his friend in the collusion lawsuit against the NFL, responded to the video via Twitter and accused Smith of “tap dancing for the NFL.”

Smith saw Reid’s tweet and responded with a series of tweets.

Here’s what Smith said in response:

(more…)

Report: Stephen A. Smith getting close to $8 million per year in new ESPN deal

Stephen A. Smith has been one of the most polarizing figures in sports media for several years now, and ESPN proved how valuable he is to the company with the latest contract extension he signed.

Smith recently signed a new five-year deal with ESPN that will pay him around $8 million per year, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. The new deal dwarfs Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million salary, which was ESPN’s previous known highest salary.

Smith had one year left on his current deal, according to Marchand, but ESPN enticed him to sign an extension by giving him money up front. James Andrew Miller, who published a best-selling book about the ins and outs of ESPN several years ago, believe’s Marchand’s number of $8 million for Smith is low. Miller has reason to believe Stephen A. got more than $10 million per year.

Either way, it’s an astronomical amount of money.

Smith is the type of personality that gets people who love him and hate him to tune in, and that makes him an invaluable asset to ESPN. He makes his fair share of on-air flubs and always gets roasted for them, but even those embarrassing moments help drive ratings for ESPN>. There was no way they were going to let him leave for another network.

Stephen A. Smith unloads on ‘waste of time’ Adam Gase

The New York Jets have been nothing shy of a disaster in Adam Gase’s first year as head coach, and there is a growing belief that the team may not give him a chance to turn things around in 2020. As far as Stephen A. Smith is concerned, the Jets never should have hired Gase in the first place.

Smith unloaded on Gase during Monday’s edition of “First Take,” calling the 41-year-old coach a “waste of time” for the Jets.

“I don’t know Adam Gase from a can of paint,” Smith said. “I just know he never deserved the Jets head coaching job. As far as I’m concerned he’s proven that. … How the hell do you come from Miami with one playoff game in three years, you were never that impressive, you get the head coaching job for the New York Jets, and before you ever coach a preseason game you somehow garner the power to get rid of the GM, Mike Maccagnan?”

It will be interesting to see how the Jets handle Gase. They are 1-7 this season and have seemingly gotten worse by the week, with Sam Darnold not showing much — if any — improvement from the up-and-down rookie season he had a year ago. New York’s offense was supposed to look a lot better under Gase and with the addition of Le’Veon Bell, but Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins included some extremely embarrassing moments.

Gase appeared to be having problems with the Jets’ front office immediately after he was hired, and there were rumblings that he was unhappy with the way the team spent some of its money in free agency. He basically brought in his own GM after clashing with the previous regime, so it’s possible the Jets could give Gase an offseason to prove he knows what he is doing from a personnel standpoint.

Stephen A. Smith catches heat for creepy Clemson cheerleaders photo caption

ESPN’s “College GameDay” is visiting Clemson this week for the Tigers’ game against Florida State, and Stephen A. Smith seemed to enjoy his time mingling with the college students while on the show’s set Friday. At one point, he may have been enjoying it a bit too much.

Smith (or his social media manager) posted a photo of himself with some Clemson cheerleaders on his Facebook and Instagram pages, and he was immediately criticized for the uncomfortable — to put it kindly — caption he used. It read “Stevie-A lives (sic) the kids. He sure does,” along with a smiley face emoji.

Either Smith took note of the reactions or was told to nix the caption, but it was later changed to “Thanks Clemson for having us.”

While the original caption Smith or his social media manager used wasn’t exactly appalling, it definitely gave off a weird vibe. It’s one thing for Smith to open himself up for criticism with some of the flubs he makes on live TV, but that was an entirely new type of embarrassment.

H/T Bro Bible

Watch: Stephen A. Smith hilariously confuses Luke Falk with Yankees slugger

Stephen A Smith

Stephen A. Smith has had his NFL knowledge challenged on numerous occasions because of some embarrassing flubs he has had on live television, and the ESPN personality made yet another one on Tuesday.

Smith was discussing Baker Mayfield’s struggles on “First Take” when he noted that the only quarterbacks who have attempted passes this season that have a worse quarterback rating than the Cleveland Browns star are Cam Newton and Luke Voit. Yes, as in New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit.

Smith obviously meant Luke Falk, who has been starting for the New York Jets with both Sam Darnold and Trevor Siemian out. It’s possible saying “Voit” was a mere slip of the tongue, though Smith did say it twice. Plus, he hasn’t exactly earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to NFL analysis.

Remember, this is the same Stephen A. who totally embarrassed himself with his take on Dwayne Haskins prior to the NFL Draft. He has also had some cringeworthy goofs when discussing baseball, so it would not be a surprise if he thought Luke Voit was an NFL quarterback.