Sportscaster Stephen A. Smith is apologizing for comments he made about Rihanna and her upcoming Super Bowl Halftime performance.
Wednesday, the First Take host was a guest on Sherri Shepherd’s daytime talk show, where he was asked about Rih Rih’s anticipated performance. While he did offer praise to the Fenty founder, he proclaimed, “she ain’t Beyonce.”
“Rihanna’s music is fantastic,” he said during the interview. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
This didn’t take long for the Navy to get on his case for the comments many labeled as disrespectful.
The vocal ESPN personality took to social media later Wednesday afternoon to offer an apology to the “Needed Me” singer.
“I want Rihanna to know you’re a superstar, you’re sensational, you’re spectacular,” Smith said in the video. “You’re no joke and you are a worthy person to be doing Super Bowl halftime show.”
“I meant it as no disrespect to Rihanna. I know she’s phenomenal and she’s my sister. Nothing but love for her, but Beyoncé is my sister, too.”
Nevertheless, Smith confirmed he’s got love for both singers and is looking forward to seeing Rih perform at Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.