‘I Was Wrong’: Stephen A. Smith Apologizes To Kyrie Irving For Vaccine Criticism

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ESPN’s flagship broadcaster Stephen A. Smith issued an apology to Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving in a YouTube video Wednesday after previously criticizing him for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Stephen A. referenced Inside The NBA broadcaster Kenny “The Jet” Smith, who revealed a private conversation between himself and Stephen A. during a Tuesday night TNT broadcast.

The Jet opened up about the conversation, in which he scolded Stephen A. for criticizing Irving, reminding him that Irving comes from the same community as Stephen A. and that the pair shared many mentors.

“When Kenny Smith brought that story up yesterday, it reminded me of the role that I play, the responsibility I have,” Stephen A. said Wednesday.

“I pride myself on being man enough to acknowledge when I’m wrong if I think I’m wrong because I think it’s rare. But I was wrong,” he admitted. (RELATED: Top ESPN Pundit Admits To Having ‘Personal’ Beef With NBA Champion)

Smith alluded to criticisms he made of Irving when the Brooklyn Nets suspended him for at least five games in 2022 after he tweeted a link to a documentary called “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”

Smith also referenced an argument he had with his colleague Jay Williams, in which he said Kyrie Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated could cost the Nets a championship.

Williams defended Irving, arguing it was unfair for Smith to bash him for making a personal choice in unprecedented circumstances.

“I love Jay, but we definitely don’t see eye to eye on a few things, but dammit when he’s right, he’s right,” Smith said Wednesday. “And he was right. I didn’t think he was right at the time. But when you reflect sometimes and you see things for what they are, you gotta man up and accept it, and that’s what I wanted to do,” he concluded.