- Stephen Smith has apologised for making a mockery of the names of members of the Nigerian basketball team
- D’Tigers stunned USA 90-87 on Saturday and ESPN pundit Smith was stunned by the event as he trolled the Nigerians
- Angry Nigerians have continued to hit out at the TV personality, but he has however apologised for his comments
Popular American TV personality Stephen A. Smith has apologised to Nigerians over his comments against the D’Tigers following their victory over the USA basketball team, CBS reports.
The pundit had on ESPN trolled and made mockery of the names of members of the Nigerian team following their exploits against United States in the early hours of Sunday, July 11, 2021.
Speaking on his popular show ‘First Take’ on Monday, Smith stated that he was only trying to be funny, adding that he is a huge fan of Nigerian stars including UFC’s Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman.
Another Nigerian basketballer 'attacks' popular ESPN broadcaster Smith for disrespecting the national flag
He said via his Instagram handle:
“The Nigerian team that beat Team USA, when I didn’t pronounce the players’ name, they took offence to that and I’m a guy who is a huge fan of Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman.
“And to listen to them over the years highlight, what they had to endure to achieve what they had achieved throughout the world, certainly, I want to make sure that I apologise to them.
“I was just trying to be funny, and they obviously took offence to that, and I did not know. I apologise for that and I will do better.”
Smith had come under intense criticism from Nigerians, including the diaspora, over his comments.
Veteran basketballer Deji Akindele also called out the journalist who aired his frustrations on national television, where he spoke rudely about the D'Tigers following their victory over the United States.
The Nigerian D'Tigers recorded an emphatic 90-87 scoreline over the number four team in the world and the favourites to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics in a warm-up friendly recently.
This has caused reactions from the Nigerian Basket Ball Federation (NBBF) as well as members of the squad including Nnamdi Okoye and Josh Okogie have responded to the American.
D’Tigers pay tributes to Sound Sultan
Legit.ng earlier reported that D'Tigers paid tribute to the late hip hop artiste Sound Sultan in their friendly game against Australia in Las Vegas, United States.
Mike Brown's side wore a white shirt having Sultan's face printed inside the map of Nigeria as they held their heads up high before the game against the Boomers.
The 44-year-old's name was written at the back of the shirt with an emoji of hands praying for the deceased.