ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith before the in-season tournament championship between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen A. Smith had grand ambitions beyond just being a guy who yells a lot on ESPN.

He fancies himself an actor. He wants to be a late-night talk show host. He wants to be the highest-paid person in sports media. He wants to be able to talk politics. He might even want to be a politician himself.

This desire to be all things at once means Smith has become very effusive on just about every topic you can think of, including breastmilk, British royalty, passing gas, marriage, and Taylor Swift.

It’s especially true when it comes to politics, a topic Smith has been wading into with more and more regularity in recent years. While he might have said his ESPN colleagues needed to “stick to sports,” Smith has become more than happy to tell everyone what he thinks about Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and just about any other major political figure. Smith also seems to like playing both sides, sometimes firmly siding with Democrats and other times taking up Republican grievances in a manner befitting a Fox News host.

That was the case last week when Smith appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program and said that Black Americans find Donald Trump’s legal situation “relatable” and makes it likely more of them will vote for him in the upcoming election.

“As much as people may have been abhorred by Donald Trump’s statement weeks ago talking about how Black folks, he’s hearing that 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! He was telling the truth,” Smith told Hannity. “When you see the law, 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. We’ve seen that happen throughout society.”

Smith’s comments were condemned by a lot of people and groups in the Black community, including the NAACP, which asked if “Anyone in your Black family have 88 felony charges pending, filed for bankruptcy 6x, made an attempt to overthrow a presidential election and our democracy, and still have the ability to fall asleep in court and dream of being POTUS?”

Smith didn’t appreciate the feedback, and he certainly won’t appreciate what author and sportswriter Jeff Pearlman had to say in response to the comments either. Pearlman, who has been sharing some very candid stories on his TikTok channel in recent days, shared his thoughts on Smith’s Trump commentary. Given that he wrote a book about the USFL, in which Trump was a central figure, he has some background on exactly the kind of person the former President has been when it comes to supporting Black people.

@jeffpearlmanauthor On Stephen A. Smith, Fox News and knowing whereof you speak #stephenasmith #trump #writersoftiktok #journalism #foxnews ♬ original sound – Jeff Pearlman

“Why do you have to have an opinion about everything?” asked Pearlman. “Like why are you, Stephen A. Smith, successful by all measures, why are you going on Fox News? Why are you going on Hannity? And why are you comparing Trump’s legal situation to that of the plight of Black Americans? It’s ****ing insane. Like, it doesn’t even make sense.

“If you did some research into Trump, and I wrote the book about the USFL, I know a lot about Donald Trump and his history. There’s no comparison to be made. Black people were **** on over and over and over again, and here’s this guy, Donald Trump…when the Central Park Five were exonerated, he continued to call for their death penalty and refused to accept. I mean, he’s a bad guy. When he had Queens housing, he limited the amount of available units for Blacks. Not a good guy.

“So stop ****ing talking like you know, cause you actually don’t know on this subject.”

To be fair, not knowing the nuances of a subject hasn’t stopped Stephen A. Smith before, so there’s probably no reason to assume he’ll start now.

[Jeff Pearlman]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to