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New Voices Under 30: Sammy Smith

Sammy Smith

Broadcast Associate and Writer, CBS Sports

A writer for “The NFL Today,” Sammy Smith works with management to create a more inclusive environment for Black employees. He teamed with co-workers to develop and create diverse TV content during Black History Month and for social media during Super Bowl week.

Felix Francisco

Age: 24
Born: Chicago; raised in West Point, Ga.
Education: University of Georgia, Grady College of Mass Communication and Journalism, A.B.J., journalism, minor in political science

More About You

Most important lesson of the past 18 months: That it’s OK to fail. It’s OK to not know things. It’s OK to be wrong and accept new information, so there’s always room to learn. That’s a lesson that I’m still learning to practice, it’s already helped me in a couple of different ways. Personally, in understanding how to extend a level of empathy and understanding to everyone. Creatively, in learning to create without fear of failure and judgment.

Go-to person when I need help: I’m lucky enough to have a solid support system in my cousin, Perry, and my girlfriend, Jasmine.

My inspiration: I recently lost my grandfather who was, is and will continue to be my greatest inspiration. He was a man of few words that was always cool, calm and collected, no matter the situation. He was an extremely hard worker who served his community and more than anything, loved his family. He was the greatest man I ever knew.

In the Industry

What drew me to a career in sports: I was born in Chicago during the Jordan era. Bob Costas’ call late in the fourth quarter during Game 6 of the ’98 Finals poetically defined a pivotal moment for a generation. So you could say that the love for storytelling in sports was ingrained in me since birth.

Biggest surprise when I started my career: The biggest surprise was the lack of diversity in the industry. There I was covering leagues and sports that are a majority Black, but very few people working behind the scenes looked like me.   

Most exciting aspect of sports business: I have such a love for great stories, so it’s exciting to see the expansion of digital platforms for storytelling. I love the fact that the business is becoming more accessible for athletes and young creators.

In 10 years, I hope to be … : Creating creative content in the industry while opening doors for others to get worthwhile opportunities.

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