Stephen A. Smith was on his show “First Take” on Tuesday (November 20) defending his position on Colin Kaepernick.
“I’m a Black man, you idiots,” Smith said forcefully. “You think I have a problem with a man that is kneeling, and protesting racial oppression, and police brutality? Do you know anything about my history?”
Smith was defending his take from all comers, including former NFL legend Terrell Owens.
Owens sent Smith a text on Tuesday, which Smith read in part during his rant.
“T.O. — Terrell Owens — just sent me a text. ‘You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re quick to bash. That’s why people say what they say about you.’ Even T.O. is on my case right now. You know, I will respond to him and all the folks that feel the way that they feel in just a second. Because there’s a whole lot of people that are coming at me with emotion. I’m going to come at folks with facts,” Smith said on Tuesday’s show.
Smith staked out his position on this matter, before the now infamous workout, when he said there were only two things that would prevent the embattled, blackballed quarterback from getting a job after the workout.
First, if his physical skills were not on par with an NFL level quarterback.
The second, as Smith said:
“If he opens his damn mouth and starts talking too much and scares these teams off and gives them the indication that more of what transpired — what led to all of this — will continue forward.”
The latter of course referencing Kap’s protest of racial injustice and the brutalizing and killing of people of color in America by the police.
Smith also reported, if the workout went well, Kap would have a job within two weeks. Per his sources.
We all know what happened next.
Kap and his team couldn’t agree with the NFL on various components attached to the workout, including: media availability, video rights, and a liability release waiver among several others.
Kap instead chose to host his own workout open to the media with footage provided to all 32 NFL teams.
At the core of the issue between Kap and the NFL is a lack of trust.
Kap didn’t trust a league that has denied him work for three years would be honest and forthright in delivering on what they promised.
The NFL didn’t trust Kap to acquiesce to all their demands.
Smith was his typical, bombastic, aggrandizing self in his rant during Tuesday’s broadcast, defending his belief that Kap ruined a legitimate workout.
He went on national television and said that the workout was a legitimate shot for Kap to gain the employment he sought.
Smith said, according to sources, if Kap proved good enough in the workout and didn’t “scare” the owners, he would have a job within two weeks.
Once Smith said the workout would be legit, he was personally and journalistically invested in the outcome.
Unfortunately, now that the waiver issue and other skulduggery by the NFL has come to light, the NFL workout does not appear to be legitimate as Smith reported.
Kap showed his ability in the workout he conducted. As it was widely reported, Kap has “elite arm talent.”
So now, the only place for Smith to go is the “other stuff.”
Kap wore a “Kunta Kinte” T-shirt to his workout, which Smith argues is antagonizing the NFL owners. Proving, indirectly, that he doesn’t want a job and would prefer to be a martyr.
Is Kap antagonizing the NFL? Sure.
But why is Kap standing up for the rights of oppressed people an antagonistic act?
Through his sources, Smith “carries water” for the NFL on many sensitive topics. The network he works for, and is paid handsomely by, is a broadcast partner of the league.
But this entire matter is exhausting.
As a price for employment, the NFL is demanding complete and total Black obedience and submission, and Kap won’t be broken.
Smith says it’s harder for Black people to achieve anything in a system designed against us, and if we know that, why make it even harder by “poking the bear”?
The better question is, why is being Black seen as such an affront to certain sensibilities?