Stephen A. Smith is doubling down on his shady comment toward Rihanna. The ESPN analyst was under fire Wednesday when his comment comparing RiRi to Beyoncé went viral. He made the comment during his appearance on Sherri Shepherd’s daytime talk show.
“There’s one thing she’s not, she ain’t Beyoncé,” said Smith. He prefaced the comment by calling RiRi “spectacular” and congratulating her on becoming a new mom.
Smith tried to justify it, too. “The only reason I brought up Beyoncé is because Beyoncé recently performed at the Super Bowl.”
After the harsh backlash from social media, he apologized to the “Diamonds” singer in a three-minute apology video that he uploaded to Twitter.
“Apologies to Rihanna for my words, gotta be more careful.”
“I’m gonna own it. I know what y’all trying to do, but I’m gonna own it because I get paid to speak for a living, so I need to be more careful,” he said in the video. “I want Rihanna to know, you’re a superstar, you’re sensational, you’re spectacular, you’re no joke and you are a worthy person to be doing the Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
In the video, Smith added that he is a die-hard Beyoncé fan and that her solo appearance in 2013 and her 2016 appearance with Bruno Mars and Coldplay were the best Super Bowl Halftime performances he’s seen thus far.
Apologies to Rihanna for my words, gotta be more careful! pic.twitter.com/RLcsaQAJ4v— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 18, 2023
Rihanna is set to take the stage on Feb. 12 for the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show which will be held in Glendale, AZ.