In November 2019, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Stephen A. Smith signed a five-year deal. That would make him ESPN’s highest-paid sports commentator with an annual salary approaching $8 million a year.
In essence, making Smith the face of the World Wide Leader in Sports, and moving him past Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million, who was ESPN’s highest earner, and the is the host of the network’s morning show ‘Get Up’.
Last week, Smith was on The Breakfast Club with Angela Yee, DJ Envy, and Charlamagne tha God.
During his appearance, Charlamagne tha God asked him if see’s himself as the face of ESPN?
” I think about it a little bit now because of the check that I get. The fact that I got that new contract, alright,” Smith said.
“I never wanted to hear that prior to my last contract because my attitude was, I ain’t getting paid like it. I don’t want to hear that nonsense y’all can [speak on that] nonsense all want to, but these people what I deserve. What I earned the money/ revenue that I generate, but after this new contract it is safety to say.
I can’t really say that now. So, because of that, I have to change my tune just a touch and recognize the fact I’m the face of ESPN. But, what I am most proud of is that they never asked me to compromise something I would never compromise, and that’s my blackness. For me, I pride myself in that I am not just a black man, I’m a brotha. That is just who I’m regardless, what people want to say, and how they want to come at me.”
For 25 years, Smith has accomplished a lot as a journalist and on shows such as First Take and Quite Frankly. Hopefully, his new show Stephen A’s World on ESPN Plus will follow suit.