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Stephen A. Smith says Pat McAfee doesn't have to be as 'politically polished' because he's white
Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images/Additional Image via Bussin' with the Boys/YouTube (screenshot)

Stephen A. Smith says Pat McAfee doesn't have to be as 'politically polished' because he's white

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith claimed that podcaster Pat McAfee did not need to be as well versed in politics as Smith because of his skin color.

Smith appeared on "Bussin' with the Boys," a podcast hosted by former NFL players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton. Smith commented on the differences between being a a successful host on a show on "linear television" versus podcasting.

Lewan asked Smith about McAfee, who has had an extremely successful transition to ESPN with his less formulaic podcast, which hasn't been afraid to be controversial.

"You talked about being the man, number one for 12 years, and you see ESPN making a pivot to McAfee. Obviously great for the network. How do you in your mindset view a guy like McAfee, who is extremely good at his job in a lot of ways, is changing the course of mainstream media and all those things from a competitive standpoint? And also as a partner."

"I'm an aberration in this regard," Smith began. "I love Pat McAfee ... love him to death, love him to death. I love his swag. I love the fact that he's an honest brother. He don't give a s*** and lets you know exactly where he stands. That's my kind of dude, that works for me," Smith continued.

The broadcaster then alluded to the idea that because of McAfee's race, he didn't have the same necessity or requirement to be educated in politics as Smith does.

"Now, is he as polished politically as me? Nope, because he has no desire to be, number one. And number two, if we're being honest, he's white and I'm black. He didn't have to be, I had to be, so I get all of that and I'm not knocking him for it."

Smith added that he still roots for McAfee as a "pioneer" in the podcasting field, just as he roots for all his friends and competitors. At the same time, Smith said he wants to be at the top.

McAfee was at the center of controversy for most of 2023 when he had Super Bowl winner Aaron Rodgers on his show multiple times, showcasing a public feud with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Rodgers has frequently made statements against large pharmaceutical companies, throwing McAfee into high-profile debates in the media.

McAfee has explained, however, that his show was not very fond of being involved in "political wars and public beefs," adding that he and his fellow co-hosts will try to "avoid as many as possible" in the future.

Smith has recently been rumored to be replacing host Kimmel on his show after the 56-year-old's latest contract expires.

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