ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith apologized to Rihanna after comments he made about the singer during an appearance on “The Sherri Show.”
There are eight teams remaining in the NFL playoffs as we enter the Divisional Round, where one AFC team and one NFC team will compete in Super Bowl 57 on Feb. 12 for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. There are plenty of eyes on the biggest game of the year, and it’s not just because of the games or commercials. There’s also the halftime show, where a top musical act will perform. This year, the halftime show performer will be Rihanna.
During an appearance on “Sherri” with host Sherri Shepherd, Smith was asked about Rihanna performing at the halftime show. While Smith praised Rihanna, he said “she ain’t Beyonce.”
“I don’t want to say I’m not excited, she’s fantastic. That’s not where I’m going with this. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s a lot of things. She’s spectacular, actually…congratulations on new momma-hood. There’s one thing she’s not, she ain’t Beyonce.
“The only reason I brought up Beyonce is because, Beyonce recently performed at the Super Bowl, with and without Bruno Mars and Coldplay.”
And the fans were not happy with the snub.
Stephen A. Smith apologizes for Rihanna comments
After his interview aired, Smith got a ton of criticism from Rihanna fans on social media. Later on Wednesday, Smith posted a video apology on Twitter.
“I just got out of ‘First Take’ and I saw some headline circulating all over the place that Rihanna ain’t Beyonce,” said Smith. “I’m going to own it, I know what you’re all trying to do, but I’m going to own it because I get paid to speak for a living, so I need to be more careful. I want Rihanna to know, you’re a superstar. You’re sensational, you’re spectacular, you’re no joke, and you’re a worthy person to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show.”
Smith said that he brought up Beyonce because he believes that she had two of the best shows he’s ever seen at the Super Bowl. Smith said that he holds other performers at the halftime show to the standard that he believes Beyonce set.
Beyonce performed solo at halftime of Super Bowl 47 in 2013, where the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens battled for the Lombardi Trophy. At Super Bowl 50 in 2016, Beyonce performed alongside Coldplay and Bruno Mars at halftime in the game between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.
The NFL announced that Rihanna would perform at the Super Bowl 57 halftime show back in September.
Super Bowl 57 takes place on Sunday, Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.