Last week, ESPN fired 100 writers and on-air personalities from their network, and Stephen A. Smith caught some harsh responses from twitter users and his peers. Stephen A. Smith, a host on one of ESPN’s most popular shows; “First Take,” was not fired from ESPN and this triggered a slew of attacks on Smith’s credibility as a journalist.
Perhaps the most notable of responses comes from former Sports Illustrated writer and best-selling author; Jeff Pearlman. Pearlman released a column to his website targeting Smith as a part of “the mindless carnival barkings of hacks” and not a genuine reporter.
This outlash from critics did not sit well with Smith as he addressed the situation on his ESPN radio program “The Stephen A. Smith Show”:
“I climbed up this business. I’m an outspoken, loud ass mouth, black man. Who the hell do you think gave me an opportunity? I’m sorry, sir, this was earned, and every damn penny that I earned, that I have been blessed to have received in my career, I have earned… What the Pearlmans and the others of the world want to do is take a loudmouth black person and act like I’m just a loudmouth… They want to ignore the credentials. They want to ignore the fact that I worked my way up to this point, that nothing was given to me, that my résumé in the business of sports journalism is comparable to anybody’s. You got people out here in this day and age that call themselves reporters and ain’t broke a damn story in years. I’ve broken more stories in one year than most people in our business have broken in their careers. But we don’t talk about that… We don’t want to talk about that, because when it comes to certain folks that we choose not to like, we want to act like they don’t have credentials.”
Pearlman responded by saying he has no problem with Smith issuing a response.