Stephen A. Smith's Beef With Jason Whitlock, Explained

A comprehensive timeline of the ongoing beef between sports journalists Stephen A. Smith and Jason Whitlock.

BYTeeJay Small
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With feuds between Aaron Rogers and Jimmy Kimmel, and Katt Williams' now-viral appearance on Club Shay Shay, it truly looks as though 2024 is the year of the long-form roast. In addition to these major pop culture moments that rang in the new year, it appears as though Stephen A. Smith and Jason Whitlock are embroiled in a nasty verbal back-and-forth. Though the pair once worked alongside each other as ESPN commentators, the feud has rapidly escalated from rude off-hand remarks to elongated diatribes of ad hominem assaults. Here's a brief look into how this beef began and the current state of affairs wrought by the battle of these media giants.

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Whitlock Coined The Term Stephen A. Myth

During an explosive segment on a January 4 episode of his series Fearless with Jason Whitlock, the right-wing social media commentator trashed Stephen A. Smith by implying his memoir Straight Shooter: A Memoir Of Second Chances And First Takes is full of lies and fabricated stories. Whitlock referred to Smith's tale of receiving a basketball scholarship for Winston-Salem State University as "mind-blowingly preposterous" before referring to the ESPN First Take host as Stephen A. Myth.

These derogatory comments apparently began because Jason Whitlock wanted to compare his thoughts on Stephen A. Smith to similar sentiments expressed by Katt Williams regarding Kevin Hart's status as a top comedian. Whitlock contends that Smith was put in his position not due to his talent and hard work, but as a result of nepotism from a controlling behind-the-scenes puppet master.

Smith Fires Back

Unfortunately for Jason Whitlock, Stephen A. Smith did not take these comments lying down. The ESPN host fired back on January 10 with an episode of The Stephen A. Smith Show, resulting in a fiery 40-minute takedown of everything from Whitlock's political views to his weight. During the rant, Smith divulged several behind-the-scenes stories about Whitlock's tenure at ESPN, exposing the fact that the podcast host is highly difficult to work with and burns bridges everywhere he goes.

Smith unleashed a blaze of foul language and personal attacks, frequently referring to Whitlock as a "fat bastard," and dubbed the Blaze TV host "the worst human being I’ve ever known." Smith went on to say, "He is a piece of sh**. He’s the dude that’s going to have a funeral and ain’t going to be no pallbearers... I could not imagine, as a Black man, knowing our history, anything worse than a white supremacist. That is until Jason Whitlock came along. He’s worse than them. He is the worst, most despicable, lying, no-good, fat-ass human being I have ever known in my life.”

Smith even humorously stated before diving into his rant that he had already called his pastor to ask for forgiveness in advance. The ESPN host truly left no stone unturned when it comes to breaking down why Jason Whitlock's career has stagnated over the past several years.

Read More: Stephen A. Smith Seemingly Calls Jason Whitlock A “Fat Bastard” In Scathing Rant

Former Colleagues Seem To Agree With Smith

After Smith's commentary went live, many colleagues from ESPN rushed to agree with what he had to say. Former ESPN contributor and current Atlantic journalist Jemele Hill specifically expressed unequivocal support of Smith, stating, "It’s one thing to critique people, it’s another thing to take the kind of shots that [Jason Whitlock] tends to take at people… I try very hard not to give in to it, but it gets tiresome and bothersome and irritating… what Stephen A. said was correct."

Whitlock Responded In A Flurry Of Tweets

After being thoroughly cooked by Stephen A. Smith, Jason Whitlock returned to his Fearless desk to continue the fight. The former ESPN host shared well over a dozen posts on X (formerly Twitter) maligning Smith as an overly sensitive and feminine character. In these posts, Whitlock utilized a series of offensive language, including referring to Gary Stephens as a "m*dget" and baselessly claiming that Smith had women's reproductive organs surgically implanted into his knees.

Many of the posts fail to make a salient point, and the common sentiment across social media seems to suggest that Whitlock is keeping the feud going to maintain relevance. For now, it seems that Stephen A. Smith has said his piece, and he likely won't respond to Whitlock unless any new and pertinent information arises. In the meantime, Whitlock will continue to milk this feud for all its worth.


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About The Author
TeeJay Small is a professional humorist, pop culture columnist, and an avid enjoyer of all things hip hop. When he's not compiling dozens of monologue-style jokes about the most absurd news headlines, or furiously scribbling rewrites for his television pilot, you can find him carefully analyzing the lyrics to the latest Griselda or Dreamville releases, or digging in the crates to find the hottest up-and-coming rappers. After receiving his bachelor's degree in English/Communications from UMASS Boston, TeeJay set out on a journey to travel the world and develop a culturally diverse media career. He has been personally assured by both members of EARTHGANG that he is, in fact, part of the culture.