Stephen A. Smith & Molly Qerim will be Live From Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium; Doors Open for Fans at 8:30 a.m. ET
Ahead of Central State Taking on Smith’s Alma Mater Winston-Salem State on Sunday
Appearance by Special Guest Doug Williams & Performances by Central State & Winston-Salem State Bands
On Friday, Sept. 2, ESPN’s signature morning debate show First Take – featuring Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim – will travel to Canton, Ohio, for the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic weekend. The event, which features a four-day schedule, culminates on Sunday, Sept. 4 when the Central State Marauders meet Smith’s alma mater, the Winston-Salem State Rams, for the Classic Game.
The game is an annual event featuring two HBCU teams playing at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Labor Day Weekend. The weekend is filled with exhilarating fun, tailgating, music and other entertainment. The Black College Football Hall of Fame was founded in 2009 by two legendary NFL quarterbacks and African American pioneers, James Harris and Doug Williams, to preserve and share the history and stories of the greatest HBCU football players, coaches and contributors. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is housed inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Smith and Qerim will be live from the First Take set at Tom Benson Stadium from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. Williams, the Black College Football Hall of Fame co-founder and Super Bowl champion, will join the show as a special guest alongside Smith and Qerim. The show will also feature performances by both schools’ bands, the Central State Invincible Marching Marauders and the Winston-Salem State Red Sea of Sound.
“This appearance by First Take has been a longtime in the making,” said Smith. “As a graduate from an HBCU — Winston-Salem State University — there are no limits to the level of appreciation I have for Black Colleges throughout this nation. And there’s nothing that highlights the allure of Black Colleges more than football. From the marching bands to the games themselves, Black college football illuminates the Black college experience in ways that nothing else does. First Take is honored to play a role in bringing that message to its national television audience. We can’t wait to get there! See ya in Canton!”
Adrian Allison, Chief Relationship Officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame added, “The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Black College Football Hall of Fame are honored to host the First Take team in conjunction with this year’s Classic. Stephen A. Smith brings a fun, spirited energy to the show every day, but there will be a special level of excitement throughout this broadcast with his alma mater in Canton. We encourage fans of the show and fans of college football to be part of this great atmosphere.”
Doors open to fans at 8:30 a.m. Guests should park at Lot A (1776 Clarendon Ave. NW, Canton, 44708) and enter the stadium at the Symphony Gate.
First Take’s trip to Canton adds to its road trip which began today in Dallas. More exciting on-site shows featuring special guests, live audiences and fan interaction will be announced soon.
ESPN: Michael Skarka ([email protected])