If there is one person that can easily influence the opinion of sports fans in America, it is Stephen A Smith. The longtime ESPN sports journalist, who is known for his provocative analysis and aggressive delivery, made a name for himself by appearing alongside commentator Skip Bayless on ESPN’s First Take program. He has since moved on to host the sports talk show with Max Kellerman as he further contributes to various other ESPN programs.
Before becoming a sports television personality, Smith started out in print media with the Winston-Salem Journal. He then later worked with the Greensboro News-Record, New York Daily News, and The Philadelphia Inquirer before launching his own website.
The former college basketball guard, who played under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines at Winston-Salem State University, quickly moved on to radio when he landed a show on WEPN in New York City. His rising popularity in the sports journalism world then led him to become an on-air contributor on Fox Sports Radio. He thereafter signed up as a columnist for ESPN.com and a host for weekday ESPN local radio shows, continuing his longterm relationship with the sports media conglomerate.
Outside of the sports world, Stephen A Smith has dabbled into acting. He made his acting debut in a cameo appearance as a television reporter in a February 2007 episode of the soap opera General Hospital. He has since returned to the show in the late 2010s to play the character, Brick. Also in 2007, Smith played the role of Allan in Chris Rock’s I Think I Love My Wife.
Notable Moments of His Career
A journalist’s ability to break news or correctly predict the outcome of situations surrounding athletes and sports organizations is what sets them apart from their counterparts. Stephen A Smith has had a few in this regard that has allowed him to be one of the first people sports fans seek to hear from before making up their own opinion.
The first time Smith broke relevant news was when he reported that basketball player Allan Iverson was going to retire. Smith made the statement on the Chris Myers-Steve Hartman show in November 2009 and Iverson soon announced he was ending his career. As things would have it, however, the 11-time NBA All-Star nicknamed the Answer would later come out of retirement to rejoin the Philadelphia 76ers where he would play until the end of the 2009-10 season before retiring for good.
In 2010, Smith correctly predicted that NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh were teaming up in free agency and signing with the Miami Heat.
Controversies Caused By His Approach to Sports Journalism
Stephen A Smith has seen himself in the eye of the storm more than a couple of times as a result of his provocative analysis. The sports journalist is well aware that he has a mouth that makes controversial statements as he famously stated in his mother’s tribute that she would always tell people that he did not get his mouth from her.
The first notable time Smith found himself in some trouble as a result of his comments was in July 2014 when he said that women may provoke domestic abuse. He went on to advise domestic attack victims to try as much as possible not to provoke the attackers. He made the statement in regards to the domestic violence situation that involved Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife.
Smith received criticism from both coworkers and the public for his statements, prompting ESPN to suspend him for a week after he made an apology on a taped segment. That was, however, not the first time he had voiced his opinion on the case of domestic violence. In 2010, when Mayweather was embroiled in a similar issue, he famously stated that men are not always wrong.
About a year after the Ray Rice incident, Stephen A Smith found himself at loggerheads with women again after he made what was deemed as sexist remarks. On an episode of Sportscenter, he joked that German players at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup did not want to mess up their hair after those forming a wall turned their heads and let the ball go in the net from a Norway freekick. The backlash received as a result of the statement made ESPN release a statement saying they have spoken with Smith about his comments while the journalist later apologized in a series of tweets.
Other than his remarks that have been deemed sexist, Smith is also known to get a little bit too political on air. On one occasion, he was cut off by producers of the show before he went too far with his statements.
In spite of all this, Smith is still one of the best in the business and because of this, ESPN has been unwilling to let go of him. It is thanks to this that he has since become one of the highest-paid ESPN sportscasters.
What We Know About Stephen A Smith’s Family
Stephen A Smith comes from a large family that comprised of six children; four girls and two boys. He is the second youngest of the lot from parents who are originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Not much is known about the identities of the members of his family other than his younger brother Basil, who died in a car accident in October 1992, and mother Janet, who passed away on June 1, 2017, following a battle with cancer. Smith has noted that his mother made immeasurable contributions to his success and that she is ‘the best woman he had ever known’.
In regards to his love life, very little is known about Stephen A’s romantic history as the sports television personality has chosen to not open up to the public on the issue. This has caused many to speculate on whether or not he is married, as rumors strongly suggest that he has and has also fathered a child. The rumors of him being a married man were fueled by him appearing at the second annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala in 2011 with a lady by his side.
Since that occasion, Smith has not been seen out and about with anybody. In this day of social media as well, he has not posted pictures of anybody to suggest that he is married or is at least dating.