Stephen A. Smith consistently makes inflammatory statements, and no one is off-limits. Typically, his targets include athletes, coaches, team owners, and sometimes fans. Some respond. Others stay above the fray. Recently, Smith drew the ire from one of his fellow ESPN on-air personalities, and ironically, it resulted from what he didn’t say. This past week she let him know about it and he responded.
Stephen A. Smith regularly offends the sports world
If you perform a quick Google search of “Stephen A. Smith and feuds,” multiple results across various sports appear. Those results show Smith has verbally sparred with Joe Rogan, Charles Barkley, and most recently, with Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook has impressively averaged a triple-double this season. After a recent game where the point guard posted yet another triple-double, Smith criticized Westbrook and his lack of NBA titles, among other things.
Westbrook didn’t take too kindly to Smith’s remarks.
“One thing I won’t allow to happen anymore is let people create narratives & constantly just talking sh– for no reason about me because I lay it on the line every night and I use my platform to be able to help people all across the world.”
Stephen A. Smith brags about UFC broadcast team and forgets the lone female member
In late March, Smith took to Twitter and bragged about ESPN’s UFC broadcast team. He called out and tagged specific members in his tweet, including former UFC champion-turned commentator Daniel Cormier, Joe Rogan, and others.
“Forgive me for bragging, but we’ve got the best @ufc coverage in the world on ESPN+. Ya got @dc_mma, @joerogan & @Jon_Anik cage side. @ChaelSonnen & @bisping providing color. My bro @michaeleaves Hosting post-fight coverage and @bokamotoESPN & @arielhelwani always on scene.”
Smith left one notable name off his list in veteran UFC reporter Megan Olivi. And she let him know.
“Ummm hey there – you’re forgetting someone,” Olivi replied to the tweet, along with a smiling emoji.
Olivi admits Smith hurt her with his tweet and he responds
Before UFC 261 during a Q&A session, Olivi addressed Smith’s exclusion as the lone female working with the UFC team.
“That was actually tough for me,” she admitted. “I don’t love social media in general, but then to play such a big role in terms of pre- and post-fight interviews, like, I’m the one on-site doing them. Then to do all the hits on the broadcast and be a part of this team and literally the only women on the pay-per-view team.”
Olivi, who is married to UFC flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez, said she didn’t think Smith’s omission was intentional.
“I don’t think there was any malintent. I don’t think he was trying to be rude by any means — I just think it didn’t really didn’t matter to him.”
Just days after Olivi’s remarks, Smith sent out another tweet again giving the ESPN UFC crew props for its coverage. This time he included Olivi.