Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith, throughout his career in sports media, has been hesitant to delve into politics, though he made an exception on his podcast.

Smith denounced Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in response to legislation outlawing state funding for DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) programs in public universities.

“At this pace, he might go down as one of the stupidest people I’ve ever seen,” said Smith, citing a recent travel advisory issued by NAACP president Derrick Johnson, claiming Florida’s policies under DeSantis have created a ‘hostile’ atmosphere for blacks and members of the LGBTQ community. “DeSantis comes off as a dude who has lost his damn mind.”

DeSantis, who recently announced his bid for the Republican nomination in next year’s presidential election, has frequently invoked outrage for his far-right leanings, particularly on abortion and issues concerning LGBTQ rights. While Smith doesn’t identify as either a liberal or conservative, he draws the line at intolerance.

“It’s bad enough you’ve alienated the Latino community. It’s bad enough you’ve alienated tens of millions of women,” said Smith, alluding to DeSantis’ aggressive stance on protecting the United States border from illegal immigrants. “This is where it hits home for me, because I’m a black man, and we’re talking about the NAACP.”

After Disney voiced its strong opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act (commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), DeSantis dismantled a special tax district that governed the resort, renaming it the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District while installing his own board members. Smith’s employer, ESPN, is of course owned by Disney.

“Respectfully to the governor, Ron DeSantis, who obviously has offended Latinos, blacks, women—have you lost your mind or do you just want to throw away the election?” asked Smith, arguing DeSantis has made himself unelectable. “Is that what you’re trying to do?”

[The Stephen A. Smith Show]

About Jesse Pantuosco

Jesse Pantuosco joined Awful Announcing as a contributing writer in May 2023. He’s also written for Audacy and NBC Sports. A graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s degree in creative writing from Fairfield University, Pantuosco has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and never misses a Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots game.