ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Says He Knows Trump Is Not ‘Racist’ from Personal Experience

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith recently batted down claims that Donald Trump is a racist and said he never saw or heard Trump acting like a bigot during any of their many personal meetings.

The ESPN First Take host was speaking at the Semafor Media Summit on Monday when the topic of the former president was raised in a question-and-answer period.

Smith noted that he and Trump were on personal terms before the 2016 election and had found common ground in sports.

“I knew Trump before he ran for the presidency,” Smith said during the event. “I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him. He was a huge sports fan.”

Smith added that he had attended several events sponsored by the then-New York real estate tycoon.

“He used to throw a lot of events at — you know — at his casinos and stuff like that, and I genuinely liked him,” the ESPN talker insisted.

Still, he felt that the Trump who ran for the White House starting in 2015 was a version of Trump that stunned Smith, and he added, “I didn’t know who this guy was running for president.”

Still, Smith pushed back on the left’s constant claim that Trump is somehow a racist.

“I think he’s changed, but I will tell you this: I think when people call him racist and stuff like that, I’ve never thought of Trump that way,” Smith told the audience.

Smith added that he had never witnessed Trump display animosity toward blacks.

“He’s not against black people,” Smith said.

But Smith added the qualifier that “He’s against all things not named Trump.”

Regarding politics, Smith added that he is not “beyond” voting for a Republican, but he could not vote for Trump.

The last time Smith spoke publicly about the former president was at the end of May when he claimed Trump decided to run for president because the NFL aced him out of owning a pro football team.

“In 2014, Donald Trump wanted to purchase the Buffalo Bills, and when he wanted to purchase the Buffalo Bills — this was before he ever decided to run for president — Donald Trump called yours truly. That would be me. And he said that he wanted to purchase the Buffalo Bills,” Smith said. “And I’ll never forget what he said to me. He said if those owners screw me over, and I’m just using the FCC allowable version, and he didn’t say it like that, but I’m paraphrasing, he said if they screw me over, he said I’m going to show them. I’m going to get them all back. I’m going to run for President of the United States. That’s what he said to me in 2014.”

Smith has also stuck up for Trump before. In 2017, for instance, he called on the black community not to criticize black leaders who visited Trump and suggested people should respect the decision to meet and use “intellect” instead of “emotion” to “decipher where we go from here.”



Report: L.A. Considers Charging Drivers to Use Freeways

Los Angeles County is finalizing plans for a pilot project in congestion pricing that could see drivers charged an additional fee to use certain high-frequency routes on freeways, in a bid to reduce traffic in the congested city. The Los Angeles Times reports: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected by the summer […]

L.A. County Gives Crack Pipes to Homeless to Prevent Fentanyl Deaths

Los Angeles County has begun distributing pipes used for smoking crack, methamphetamine, and opioids to the homeless population, hoping to discourage them from overdosing by injecting themselves with fentanyl. The Los Angeles Times reported on the grim phenomenon Tuesday, which has divided homeless advocates: By a line of ragged RVs slung along 78th Street in […]