Stephen A. Smith talks about Martha Stewart's SI Swimsuit Issue cover. Stephen A. Smith talks about Martha Stewart’s SI Swimsuit Issue cover.

Martha Stewart was unveiled as a surprise cover model for the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue this week, and Stephen A. Smith is all for it.

On the latest episode of his Know Mercy podcast, Smith broke down Stewart’s Swimsuit Issue appearance. At 81 years old, Stewart is the magazine’s oldest-ever cover model.

“The 81-year-old Martha Stewart is one of four swimsuit models gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, 81 years old!” Smith exclaimed. “Now I know y’all are saying, ‘What the hell is Stephen A. talking about something like that for?’ Well, it’s a simple reason. Ladies, none of y’all are beyond your prime. All y’all got it going on.”

Smith proceeded to acknowledge everyone has their own taste, noting his own personal preference by offering 2022 SI Swimsuit cover models Ciara and Kim Kardashian two big thumbs up. “Russell Wilson, I see why you smiling a lot,” Smith said while looking at a picture of the quarterback’s wife, Ciara.

“We all have our tastes,” Smith continued seductively as he began a slow clap while showing a picture of Kim Kardashian. “Lord, have mercy! Bravo, Kim.”

But Smith’s ogling over Ciara and Kim Kardashian doesn’t take away from the admiration he has for Martha Stewart and other older women appearing in SI’s Swimsuit issue. He also celebrated Elon Musk’s 75-year-old mother for gracing the cover last year.

“She’s 75 years old,” Smith said of Maye Musk. “You go on momma, you go on with your bad self. I’ve seen plenty of women in their fifties that look better than women in their twenties. I think it’s great that Martha Stewart and Mrs. Musk are gracing the same cover that Ciara and Kim Kardashian graced. There is no prime.”

Smith reaffirming that “there is no prime” for women seemed like a direct response to former CNN anchor Don Lemon, who created a firestorm earlier this year by claiming 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was past her prime. Haley is 51 years old. When the statement garnered pushback from his CNN co-hosts, Lemon said, “If you look it up. If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it’ll say 20s, 30s, 40s.”

Lemon was fired from CNN two months later and according to Smith, the anchor’s comments about Haley “sealed his fate” at the cable news network. Stewart now gracing the cover of SI’s Swimsuit Issue at 81 years old is just a small example of how ridiculous Lemon’s assessment of a woman’s “prime” was.

[Know Mercy]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to