Get your popcorn ready.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens are in a war of words about something that happened four years ago.
A 2019 debate between Smith and Owens started resurfacing on social media last week after Smith went on “The Joe Budden Podcast” and was asked about Max Kellerman, his former “First Take” co-host.
Smith said the split with Kellerman “was totally my fault and the reason it was my fault is because I didn’t like working with him.”
However, social media sleuths dug up an old clip that indicated Smith pushing out Kellerman was more complicated.
Owens appeared on “First Take” four years ago to talk in part about Colin Kaepernick, and Owens suggested that Kellerman was more sympathetic to the quarterback’s plight.
“Max almost seems blacker than you, Stephen A.,” Owens stated.
Smith passionately defended himself, telling Owens he “crossed a line.”
That brings us to Friday’s post from X user @JayBabyEars, who tweeted a 17-second clip of the debate with the caption, “THIS is why he doesn’t f**k with Max Kellerman.”
Owens retweeted the post with the caption, “FACTS!!!!!!!!!”
On Saturday, Smith responded to Owens, posting on X, ” Now….as for this dude, that’s an entirely different story. You know how I feel about your sorry ass @terrellowens and you know why! You should thank your Heavenly Father I haven’t zeroed in on you with the trifling s–t you tried to pull. Tell folks to ask ESPN what your desperate ass tried to pull. Keep on talking. Eventually, you’ll expose yourself!#REALFACTS”
Smith wasn’t done, writing, “Or…….maybe I’ll just dedicate the entire Stephen A. Smith Show/Podcast on YouTube this Monday to all the things you tried to do behind the scenes — to BROTHERS — over the years while claiming someone is more of a Brother than others. Let me (think) about that over the next 24 hours!!!!#SickOfTHIS.#Enough”
Owens, however, wasn’t having any of it, responding on X, “Now Stephen A…Ask me if I’m scared?! I thank God every day or I at least try to but do what you do best. I’m not worried. You don’t have to make some bold attempt to ‘expose me’ because I have NOTHING to hide. You’re mad because of the advice of my attorney after we filed against ESPN because on air without my consent you shared our text conversation. I’m not sure that constitutes as desperate but enlighten us all.
“So my boy, hone in on me. I’m good. I’m blessed and God got me!” Owens continued. “You’re still salty about that interview I did with you and Max a few years back and I said what I said and today I’m still #TeamMax. Got that man fired! That’s messed up. You saw me in Colorado you should’ve told me about my sorry ass then.”
As for the “behind the scenes” reference made by Smith, Owens shot back, “Behind what scenes???! Again, Man I’m NOT WORRIED because I stand on my character and who I am. You better come with some FACTS and not this hearsay and anonymous sources because that’s not gonna fly.”
Later on Saturday, Smith responded not to Owens, but to an X user challenging the ESPN host, “Respectfully bro, you don’t know the whole story. I have nothing to say to his sorry pathetic ass — but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong! You are right bro! I’m man enough to admit that. I will stand down.#Respect”
But Owens couldn’t let that tweet go and responded, “Don’t stand down now!!! I’ll be sorry and pathetic, be sure to keep that same energy when you see me next time.”
“You see I’m not intimidated by you because you have a platform and a loud mouth to claim that that you’re going to allegedly expose me about something,” Owens continued. “It seems to me that you’re the one being exposed. Please EXPOSE ME! Let us know what you got. I, along with everyone else will be waiting. I don’t bother nobody. I’m just me. And if you don’t like me then that’s a personal problem.”
Terrell Owens said he wasn’t afraid of Stephen A. Smith.AP Terrell Owens is a Hall-of-Fame wide receiver.AP
NFL reporter Josina Anderson then chimed in on the tweet-fest and posted, “I’ll agree that it’s fine for SAS to want change; but Max lost a job & deserves due grace too, & as you and others also stated had many fans too.”
Owens followed that up by tweeting, “I can’t wait to hear what he’s going to expose me about. We’ll be waiting. Anything to get the people to tune into and increase the ratings on his show but I’m here for it.”
Max Kellerman left “First Take” in September 2021.Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images
“Hey Stevie, when it’s all said and done and you open up your mouth with the annoying overuse of vocabulary to try to expose me…I’m still #TeamMax,” Owens wrote.
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Following Kellerman’s departure from “First Take” in September 2021, he moved over to ESPN Radio’s morning program with Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams.
Kellerman later took the lead in an afternoon television show called “This Just In.”
However, Kellerman was one of the roughly 20 sports personalities to be laid off this summer from ESPN.