HomeSportsStephen A. Smith Apologizes for Comment About Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

Stephen A. Smith Apologizes for Comment About Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

by Nick Geddes
Stephen A. Smith
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

ESPN‘s Stephen A. Smith issued an apology Wednesday for his recent comments about pop artist and Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performer Rihanna.

“Horrific mistake,” Smith tweeted. “Something that was suppose to be a fun moment on the Sherri Shepard show has gotten out of hand. An overzealous member on my MGMT team — which has access to my account — posted something I would NEVER say about @Rihanna, her fans or any other artist.

“The post has been removed. My social management team will never make a mistake like this again. My apologies again to @Rihanna. And just to be clear, I’m a huge fan. Sherri and I were just having fun. That is all.”

Smith, the “First Take” analyst, riled up Rihanna’s fanbase during a recent appearance on “The Sherri Show.” While he emphasized he meant no shade towards Rihanna, he said that she “ain’t Beyoncé.”

“Rihanna’s music is fantastic,” Smith said. “She’s great. She’s a sister. I love her dearly, I listen to her music, I’m gonna support her ’til the cows come home… I’m just telling you, for me, there’s Beyoncé and there’s everybody else. Just like there’s Michael Jackson and there’s everybody else.

“Ladies and gentlemen, [Rihanna is] a lot of things. She’s spectacular actually and congratulations on new mamahood. There’s one thing she’s not — she ain’t Beyoncé.”

Beyoncé performed during the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. Destiny Child groupmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined her for the set.

NFL Announces Rihanna as Super Bowl Halftime Show Performer

The NFL announced Rihanna as the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performer on Sept. 25. Rihanna, 34, is the second-highest-selling female artist of all-time. She has earned 14 No. 1s in her career and is a nine-time Grammy Award winner.

She has not yet revealed if any guests will accompany her for the 12-minute set.

“Twelve minutes? You could actually do that by yourself, but it’s one of those things where you can decorate it however you want,” she said in November. “So whether I choose to do it for myself or whether I choose to bring some of my peers on, it’s… I don’t know what I’m gonna do yet. It’s gonna be great either way.”