Years-old beef was thrown back into the frying pan on Friday as a simmering public dispute between Stephen A. Smith and Terrell Owens boiled over in real-time on social media amid a lingering dispute about who is “Blacker.”
The two of them exchanged venomous posts on the app formerly known as Twitter disparaging each other in an episode stemming from Smith’s recent – and unrelated – comments about fellow sports media personality and Max Kellerman.
Invoking the topic of race, Smith spoke on a recent episode of the popular Joe Budden Podcast and renewed his criticism of Kellerman, his former co-host of ESPN’s “First Take” sports debate show.
“I had mad respect for him from the standpoint of white dude, highly intelligent, Ivy League, educated from Columbia. Smart as a whip. Can talk his ass off. Can talk about anything. I get all that,” Smith said. “But you weren’t an athlete, and you weren’t a journalist. And the absence of the two components left people wondering ‘why should we listen to you?'”
As the quote went viral, social media users pointed to the time nearly four years ago when Owens appeared on “First Take” with the two sports pundits debating about Colin Kaepernick and claimed Kellerman was “Blacker” than Smith, who immediately resented the comment.
When someone on Friday posted the video from that fateful moment in 2019, Owens readily agreed and replied with one emphatic word: “FACTS!!!!!!!!!”
Smith responded on Saturday morning by calling Owens “sorry” and “trifling” and “desperate” and predicting he would eventually “expose” himself.
But Smith was only getting started.
Clearly still nursing a bruised ego from Owens questioning Smith’s “Black card,” the ESPN star suggested he wasn’t the only one betraying his race. Smith ambiguously threatened to use his own namesake podcast to out Owens as being underhanded toward Black people.
“Or…….maybe I’ll just dedicate the entire Stephen A. Smith Show/Podcast on YouTube this Monday to all the things you tried to do behind the scenes — to BROTHERS — over the years while claiming someone is more of a Brother than others,” Smith, apparently exasperated, posted.
Owens, for his part, shrugged off the threats and called Smith’s bluff.
“Behind what scenes???! Again, Man I’m NOT WORRIED because I stand on my character and who I am,” Owens responded. “You better come with some FACTS and not this hearsay and anonymous sources because that’s not gonna fly.”
As the back-and-forth went viral, NBA star Kyrie Irving attempted to play mediator and advised them to log off of social media and resolve their differences in private.
That prompted Smith to say he would “stand down,” to which Owens responded by challenging Smith to follow through with his stated threat.
“Please EXPOSE ME! Let us know what you got. I, along with everyone else will be waiting,” Owens dared Smith.
Regardless of the optics, Smith is set to be the grand beneficiary of the banter with anticipation building for him to make good on his threat to tell his followers what Owens did “behind the scenes — to BROTHERS — over the years.”
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