Turkey Vulture Attacks Stephen A. Smith’s Office At ESPN

Stephen A. Smith at Super Bowl LII.
Cindy Ord / Getty Images

In an unlikely run-in between one of the sports world’s most polarizing pundits and a wild bird, a turkey vulture reportedly crashed through the office window belonging to ESPN host Stephen A. Smith. The incident occurred at the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut.

The network’s NFL reporter, Adam Schefter, got the scoop on Twitter, as he often does — although this time it wasn’t a football player’s contract at the center of the news cycle, but rather a surprise animal attack.

“Turkey Vulture Update: Security and maintenance are still patching up the window to [Smith’s] office,” Schefter tweeted later. “Turkey vulture still inside. It does not want to leave. Might be insisting on a word or two with Stephen A.”

Smith was not in the office, nor even in Bristol, at the time of the bird’s appearance. His primary TV show, First Take, tapes in New York City, rather than Bristol. However, Smith maintains an office on the company’s campus.

“Damn! Even a Turkey is that depressed from seeing that I’m gone from Bristol. Hoping it doesn’t harm itself,” Smith later tweeted.

An ESPN employee named Jerry later posted a video to Twitter, the footage showing the bird being removed, alive, from the building.

The ESPN campus is located in a relatively remote, wooded area of Connecticut, meaning that surprise appearances by animals are far from rare in the vicinity. ESPN copy editor Amy Goldstein noted on Twitter that, over the years, she has seen run-ins with “a goat, a fox, coyotes, [and] plenty of biting geese.” However, she noted that she had never before encountered a turkey vulture that broke through the glass of an office window.

A former columnist with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Smith has appeared regularly on ESPN over the past two decades. He was part of the network’s NBA coverage as the network obtained that league’s broadcast rights in the early 2000s, and briefly hosted an evening talk show called Quite Frankly.

Smith has been the co-host of First Take since 2012, and hosted the show for several years opposite Skip Bayless. After Bayless left the show to join Fox Sports and launch a similar show called Undisputed, Max Kellerman became Smith’s main co-host on the show. Smith also appears on other ESPN television shows, as well as on radio shows and podcasts.

ESPN’s headquarters isn’t the only sports-related building that has been crashed into by birds. U.S Bank Stadium, the home stadium of the Minnesota Vikings, has a roof that’s made of glass on one side. Birds have crashed into that glass and have been killed at “an alarming rate,” CBS Sports reported in 2017.