Stephen A. Smith wants Rihanna’s navy to stand down after he said the singer “ain’t Beyoncé.”
The well-known sports commentator made the shady remark when Sherri Shepard asked if he was excited about Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show next month.
“I don’t want to say I’m not excited, she’s fantastic… Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things,” Smith said of Rihanna on daytime TV’s Sherri. “She’s spectacular, actually, and congratulations on new mamahood. There’s one thing she’s not — she ain’t Beyoncé.”
The talk show’s crowd immediately reacted with audible groans following Smith’s comment.
The sportscaster then clarified that the only reason he brought up Beyoncé is that the entertainer performed at the Super Bowl in 2016.
Smith said while he supports Rihanna and likes her music, “There’s Beyoncé, and there’s everybody else.”
Stephen A. Smith Apologizes To Rihanna
Smith’s opinion, or at least the way he expressed it, was immediately met with backlash. Rihanna’s fans, aka “The Navy,” took to Twitter to call out Smith for pitting Black women against each other.
Online users pointed out that both Rihanna and Beyoncé are highly accomplished entertainers who are incomparable talents.
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Smith apologized to Rihanna in a video shared on Twitter Jan. 19.
“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 Super Bowl halftime show,” Smith emphasized.
The commentator took accountability for his reckless comments and any “brouhaha” his remark brought up. He also blamed someone on his team for sharing a now-deleted tweet saying Rihanna’s “fan base might just be worse than the BeyHive!”
See the tweets below.
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