ESPN First Take panelist Stephen A. Smith is the mouth that roared with the bank account that soared, but he’s playing the race because he’s supposedly underpaid. Smith earns the hefty sum of $12 million a year, but just read what he says about race and his income.
“The bottom line is that just like women are underpaid compared to male counterparts; Blacks are underpaid compared to White counterparts.
“So when you look at it from that perspective, and of course, people look at me. I’m not talking about me, even though I got news for you: I am underpaid compared to some people on television and what they get paid. But that’s a subject for another day. I ain’t apologizing for that to a damn soul. I am underpaid.”
These ridiculous comments came Friday when Smith was discussing the fact that there aren’t any U.S.-born black athletes playing in this year’s World Series match-up of Philadelphia and Houston.
This has a lot to do with inherent differences between pro football and basketball on one hand and pro baseball on the other. Baseball has been losing the recruiting war for the best athletes for years.
Furthermore, if athletes like Kyler Murray had chosen to play baseball, they may languish in the minor leagues for a few years, earning low pay and riding buses to games. By opting instead for football, he went right from Oklahoma University to a starting position and fat contract with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL. He’s staying in the finest hotels and jetting everywhere he goes.
So Smith’s whine about race and baseball is unjustified.
Nevertheless, the First Take personality griped about blacks still having trust issues in the U.S., in sports and sports journalism:
“We are still Black in this country. We don’t trust this country in terms of meritocracy, always.”
Smith is a hypocrite for raising the issue of meritocracy. He’s considered the top personality on ESPN television. The Celebrity Net Worth organization reports he received a $3 million pay raise from ESPN in 2019, and he was bumped up another $4 million to $12 million last year. He is the highest-paid ESPN personality, and before CBS Sports gave Tony Romo a $17 million contract, Smith was the highest-paid sportscaster in the world.
So when Smith cries a river over race and wage gaps, he cannot be taken seriously. As a matter of fact, this lame race remark has to rank up there with his most ridiculous woke statements. It’s as laughable as these dumb claims.
In 2014, Smith said women should make sure they “don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions” by abusive men.”
In 2012, Smith took a comment by the Onion seriously, not realizing it’s a satirical site.
In 2014, Smith said former Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger “has never come across as a bad guy.” Whoops. Big Ben once had his bodyguards take a girl to the bathroom in the back of a club so he could have his way with her.
We got news for Smith. His totally unfounded claim about being underpaid due to his skin color ranks just as stupid as these and many other remarks like them.
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