Rihanna gets an apology from Stephen A. Smith after he said she ‘ain’t Beyoncé’

Was it a diss?

Stephen A. Smith learned a valuable lesson recently: don’t come for Rihanna unless she calls for you. The ESPN analyst became The Navy’s number 1 target after his appearance on Sherri Shepherd’s daytime talk show, where he made the bold statement, “there’s one thing she’s not, she ain’t Beyoncé.”

While it’s true that Beyoncé and Rihanna are different people, fans took it as a diss. Smith may have been overwhelmed by the onslaught of hate because the next day, he shared a 3-minute apology video inside of a van on Twitter.

“I’m gonna own it ‘cause I get paid to speak for a living, so I need to be more careful,” he said at the start. While Rih Rih is probably unbothered by his opinions, he made it clear how he feels about her with a direct message. “You’re a superstar, you’re sensational, you’re spectacular, you’re no joke, and you are a worthy person to be doing the Super Bowl halftime show,“ he said.

He went on to explain himself, saying he only brought up Bey because she performed twice at the Super Bowl, and he thought they were the most amazing performances he’s ever seen, “What I’m saying is anybody has to measure up to that.” “Michael Jackson could still be alive, and I would say he has to measure up to that,” he said passionately inside a car. “I meant it as no disrespect,” he said. “[Rihanna] You know you gotta turn it out,” Smith concluded his video.

After his apology, he went on Fox 29 to explain why he apologized, saying he had friends in Hollywood who said it was being absorbed as if he was pinning one black woman against another. “Which is not what I was doing,” he said.

His car apology video was viewed 1 million times on Twitter. It had a mix of responses like, “The man talks s**t to Cowboys fans for a living but Rihanna fans got him ready to go into witness protection lol” and, “don’t address her ever again loser.”

Rih will take the stage on Sunday, February 12. As Smith said, Rihanna is expected to, “turn it out,” and there is one person who knows she’s going to do just that- her partner A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers. The rapper recently told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, “The Super Bowl is huge, and her being the creative she is, she going to bring it, man,” he said.

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