Few sports commentators are less afraid of a fight than Stephen A. Smith, but just recently, the ESPN commentator escalated his war of words with former colleague and current conservative commentator Jason Whitlock. In a video released on Jan. 10, 2024, Stephen made his hatred for Jason explicit. "I've had enough of that fat b---h, that piece of s--t," Stephen said during his radio show.
"And I want to make sure that before I go to break, I want anyone out there who watches me, anyone out there who knows me, anyone out there, no matter what you think of me," he continued. "I want you to remember I never talk about him. I never talk about my colleagues. I don't do that. This is a first. But it's necessary."
Following this pretty serious rebuke, many wanted to better understand what's behind their feud.
What's behind the feud between Stephen A. Smith and Jason Whitlock?
The feud started after Jason suggested that Stephen had made false statements in his memoir, which was released in 2023. Jason used Katt Williams's appearance on the Club Shay Shay podcast as a jumping-off point to suggest that Stephen's book might be fraudulent.
Jason's column was titled "Does Katt Williams’ interview expose Stephen A. Smith as a fraud?"
Stephen offered a rebuke to these claims on his show, First Take, attempting to clear the air.
“There are people out there lying and actually putting out there that I didn’t write my book," the sports commentator said. “I can assure you, so help me God, I wrote my book. It’s my memoir. It’s my life story. I wasn’t leaving that in the hands of other people. So, people who say that, it’s just lies.”
During his radio show, Stephen had even more retaliatory remarks against Jason. In fact, Stephen claimed during his show that he had called his pastor, the higher-ups at ESPN, and members of his family to warn them that he would be getting heated on the program.
"I literally called my pastor and asked for his forgiveness and understanding in advance," Stephen said, "because he's not going to recognize the person he's about to hear."
In Jason's column, he suggests that despite the fact that Stephen doesn't actually know much about sports, he was "installed" at ESPN as a plant.
"It’s comical how little he actually knows about sports, but someone installed him as the No. 1 voice of sports," Jason said on his show. "That’s what Katt Williams is talking about. Kevin Hart is an OK comedian."
"Someone installed him as the face of comedy, and gave him a deal and put things in place for him to have all the success because they can control Kevin Hart," Jason continued. "That’s what happened to Stephen A. Smith. If you go read Straight Shooter, you can see it everywhere."
Stephen is one of the most famous and successful sports commentators on the air today, at least partially because of his intentionally inflammatory style.