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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Calls Ron DeSantis “One of the Dumbest People I’ve Ever Seen”

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said Ron DeSantis “lost his mind” after the governor of Florida signed legislation banning diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) programs at Florida universities.

Smith admitted he was not an “aficionado of this subject”, but still took aim at the governor of Florida.

The ESPN host began his rant with an insult that turned into a compliment of sorts.


TV personality Stephen A. Smith speaks on the radio before the Super Bowl at the Phoenix Convention Center on February 9, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

“And in the case of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — at this rate, he could turn out to be one of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen,” Smith said earlier this week on his podcast. “And we know he’s not stupid. We know how smart he is.

“If you’re DeSantis, it’s bad enough that you’ve alienated the Latino community. It’s bad enough that you’ve alienated tens of millions of women because, I assure you, even though you have an abundance of women against abortion, most would like the right to make the choice for themselves rather than having male politicians dictating those choices to them Now we come to this final stuff, and this is where it gets to me key, because I’m a black man, and we’re talking about the NAACP.

“Respectful to the Governor, Ron DeSantis, who obviously offended Latinos, black people, women – have you lost your mind or just want to ruin the election? Is that what you’re trying to do?

Stephen A. Smith on radio at the Super Bowl

Stephen A. Smith attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVII on February 9, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

DeSantis signed the legislation, SB 266, on the campus of New College of Florida, an institution he made drastic changes to this year. SB 266 prevents any public university from using state funding to pay for DEI programs, and it also grants university presidents more authority over hiring practices.

The bill is DeSantis’ latest offensive against what he calls “woke” influences on education. In recent years, it has also passed a law giving parents more authority over their children’s education in elementary, middle and high school.

In addition to the funding ban, DeSantis also signed a bill prohibiting public universities from requiring students and faculty to provide “diversity declarations” to be admitted or hired. Such statements are generally intended to demonstrate how an applicant’s experiences would contribute to making a campus more diverse and inclusive.

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the US Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Titusville. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


DeSantis officially announced his candidacy to become the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election earlier this week.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.


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