ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said Ron DeSantis «lost his mind» after the Florida governor signed legislation to ban diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) programs at Florida universities.

Smith admitted he was not «a fan of this stuff,» but still took aim at the governor of Florida.

The ESPN host began his tirade with an insult that turned into a compliment.


Television personality Stephen A. Smith speaks on Radio Row before Super Bowl LVII at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix on February 9, 2023. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

«And in the case of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, at this rate, he could become one of the stupidest people I’ve ever seen,» Smith said earlier this week on his podcast. “And we know that he is not stupid. We know how smart he is.

“If you’re DeSantis, it’s bad enough that you’ve alienated the Latino community. It is bad enough that you have alienated tens of millions of women because, I assure you, even though you have a large number of women against abortion, the majority would like the right to make the decision for themselves instead. that political men dictate those decisions for them. Now, we come to these last things, and this is where it’s my turn, because I’m a black man, and we’re talking about the NAACP.

“Respectfully to the Governor, Ron DeSantis, who has obviously offended Latinos, Blacks, women, has he lost his mind or does he just want to throw the election away? Is that what he’s trying to do?»

Stephen A. Smith in radio row at the Super Bowl

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

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

The bill is DeSantis’ latest crackdown on what he calls «wake up» influences in education. In recent years he has also seen him pass legislation 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 to prohibit public universities from requiring students and faculty to provide «diversity statements» in order to be admitted or hired. Typically, these statements are intended to demonstrate how an applicant’s experiences would help make a campus more diverse and inclusive.

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Titusville, Florida on May 1, 2023. (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.