Credit: Sean Hannity

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has made a living off his brash personality and controversial comments.

Starting at the network as a commentator for ESPN’s NBA coverage, he soon parlayed that success into “First Take,” which has become their flagship show.

Smith and his guests give their opinions on a variety of sports topics for the day, from the NBA to college football to the Dallas Cowboys, and the show has a huge following.

Smith has been able to use his ESPN stardom and elevate himself beyond it, appearing on the ABC soap “General Hospital” and starting his own podcast. He’s also made guest appearances on various news networks, giving his take on the country’s political scene (and trying to dip his toe in politics himself).

His latest appearance has caused a lot of people to pause and question where he’s coming from.

Smith had made appearances on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News before and spoken with the conservative talk show host several times. In the past, Smith has made it no secret how he feels about President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamla Harris, that he’s not a fan of either, though he has said he is supporting Biden over Trump. He’s also made it clear he doesn’t like Donald Trump, but his latest comments about the former President, and how his current situation makes him relatable to Black people, have raised some eyebrows.

When asked about Donald Trump’s latest trial, Smith said he was “utterly disgusted.” But that wasn’t the comment that raised a few eyebrows, it was what he said afterward about Democrats apparently counting on Trump’s legal woes working against him.

“That appears to be their strategy, but I’m going to tell you, it’s not working. It’s not working at all,” Smith told Hannity on Thursday. “And to be quite honest, I don’t mind the fact that it’s not working because I might not be a supporter of Donald Trump, but I want him to lose the right way.”

“I want him to lose because you have better ideas and you make your case to the American people better than he does. That’s why I want him to lose,” he continued. “I don’t want him to lose the way they’re trying to make him lose.”

Smith then said that the African-American community has sympathy for what Trump is going through because they have gone through it themselves.

“As much as people may have been abhorred by Donald Trump’s statement weeks ago talking about how Black folks find him relatable because of what he is going through is similar to what Black Americans have gone through, he wasn’t lying,” the sports host continued. “He was telling the truth.”

“When you see the law and law enforcement, the court system, and everything else being exercised against him, it is something that Black folks throughout this nation can relate to with some of our historic, iconic figures,” he charged. “We’ve seen that happen throughout society.”

I don’t know what circles Smith runs in, but most Black people I know (me included) haven’t experienced or know someone who has experienced what Trump is going through.

Trump has been able to use his lawyers to delay his trials to buy extra time, afford good representation, use media coverage to his advantage, make disparaging remarks about court officials without punishments, and has been given several breaks by the jurisdictional system. This man has nearly 90 counts against him and has yet to serve time in a prison cell for any of his crimes.

Had it been you or me, we’d be under the jail.

For years, Trump has been able to get away with his crimes, and the idea that he is being persecuted, not prosecuted, is ridiculous.

Trump is trying to play up the victim card and Stephen A. has fallen for it. When they say ‘ball don’t lie,’ numbers don’t either. African Americans voted in huge numbers for Joe Biden in 2020 and probably will again in this upcoming election. So whatever thought that conservatives may have in thinking that this somehow makes Trump a sympathetic figure in the Black community is probably wrong.

As for Smith, what bothers me as an African-American woman is the thought that my vote or the vote of people in my community can be swayed because of Trump’s trial. Are you kidding me, Stephen A.? Trump has never truly made an effort to sit down and talk about the issues concerning  Black America, and all of a sudden, according to Smith, Black folks sympathize with him?

Smith’s arrogance has him believing somehow he is the voice of the Black community. But here is the thing, you don’t speak for most of us.

When Smith got called to the carpet for his comments by the NAACP, rather than back up and apologize, he doubled down.

He also went on a 17-minute rant about being called out by the Black community for his comments.

Don’t get me wrong, Stephen A. has every right to believe what he wants to believe. The problem with what he said is he is stereotyping our community as if we aren’t smart enough to see through Trump’s BS and that our votes can be easily swayed because of his situation.

There probably are some people who do think that Trump is being treated unfairly, but if his ride through Harlem on his way to trial proved anything, Black supporters are few and far between.

So, I don’t know where Stephen A. is getting his information from, but it’s misleading and damaging. It also sounds like a man who is out of touch with his own community and how most of us truly feel. Rather than continuing to try to justify his bad take, maybe it’s time for Stephen A. to just shut up and listen for once.

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.