Stephen A. Smith, Who Makes $8 Million A Year, Says He’s Underpaid By ESPN

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Everybody makes sure to take some time out of your day today and send some ‘thoughts and prayers’ to Stephen A. Smith. The ESPN personality, who makes upwards of $8 million, says he’s underpaid.

Inflation really does affect everyone!

Smith made the bold comments on Friday’s episode of First Take during a discussion about what else? Race!

The conversation started with the panel talking about the AP’s recent article about the lack of Black players in the World Series – even though Houston manager Dusty Baker, is, you know, Black – and somehow spiraled into Stephen A. Smith telling us all he has to buy store-brand cereal.

“Just like women are underpaid compared to male counterparts, Blacks are underpaid compared to white counterparts,” Smith said. “I’m not talking about me, even though I got news for you, I am underpaid compared to some people on television and what they get paid.

“But that’s a subject for another day, I ain’t apologizing for that to a damn soul. I am underpaid.”

Is Stephen A. Smith worth more than ESPN counterparts?

Don’t apologize, Stephen A! $8 million a year salary? That’s ridiculous. Doesn’t ESPN know you have a family to feed?

Now, I will be fair here. After all, OutKick is a site that hears all sides.

Compared to some of his broadcasting counterparts, Smith’s salary is tiny. I mean, look at who ESPN just hired.

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman came over from FOX and make stupid money. I’m talking in the five-year, $75 million range.

Tony Romo makes dumb money over at CBS and set the bar for the rest of the league. Kirk Herbstreit is reportedly making over $10 million a year for his Amazon role alone. Charles Barkley just signed a fat contract with TNT worth over $100 million.

So yeah, perhaps Stephen A. Smith is underpaid in that world. But let’s not act like Stephen A. is Romo or Aikman or Herbstreit or Barkley.

Stephen A. Smith needs more money from ESPN.
Stephen A. Smith says ESPN doesn’t pay him enough. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

He works hard, puts in the hours (although he ain’t exactly out there with a hard-hat on), and is probably the face of ESPN … although that sounds like an awful title to have.

Could ESPN pay him more? Certainly. Does he deserve it? Perhaps.

But spare us the sob story about your $8 million salary, big guy.

This year has STUNK for the economy (wonder why?), our 401Ks are COOKED, and we’re having to sew together our Halloween costumes like Little House on the Prairie just so we can eat tonight.

We don’t need any more ‘woe is me,’ Stephen. I think we’re good on that for now.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.


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  1. I only “know” SAS by his public on-air persona ,,,, a “bombastic know-it-all”. I don’t watch ESPN studio shows but I suspect he is indeed “The Face of ESPN” these days at $8,000,000/year. By comparison, the 7th and 8th guys on an NBA bench make more than that.
    I don’t “hate” the guy for playing the role he and his ESPN handlers have scripted for him. In the world of on-air Bombastic Know-It-Alls, critics of Rush called him that for 30+ years … and RL took home in excess of $30,000,000/year during most of those three decades … $$$ based on how well his sponsors did by the way. ………. $$$$ for anyone in “the sports bizness” is all Monopoly Money. It does not help or hinder my family’s daily well being one iota.

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