ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith is notorious for his boisterous thoughts and opinions. And after a scary battle with the coronavirus, in which the popular talking head suffered from chills and a 103-degree fever, the First Take host is being equally as loud about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines.
“For me personally, it hit me differently,” he explained on his show on Monday. “[Doctors] told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. That’s how bad I was. I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad, and it ravaged me to the point where even now I have to monitor my volume and get to the gym every day.”
He continued, “I’m still not 100 percent with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. [...] I’m on the road to recovery.”
The veteran journalist revealed his diagnosis in late December during an episode of First Take and described his symptoms at the time as mild.
Unfortunately, he was hospitalized soon afterward when his health took a turn for the worse. But thankfully, he’s now getting stronger every day and is doing his best to deter others from suffering a similar fate.
“I wanted to take a moment to say to folks out there that, A, the vaccine, according to [doctors], saved me,” he said. “I think the one thing to emphasize the importance of, no matter how you feel about the vaccine, that mask is important. You don’t know how the next person is affected.”
He then when on to express his excitement about being back on television.
“I’m ecstatic to be back. I’ve missed being at work,” he said. “I’ve used more sick days in the last month than I’ve used in my 28-year career in this business. And I can’t tell you how lucky and sincerely blessed I am to be sitting here with you guys today because two-and-a-half, three weeks ago, I didn’t know if I was gonna make it.”
We at The Root wish Smith a speedy recovery and echo his sentiments: Please get vaccinated, get the booster post haste, and wear a mask while in public to protect both yourself and others.