Stephen A. Smith was on his show “First Take” on Tuesday (November 20) defe-nding his position on Colin Kaepernick. “I’m an African man, you idiots,” Smith said fo*cefully. “You think I have a problem with a man that is kneeling and prote*ting rac!al oppression and police bru*ality? Do you know anything about my history?” Smith was defe-nding 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 ba-sh. 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 sta-ked out his position on this matter, before the now-infamous workout, when he said there were only two things that would prevent the emba-ttled, bla*kballed qua-rterback from getting a job after the workout. First, if his physical skills were not on par with an NFL level quar-terback. The second, as Smith said:
“If he opens his damn mouth and starts talking too much and sca-res these teams off and gives them the indication that more of what tra-nspired — what led to all of this — will continue forward.”The latter, of course, refer-encing Kap’s pro*est of rac!al injustice and the bru*alizing and k!lli-ng 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 l!ability release wai-ver 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 den-ied him work for three years would be honest and forthright in delivering on what they promised. The NFL didn’t trust Kap to acqu-iesce to all their demands. Smith was his typ-ical, bom*astic, aggr-ndizing self in his rant during Tuesday’s broadcast, defe-nding his belief that Kap ruined a leg-itimate workout. He went on national television and said that the workout was a leg-itimate shot for Kap to gain the employment he sou-ght.
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 wai-ver issue and another skuldu-ggery by the NFL have come to light, the NFL workout does not appear to be leg-itimate 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 arg-ues is antago-nizing the NFL owners. Proving, indirectly, that he doesn’t want a job and would prefer to be a martyr.
Is Kap anta-gonizing the NFL? Sure. But why is Kap standing up for the rights of oppressed people an anta-gonistic 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 exhau-sting. As a price for employment, the NFL is demanding complete and total African-American obed-ience and submission, and Kap won’t be bro-ken. Smith says it’s harder for African-American people to achieve anything in a system designed aga-inst us, and if we know that, why make it even harder by “po-king the b-ear”?The better question is, why is being African-American seen as such an affront to certain sensi-bilities?