Before Michael Smith and Jemele Hill moved to SportsCenter at 6 pm, they rose to prominence on a show called His & Hers because of their undeniable chemistry. The show was a natural fit for both of them and it seemed as if they said and did whatever they felt within the context of the show. They spoke about sports, social justice, entertainment, and politics all while entertaining the audience. The energy was perfect.
They tried to bring the same style and energy to SportsCenter, but MAGA America just wasn’t ready for two opinionated, unapologetically black people hosting SportsCenter. Jemele Hill suffered a suspension for her tweets about the NFL and Trump and she eventually left SportsCenter to work on other projects at ESPN where she could voice her opinion.
Michael Smith who has not been as vocal publicly, finally shared his perspective about the what happened with the direction of SC6. Smith spoke to James Andrew Miller on the Origins podcast and shared his frustrations. It seems that Smith and Jemele Hill were promised that SC6 would be a continuation of the magic from His & Hers, but things changed rapidly once Jemele got suspended and a new producer was brought on.
“There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore. Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary. It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much. I was like, wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t fucking talk to each other? How does that make sense?”
Michael Smith stated that viewers did not get a chance to adjust to the new way SportsCenter was being produced, and audiences would have eventually embraced the show. Michael Smith still anchors SportsCenter, but the show has returned its safe, generic roots. Flip the page for the full audio from Michael Smith.