The on-air rivalry between ESPN’s First Take co-hosts Stephen A. Smith and Will Cain is unmatched. Emotional and controversial debates dating back to 2016 boast YouTube views in the millions.
Recently, Smith joined Cain in his new show Fox News Tonight, where Cain and Smith debated about the fate of Daniel Perry, the ex-Marine who choked a Michael Jackson impersonator and a homeless man named Jordan Neely to death on a downtown Manhattan subway last month.
Cain supported the former Marine, saying, “I think the world needs more people like Daniel Perry to step up!”
Unexpectedly, Smith did not jump to convict the 24-year-old Perry, stating, “I don’t know all the facts, so I’m not ready to convict Daniel Perry, like a lot of people, politicians and citizens have been so quick to convict this man of that,” Smith said. “I think we need to hear all the evidence. He did have him in a chokehold for an access of three minutes. That seemed a bit accessive, particularly when that he had two other people helping him [restain Jordan Neely on the subway train]. But then again, we need to know more.”
Cain, as expected, took the exact opposite stance as Smith, declaring, “You’ve got to be careful in a situation like this Monday morning quarterbacking. In my estimation, while I appreciate you wanting to wait for the facts, Stephen A. [Smith], I don’t think that the man should have even been charged…I don’t think what we see here [was] reckless, and I certainly don’t think he intended to kill Neely, and then to a larger point, by even charging him you create a dissident for strong men…you dis-incentives strong men to step up and help the vulnerable.”