Stephen A. Smith has been incredibly public lately with both his bashing of Max Kellerman as well as his praise of Shannon Sharpe. On Wednesday, former ESPNer Marcellus Wiley finally said what so many have been thinking, calling Smith out for the hypocrisy in casting Kellerman aside while also taking Sharpe’s side when the same happened to him at Fox Sports.
“Stephen A. gets a salute from all, especially me, because I respect his work ethic,” Wiley said on his podcast. “But right now … no love and no respect for your ethics.”
Marcellus Wiley speaking the truth about the Max and Stephen A situation.
"Stephen A felt threatened."
"Stephen A gave the upstairs management an ultimatum."
"Max is gone because Max wouldn't play his role."
"Max ain't a journalist, Max ain't an athlete but you were begging him… pic.twitter.com/vd58bHydHj
— Uncovering the Truth (@shendy456) September 20, 2023
Let’s back up.
Smith has been on a PR campaign basically since he released his memoir last year. Taking newfound freedom at ESPN, Smith has launched his own podcast and been a guest on many others. And he has been far more loose with what he says as well.
Lately, the three subjects du jour have been Sharpe, Kellerman and, for whatever reason, Terrell Owens.
Smith believes Sharpe was pushed out at Fox Sports and Undisputed by Skip Bayless. Since then, Smith has recruited Sharpe to join First Take weekly and even lobbied for Sharpe to potentially replace him as host down the line.
At the same time, Smith has continued to pile on Kellerman. Most recently, Smith said on The Joe Budden Podcast that First Take “flatlined” with Kellerman. He also challenged Kellerman’s credentials, noting that because Kellerman didn’t come up as a traditional journalist or athlete, his perspective was less valuable.
The beef with Owens revolves, like many media-athlete beefs, around allegations that Smith went to air with Owens’ off-the-record-comments.
Back to Wiley.
Wiley pointed out the pattern in these comments, basically that Smith can’t have it two ways. He wants to hold himself up as a do-gooder when it comes to Sharpe while cutting Kellerman loose at the same time. He wants to have the last word on Owens while also refusing to address the situation. He wants to be publicly nice to Kellerman while also ginning up controversy for content.
“Max wasn’t the problem,” Wiley said. “We’ve got love for you, we really do. But you ain’t gonna get more love out of us hating on Max.”
Wiley hosted a drivetime radio show on ESPNLA with Kellerman for years. He competed against Sharpe in the NFL. But he also has worked at ESPN and Fox, giving him insight into all sides of this mess.
Wiley may not be giving a ton of detail here, but he’s the most vocal opponent of Smith to speak out yet.