American sports personality Stephen A. Smith apologises to Nigerians over disrespectful comments about their basketball team

Smith said he made the comment out of jest.

Nigerians are angry at Stephen A Smith

American sports personality Stephen A. Smith has apologised to Nigerians over the disrespectful comments he made about their basketball team.

Smith had made a mockery of the names of members of the D’Tigers squad who pulled up a shocking win over the United States in the early hours of Sunday, July 11, 2021.

The ESPN superstar pundit made the comments while speaking on USA’s loss to Nigeria Monday, July 12 episode of his popular show ‘First Take’.

Apologising for his comments on the Tuesday, July 13 episode of his show, the 53-year-old said he was trying to be funny.

The Nigerian team that beat Team USA, when I didn’t pronounce the players’ name, they took offence to that and I’m a guy who is a huge fan of Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman,” Smith said.

And to listen to them over the years highlight, what they had to endure to achieve what they had achieved throughout the world, certainly, I want to make sure that I apologise to them.

I was just trying to be funny, and they obviously took offence to that, and I did not know. I apologise for that and I will do better.”

Smith had come under intense criticism from Nigerians, including the diaspora, over his comments.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and a handful of D’Tigers players had words for Smith after he shared the clip of his comment on Twitter.

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