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Stephen A. Smith Blasts Writer for Suggesting Fani Willis Was a DEI Hire

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith took a break from sports on Sunday to rip a Newsweek writer for implying that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was hired to satisfy diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mandates.

Writing in Newsweek on February 16, Kira Davis opined that Willis defending herself in court during her misconduct hearing showed that the “diversity-first system” has become an “unmitigated disaster for hard-working Black Americans.”

While those who developed DEI claim that the system is a way to promote and include people from groups that are underrepresented in the workforce, others, Kira Davis among them, say that the system has resulted in the promotion of members of the minority community who are not qualified for the positions they hold.

Stephen A. took aim at that assertion when it came to Willis.

“This woman should be ashamed of herself,” Smith said of Davis, “because no matter what Fani Willis may have done wrong, it has absolutely nothing to do with diversity, equity, and inclusion. It has absolutely nothing to do with DEI. The office that she has, no one is disputing that she’s qualified for it. You may not like her and her personal choices — having a relationship with a contemporary. I get that part, but to sit up there and to say it’s a DEI issue just because she’s in her position is utterly ridiculous”:

Smith seemed to take particular exception to Davis’s description of Willis as “angry” and “stupid.” These terms, Smith seems to suggest, contain some racial coding or meaning.

“By the way, a black woman accusing Fani Willis of not being polished and classy and not being able to remain even-keeled,” Smith said, “while responding to an uncomfortable barrage of questions on the witness stand… So she had an attitude. She didn’t like being barraged with questions the way that she was, and so that attitude came out in her, and because of that, that compromises her qualifications?”

“It makes no sense, Ms. Davis. It makes no sense whatsoever. You need to stop.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of ESPN’s most highly paid and influential on-air personalities.

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