Stephen A. Smith plays race card, threatens to leave ESPN

According to Jason Whitlock, Stephen A. Smith “entered the race in a very polite manner.”

The host of ESPN's “First Take” told Clay Travis that he deserves to be the highest-paid personality on the network, and if not, he could take his talents elsewhere.

Smith currently makes $12 million a year from a five-year, $60 million contract he signed at the end of 2019.

But commentators like Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pat McAfee make more money, and Smith isn't happy about that.

“Is it important to you that you are the highest paid person at ESPN, given the way you started out at ESPN and the work that you do for ESPN? Do you think that should be the case? ” Travis asked Smith.

“Yes,” Smith replied.

“I don't stutter. Yes, that's totally true.”

“For now,” he continued, “I respect the fact that even if they feel differently, I respect that fact. It's not animosity, it's just that I feel like I'm screwed watching them. None. It's a business.”

While he insists he has no intention of being upset, he tells Travis that he's been “number one for 12 years since April 1st” and not just number one every year, but number one every week and month. Ta.

“I'm not just a talent. I'm a business,” he added.

Smith has started his own YouTube channel with the intention of working his way if necessary, and Whitlock believes Smith has the courage to do it his way even if ESPN fails to pay him.

“Stephen A. is eager to play that game on YouTube,” Whitlock said. “He's going to support vaccines, he's going to support anything that needs to be supported for YouTube's success.”

“But as heartbreaking as this is, I’m No. 1,” Whitlock continues.

“There are many athletes with strong followings, but Stephen A.'s level of expertise in the sport is so low that it is doubtful he will be able to beat out the many athletes who already have a head start. I don't know.”

Want to see more of Jason Whitlock's work?

To enjoy more fearless conversations with Jason Whitlock at the intersection of culture, faith, sports, and comedy, Sign up for BlazeTV — The largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, protect the Constitution and live the American Dream.



Sign up to stay informed to breaking news