Stephen A. Smith is no stranger to people getting mad at him. Having said that, Smith learned this week that Dallas Cowboys fans tweeting their displeasure at him for saying the team will choke in the postseason has nothing on Rihanna fans getting mad at him for what he, assuredly, thought was a throwaway line on Sherri.
“I don’t wanna say I’m not excited,” Smith said. “She’s fantastic. That’s not where I’m going with this. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things. She’s spectacular, actually. And congratulations on new-momma-hood. There’s one thing she’s not. She ain’t Beyoncé.”
Smith issued an apology over the whole thing, but it led to him getting repeatedly dragged, both on Twitter and, on Thursday night, by Leslie Jones as she guest hosted The Daily Show. Fast forward to Friday morning and Smith addressed the whole thing on First Take by having a bit of a meltdown.
Stephen A. Smith just lost it over his “ridiculous” Rihanna vs Beyoncé controversy pic.twitter.com/LtgEztVKxv
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 20, 2023
“It’s ridiculous,” Smith said. “This is the controversy here. All the stuff going on in the world, I’m being accused of Black-on-Black crime, because I happen to like one artist more than another. I mean, you got to be kidding me! I mean, handcuff me now! Put it behind my damn back! Y’all gotta be kidding me … Leslie Jones, I love you! Damn, I couldn’t wait to watch you on Comedy Central and she calling me out! Why?”
Smith went on to say that “I apologize to Rihanna, because this nonsense was not my intent. It was not necessary, it was all done in fun, me debating with Sherri Shepherd for fun, just having laughs. That’s all. Rihanna’s phenomenal, she’s fantastic.”