Documented Horndog Stephen A. Smith Says He Has To Be ‘Polished’ On ESPN Because He’s Black

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Robert McGreevy Contributor
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ESPN star Stephen A. Smith has made a name for himself by spouting the hottest of takes, bringing a unique blend of performative outrage and legitimate grievance to the sports broadcasting game that’s arguably revolutionized the genre. So I was shocked to hear him complain that he had to be “polished” because he’s black.

Speaking to Barstool Sports’ Bussin’ With The Boys podcast, Smith compared himself to his new colleague Pat McAfee.

“I am an aberration in this regard,” Smith told Barstool’s Taylor Lewan. “I love Pat McAfee. Love him to death, love him to death. I love his swag. I love the fact that he’s an honest brother. He don’t give a shit. He lets you know exactly where he stands. That’s my kind of dude, that works for me. Now is he as polished politically as me? Nope. Because he has no desire to be, number one. And number two, if we’re being honest, he’s white and I’m black. He didn’t have to be. I had to be.”

With all due respect to Stephen A., who by the way I absolutely love and think is fantastic at his job, this is an outlandish statement. Stephen A. Smith? The same guy who revealed the worst day of the week to be horny on? This dude is polished? Laughable.

I’ll even give him the benefit of the doubt and acknowledge the clip was from a November episode of his personal podcast which is unaffiliated with ESPN and doesn’t broadcast on their airwaves. But here he is in 2019 saying he’s only horny “a few hours of the day, yes, but not all hours of the day” on an ESPN-hosted episode of the Stephen A. Smith show. (RELATED: ‘How The Hell?’: Stephen A. Smith Goes On Extremely Based Rant About Eric Adams’ Migrant Pilot Program)

And then there’s this all-time hilarious clip where Stephen A. acknowledges he works for a Disney-owned company and STILL tells Snoop Dogg that he eats ass.

“Always, always ass. That’s true,” Smith said in response to Snoop’s “ass or titties?” question. “I’m associated with Walt Disney but dammit everybody knows that I’m a bottom feeder.”

IF Stephen A. really does have to be more polished than McAfee, it has nothing to do with skin color whatsoever. It has everything to do with platforms and leverage. Pat McAfee was born on the internet. He built a brand on being able to say whatever the fuck he wants. He leveraged that brand into a McAfee-friendly deal with ESPN that allows the network to simulcast his show while he still streams it live to YouTube.

Smith, on the other hand, is at the mercy of his employer. Born in the linear world of cable television, Stephen A. came up in the early 2000s appearing on various ESPN programs. Yes, of course you have to be more buttoned up on cable TV then you do the internet. What that has to do with race I have no idea. (RELATED: Legendary Analyst Makes Easily Disprovable Claim About Black Coaches In The NFL)

But even with that in mind, ESPN has given him massive license to pop off, continuing to employ him despite the fact that he’s said some truly out of pocket shit in the past.

In 2014 ESPN took him off-air for a week after, in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, the Los Angeles Times reported. He suggested women should “do [their] part in making sure that [violence] doesn’t happen,” according to Business Insider. But he was reportedly back on air the next week, continuing to lead their flagship programming.

There’s the 2015 backlash he received for joking that the German Women’s National Soccer team allowed a World Cup penalty goal because “they might not have wanted to mess their hair up.” (Hilarious joke by the way.)

Not only would I argue that Stephen A. was not held to a higher standard because he was black, but I would go so far as to say if McAfee said anything like that he would be fired on the spot.

Smith has arguably built his entire career on the predication that he’s not your regular polished sportscaster. His numerous viral clips for zany phrases and wild behavior have helped propel him into stardom. His WikiPedia page literally says “He is known for provocative analysis and dour delivery.” So the idea that he’s polished? It’s … in the words of a great man, it’s “asinine, ten, eleven and twelve.”