"It hit me differently" - Stephen A. Smith details life-threatening battle with COVID 

ESPN Personality Stephen A Smith
ESPN Personality Stephen A Smith
LaDarius Brown

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith was noticeably absent from the show First Take for many weeks. When he returned, he revealed that he had been in the hospital over New Year's, and he said he didn’t know if he was going to pull through.

He tested positive around the middle of December last year but said it got to him just prior to his hospitalization.

Glad Stephen A Smith alright from his covid battle! Didn’t realize he got it that bad 🙏🏿

The ESPN personality said this about his experience with COVID:

“For me personally, it hit me differently. You’re assuming that you’ll have a fever, might have a cough, gonna have that massive headache — but you’ll get over it,” he said. “In a lot of cases that was the case. In my case, it was totally different.”

He went on to describe the symptoms he was dealing with, such as a fever of 103 degrees:

“I had 103-degree fever every night. Woke up with chills and a pool of sweat. Headaches were massive. Coughing profusely. And it got to a point where right before New Year’s Eve, I was in the hospital into New Year’s Day. That’s how I brought in the New Year.”

Smith noted that his physicians told him he would have died if he was unvaccinated, asserting:

“They told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. That’s how bad it was. I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It had ravaged me to the point where even now I have to monitor my volume — get to the gym every day, walk before you run. Work your way back because I’m still not 100 percent with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. I’m on the road to recovery.”

Here, the ESPN personality thanked his doctors, those in the sports community, and executives at ESPN for their support:

“But if it wasn’t for several doctors, I wouldn’t be here. Love and respect for what they did. Love and respect for people in the sports community and ESPN executives for checking on me every single day. Dave Roberts, Norby Williamson, Jimmy Pitaro — I can’t thank you enough.”

Stephen A. Smith’s first day back on First Take

ESPN Personality Stephen A Smith
ESPN Personality Stephen A Smith

Smith wasted no time upon his return to the show. He started off talking about the team he dislikes the most: the Dallas Cowboys. Over the weekend, the Cowboys lost to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 23-17 in the Wild Card round.

Stephen A Smith is ON FIRE!!! @FirstTake Welcome back OG!! Covid couldn’t stop you from coming back to clown the cowboys 🤣🤣🤣@stephenasmith #ShowTheFans #ShowTheOneOfThemCrying🤣

During the show, he donned a black cowboy hat with a cigar in tow and an accent to boot.


Whether you love him or hate him, many of us can agree that it was great to see Stephen A. back doing what loves.

Edited by Windy Goodloe


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