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Stephen A. Smith is a sports commentator and journalist for ESPN. He is known for his highly-animated personality and strong opinions on sports issues, causing some of his rants to go viral.
Smith was born in the Bronx area of New York City on October 14th, 1967. He joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1994 and reported on the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers until 2007. He began hosting a sports radio talk show in New York City that aired every weekday from noon-2 P.M. on April 11th, 2005. The second half of the show was syndicated on ESPN Radio starting on September 20th, 2007. The show ended in 2008. In August of 2005, he began hosting the television program Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. After the show was cancelled, he appeared as one of the channel's NBA commentators and appeared on other ESPN programs such as Pardon the Interruption and Rome is Burning. On April 30th, 2012, Smith joined First Take, a show where he debated Skip Bayless. His current cohosts are Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim.
Domestic Abuse Comments Controversy
On July 25th, 2014, Smith generated controversy when, while condemning Ray Rice in the Video in which he assaulted his fiancee, he appeared to make the point that abused women should also be careful not to provoke behavior which might get them beaten.
The comments earned Smith criticism from his colleague Michelle Beadle as well as a week-long suspension from ESPN.
Smith has had some notable rants on ESPN and on First Take that have gone viral. Notably, Smith has appeared in several segments in which he chastises NFL players for getting suspended for marijuana, resulting in one of his catchphrases becoming "Stay off the weed!" (compilation shown below, left). On June 22nd, 2017, Smith ranted about the poor decisions of the front office of the New York Knicks, and bemoaned the fact that one of their first signings, Lamar Odom, had a history of drug use (shown below, right).
Lavar Ball on First Take
On March 23rd, 2017, controversial father of then college-basketball player Lonzo Ball Lavar Ball appeared on First Take and got into a heated argument with Stephen A. Smith. Video of the clip has gained nearly 1.8 million views on ESPN's YouTube channel.
TAke a look, y'all: IMG_4346.jpeg
On May 26th, 2015, Smith tweeted "TAke a look, y'all: IMG_4346.jpeg." Smith was attempting to tweet an image, and instead tweeted the image's URL. The tweet has gained over 49,000 retweets and 46,000 likes.
The tweet has become one of Twitter's most popular and has generated media attention. SBNation wrote about it that day. Two years later, Brian Feldman of Select All attempted to track down the image Smith attempted to tweet to no avail. On July 10th, 2017, Smith made a similar gaffe when he attempted to tweet a link to the Diddy documentary Can't Stop Won't Stop_, tweeting "IMG9993.MOV.mov" in a since deleted tweet. The gaffe has become a minor Twitter joke as people recreate the format of Smith's original (examples shown below).
Green Screen Outtakes
On March 7th, 2019, Stephen A. Smith posted a video of outtakes himself in front of a green screen. He captioned the video, "Some outtakes for y'all." Within 24 hours, the post received more than 13,000 retweets and 60,000 likes (shown below).
Some outtakes for y'all 😉 pic.twitter.com/0ueb2yTqAY— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 7, 2019
Following the post, people on Twitter began replacing the green screen with other videos. For example, Twitter user @KofieYeboah remixed the video so that it appeared that Smith was on a courtroom stand in an episode of Law & Order. The post received more than 2,900 retweets and 10,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below).
That day, Twitter published a Moments page about the video and the remixes.
When they don't stay off the WEED pic.twitter.com/rT5wvDV2U7— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) March 7, 2019
 - Huffington Post – Stephen A Smith: Abuse Victims Should Learn ‘About The Elements Of Provocation’