Stephen A. Smith has walked back his Super Bowl Halftime show take after receiving backlash for saying, “I don’t wanna say I’m not excited,” about Rihanna’s upcoming performance, but “She ain’t Beyoncé.”
The famed sportscaster went viral after his comments on The Sherri Show hit the net, leading Smith to issue an apology video.
“I just got off of First Take and I saw some headline that’s circulating all over the place about my quote that Rihanna ain’t Beyoncé,” he began. “See, you know I’m gonna own it. I know what y’all trying to do. But I’m going to own it because I get paid to speak for a living, so I need to be more careful. 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.”
Smith went on to say he is a Beyoncé fan, calling her “THE phenomenal performer,” claiming he only made the comparison because Bey performed at the halftime show twice. “And I thought those were two of the greatest shows that I’ve ever seen,” he added.
“So what I’m saying is anybody has to measure up to that. Last year with Snoop and Dre and Mary J. and Eminem, I was like, ‘Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Coldplay. Big time! They got to measure up to that.’ Anybody who does a Super Bowl halftime show, forever I’m gonna say, ‘Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Coldplay. And then Beyoncé by themselves.’ Michael Jackson could still be alive and I would say it’s gotta measure up to that.”
Stephen A. Smith Apologizes To Rihanna
The First Take host said he meant no disrespect towards Rihanna, saying he’s got “Nothing but love for her.” However, he added, “But Beyoncé is my sister too! I got love for both of them.”
While he believes “Beyoncé is the greatest performer out there today,” Stephen A. Smith said, “That doesn’t mean I’m hating on anybody else.”
He concluded by wishing Rihanna good luck and apologizing once again.
“Rihanna, go do your thing. I apologize for creating whatever brouhaha comes of this. I gotta be more careful where people twist it and turn it into something it ain’t. My bad on that. Now I gotta go. Good luck sweetie. Looking forward to seeing you perform at halftime during the Super Bowl. You know you gotta turn it out. And I believe you will! All the best to you.” Check out his comments in the video below.