Stephen Anthony Smith, a broadcaster for the sports media platform ESPN,
suggested that he is underpaid because he’s Black, live on air during the First
Take panel ahead of Game 1 of the World Series between Houston Astros and
Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.
“We are still Black in this country. We don’t trust this country in
terms of meritocracy always. We know the bottom line is that just like women
are underpaid compared to male counterparts, Blacks are underpaid compared to
White counterparts,” Smith said.
It was in context that he made the claim: “And 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 what they get paid, but that’s a subject for another day,” he said.
“I ain’t apologising for that to a damn soul. I am underpaid. Having
said all of that, it ain’t about me,” said the broadcaster.
Who is Stephen Anthony Smith?
Stephen Anthony Smith is one of the highest-paid broadcasters in sports,
according to Fox News report citing Audacy. The 55-year-old American TV
personality was born in the Bronx borough of New York City in the United
States. He was raised in Hollis, a section of Queens.
Smith’s father managed a hardware store. His maternal grandmother was
white while the rest of his grandparents were black.
Stephen Smith is the fifth of six children.
After school, Smith studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology for a
year and then dropped out to attend Winston-Salem State University on a
Smith trained under the Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines. His first
brush with journalism happened while he was still in the college basketball
team and he wrote in the university newspaper, The News Argus, that Gaines
should retire due to health issues.
Stephen Smith graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass
After starting out in newspapers, Smith soon began reporting on the Philadelphia
76ers as their NBA columnist and eventually as a general sports columnist.
Smith later joined television broadcasting starting with WEPN and also
worked in radio.
Stephen A Smith now writes for ESPN.com and is also one of the hosts of
First Take on CNN.