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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith tests positive for COVID-19

Stephen A. Smith doing a live ESPN segment at Wells Fargo Center (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service)

ESPN’s franchise star Stephen A. Smith has been out for the past several days after contracting the novel coronavirus.


Smith, the undisputed leader of the network’s morning talk show “First Take,” made the announcement on the program on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021. He told the audience that he is suffering mild symptoms and his voice was clearly compromised.


The high-volume TV personality, who loves to bark his points at his fellow debaters while gesticulating wildly, was uncharacteristically subdued. He informed his audience that he was filming the show from his home while co-host Molly Querim helmed the program at ESPN’s New York offices.

Smith added that he’s only experienced a “high fever” for a few days but is otherwise in decent health, save for a scratchy throat and sniffles. He only showed up to make that announcement and said he will take the rest of the week off. Since Smith said he normally takes the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, he will have ample time to recover from the virus and return at the top of 2022.


He said he is fully vaccinated and will get the booster shot once he recovers from an endoscopy procedure he had this past weekend.

The bombastic Smith was, however, feeling well enough to lambast the Brooklyn Nets who reversed course and will now allow superstar Kyrie Irving to play in road games. Irving has been barred from playing in his home arena, Barclays Center, as he remains steadfast in his refusal to take the COVID vaccine.

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