Subtlety is not one of Stephen A. Smith’s strong suits.
The outspoken ESPN personality has long since mastered the art of somehow speaking in all caps, much to the detriment of healthily functioning ears around the world.
But to give credit where it’s due, Smith occasionally has some semblance of thought or logic to what he has to say. After all, even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.
But Smith’s latest viral hot take deserves no such benefit of the doubt. It is one of the dumbest, most illogical and most incomprehensible takes that Smith has spouted off in a long while, which is saying something.
Unsurprisingly, Smith’s most recent pitfall stems from him resorting to one of his most timeless tropes — the race card.
Somewhat surprisingly, Smith actually started out on something of a coherent and nuanced take on Buffalo Bills first-round pick Josh Allen.
To provide context, Allen, who was selected seventh overall by the Bills in the 2018 NFL draft, found himself in the middle of a social media controversy after several racially charged tweets surfaced just hours before the draft.
“[I] don’t think you niggas want a troubled son!” reads one tweet from 2012, when Allen was 15 years old.
“Niggas trying to get at me,” part of a tweet from 2013 reads.
“[About] to show up these Niggas at pong,” a different 2012 tweet reads.
“Why are you so white ? — If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!” Allen tweeted in 2013.
Allen has apologized for the tweets, explaining that the last one was a reference to an episode of “Modern Family,” but new teammate and Bills captain Lorenzo Alexander did issue a caveat.
“He’s gonna have to have a good answer. I’ve listened to a couple of interviews, and I think it’s gonna come from the heart and he’ll be fine. But he’s gonna maybe have to work a little bit harder to get respect from certain people in the locker room,” Alexander, 34, told ESPN, adding, “But I don’t think it’s an issue, because that’s who he was and not who he is.”
This is where Smith inserted himself into the Josh Allen controversy on his show “First Take.”
At first, Smith seemed understanding of giving Allen a second chance. From all indications, the quarterback’s tweets were the ignorant ramblings of a teenager and not a sign that he’s racist. Smith seemed to acknowledge this.
So far, so good. But then Smith went completely off the rails, lamenting the varying degrees of accountability that black people and white people respectively face.
“If it were a black kid, age 14, 15, 16, 17 years old, 13, 12 for crying out loud, it would require an explanation,” Smith said. “Because when black folks make mistakes it is a different level of accountability that comes attached to it. So, if you are a black person, you are thinking if that was a black kid that was about to be the No. 1 overall pick or the No. 7 pick or what have you and racially insensitive tweets came from him, that black person wouldn’t be let off the hook with an apology, so why should this guy be let off? I understand that thinking.”
Not only does Smith brazenly reach for the lowest hanging, most racially charged fruit, but he also contradicts himself along the way. Smith wants to give a pass to Allen, but then doesn’t think Allen should get a pass because a black person wouldn’t get a pass?
To quote Stephen A. Smith, that’s asinine, asiten, asieleven and asitwelve.
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