*The death of John Saunders Wednesday at age 61 left many in the sports world in shock, and a number of his colleagues and close friends at ESPN in shambles.
Stephen A. Smith was on his show “First Take” with Molly Qerim and Max Kellerman when news of his passing broke this morning. His emotions took over as he shared his thoughts about the veteran sports broadcaster and his impact on him, personally.
“He was a big brother, a father figure, I’m sitting here in shock,” Smith began.
Jemele Hill of ESPN’s “His & Hers” was also emotional while recounting her memories of Saunders. They had just attended the NABJ conference on Friday in DC.
“I can’t even relay to people the kind of champion that John Saunders was for people like us,” she said in tears to her African American co-host Michael Smith.