Stephen A. Smith is arguably ESPN’s most valuable talent. Most prominently known for his hilarious outbursts, blazing hot takes, and of course, Baby Stephen A, he’s got quite the reputation. One that garners respect, and will surely land him in the Hall of Fame one day. His resume and credentials are not to be questioned. With that being said, his recent comments on women fighters garner anything BUT respect.
In a recent appearance on the “Black On Air ” podcast hosted by Larry Wilmore, the subject of women fighters was broached by Mr. Smith. And at first, his comments were harmless.
“First of all, I love it,” Smith said. “I think that there’s an awful lot of women who are incredibly qualified to do the jobs they’re doing. Where I jump off the bandwagon is where they try to engage physically. For example, I don’t ever want to see a woman boxing a man. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man — even though there are some women out there that will kick the dude’s butt.”
Now, the idea that he wouldn’t want to see an organized fight between a man and woman isn’t crazy. It’s more common sense if anything. More than likely, 7-10 matches would lack any competitiveness due to the natural size and strength of a man. If Stephen A. Smith had ended his comments there, there’d be no problem. But Smiths’ gums kept flapping, and his comments took a turn for the worse.
The Quote That Broke the Camels Back
“When I think about pugilistic sports, I don’t like to see women involved in that at all. I just don’t like it. I wouldn’t pass, I wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but I don’t want to see women punching each other in the face. I don’t want to see women fighting in the octagon and stuff like that. That’s just me”, Smith said.
Well, Stephen, as LaVar Ball once told FS1’s Kristine Leahy, “stay in your lane”. Why Stephen A. Smith would come out and openly spew such sexist rhetoric is beyond my comprehension. It’s worse than Skip Bayless saying LeBron James might be a top 10 player of all time. In fact, it’s so bad, it should warrant zero attention. But due to who Stephen A. is in the sporting world, his comments carry a lot of weight.
You’d think that someone of such prominence would mind their P’s and Q’s at all times when speaking on air. It would’ve been one thing if he had stated he didn’t like fighting in general. But he specifically stated he didn’t like seeing women “punching each other in the face”. And why? Simply because they’re women? Talk about blasphemous.
I appreciate your transparency @stephenasmith . Although I wish everyone at ESPN—and throughout the world—saw women’s sports in a positive light, I assure you that we women don’t need your support. #2020WorldMMAAwardsFightOfTheYear #NationalGirlsandWomenInSportsDay— Joanna Jedrzejczyk (@joannamma) February 3, 2021
🤦🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️ …a lot I want to say here but I think the emoji sums it up just fine. https://t.co/WcuhMYzybv— Laura Sanko (@laura_sanko) February 3, 2021
It’s fair to say that the women of MMA were not fond of Stephen A’s comments. Realistically, neither was anyone else who supports women’s sports. Stephen A. Smith has every right to his opinion. No matter how ignorant it may be. But I also have the right to bestow upon him, the Belly Up Sports Dunce Award. May Stephen A. Smith wear it with great pride, and may he keep any and all horrible future opinions to himself.