ESPN has become a sewer of leftist politics.
What used to be a haven for sports fans who wanted to escape from politics has now turned into an around-the-clock endorsement of progressive sensibilities and race-baiting.
And Stephen A. Smith, one of the worst perpetrators on the network, just made an asinine statement dripping in racial divisiveness.
Smith said that white athletes’ outbursts are viewed favorably as signs of competitiveness, while black athletes’ outbursts are viewed as unbridled anger.
In response to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being seen on the sideline yelling at offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels Sunday during the team’s game against the Buffalo Bills, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith suggested the public’s reaction would be different if Brady were black.
If he were black, we would be going off about it,” Smith said on “First Take.”
He continued, “What I am attacking is the inconsistency of Joe or Susie public out there who would be quick to denigrate a black athlete if he was on the sideline acting that way. He’d be cited for insubordination. He would be perceived as completely out of control, temper tantrum — maybe he has some anger management issues and needs to take a course or something along those lines.”
Smith later added that there is a “double-standard” that when it comes to emotion on the field, black athletes are “customarily” perceived as angry, while white athletes are seen as “committed to success.”
“I think the white athlete is judged differently than the black athlete when it comes to emotional expressions. I believe that black folks are customarily, if not religiously, labeled and characterized as angry as opposed to white individuals being perceived as just being emotional and very, very much invested and committed to success. It’s a double standard, it’s flagrant, but it’s been going on for decades, if not centuries,” Smith concluded.
Smith’s test case of Brady yelling at his offensive coordinator is undone by the fact that, in the same game, Rob Gronkowski took an egregious cheap shot on another player and was rightly excoriated by the media.
The example of Brady also ignores the context; Brady has been in the league for 17 years and has five Super Bowl rings. Players of his stature are always given leeway, especially when they don’t have a track record of outbursts.
Nobody accused Michael Jordan of having anger issues when he screamed at a teammate or an official.
Conversely, the media were aghast, and rightly so, when former linebacker Bill Romanowski spit in another player’s face, or when former offensive lineman Kyle Turley ripped off an opponent’s helmet and tossed it in the sky like a graduation cap on commencement day.
Sports is the ultimate meritocracy, and the players are judged accordingly.
If players have a history of cheap shots and tantrums, that’s how they will be perceived, irrespective of race.