Ethics Dunce (At Least): ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith

I had become thoroughly sick of ESPN’s race-obsessed loud-mouth Stephen A. Smith long before I stopped watching the channel. Eventually I even eliminated it from our satellite package: ESPN, like everything Disney touches lately (except the Beatles), is unwatchable, and Smith is Exhibit A. His latest bit of gratuitous race-baiting would get him canned from any respectable network, but then there are no respectable networks. Naturally, he had to endorse Houston manager Dusty Baker’s biased and brain-dead assertion that Major League Baseball had some kind of vendetta against or racist avoidance of American-born black players (because foreign-born black players aren’t really black, or something). Just ponder this :

“We are still Black in this country. We don’t trust this country in terms of meritocracy always. We know the bottom line is that just like women are underpaid compared to male counterparts, Blacks are underpaid compared to White counterparts. And so when you look at it from that perspective, and of course, people look at me, I’m not talking about me even though, I got news for you, I am underpaid compared to some people on television what they get paid, but that’s a subject for another day. I ain’t apologizing for that to a damn soul. I am underpaid. Having said all of that, it ain’t about me.

Hilarious. Everything is about Smith and his race to Smith. He’s underpaid? Smith earns $8 million a year, the most of any ESPN commentator, and is only paid at all because he’s black. He doesn’t even communicate clearly: what does he mean by ” We don’t trust this country in terms of meritocracy always”? Does that mean “we” never trust the country to pay blacks fairly, or “we” sometimes don’t trust it? Since he’s talking about sports, his contention that women are discriminated against by getting lower salaries than men is hardly a fact, and I don’t think it even qualifies as legitimate opinion.  It involves crying victim and discrimination for something, though, and that’s Smith’s entire gig.

Another  typical example of the kind of commentary ESPN pays Smith a fortune to make was what he said after Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady’s swipe at his offensive line last week for not protecting him during the Bucs upset loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Make sense out of this:

“We need to be consistent. Was Tom Brady passionate? Or was he the angry white guy? … Because if that was somebody else doing what he was doing with his offensive lineman, if that was a black man, we would have been talking about his temper. We would’ve been talking about the fact he might not need to act like that with the cameras rolling. I had no problem with it whatsoever. If brothers ain’t blocking for you, you 45 years old, you behind the center and getting smacked around, you damn right you should get in their face. I have no issue with what Tom Brady did with them whatsoever. All I’m trying to say is that when a black quarterback does that I don’t want to hear nothing about it. Since nobody is saying anything about Tom Brady doing it.”

Ah. Sportswriters are racists because of how Smith thinks they would have reacted if Tom Brady were black, or might react in the future, though there is no known precedent for an iconic 45-year old black quarterback criticizing his offensive line for not keeping the opposing team from swarming him. Smith gets 8 million bucks a year for this kind of worthless analysis, and he thinks he’s underpaid.

Ethics Dunce doesn’t really describe someone like Smith, an arrogant narcissist who feels entitled to inflame racial resentment and division while not only profiting from it, but complaining that he isn’t profiting from it enough. What is that?

Maybe it’s just as simple as “asshole.”

4 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce (At Least): ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith

  1. Maybe it could be as simple as that, but calling someone “asshole” isn’t really all that precise. We use that expression for everyone from the political candidate making the speech we can’t stand to the guy who cuts us off in traffic this morning.

    The fact of the matter is that racial division is a very profitable field at this point. It had been a very profitable field since 2008 when a black president said that any criticism of him was racist and the left fell right into line. It became especially profitable 2 years ago when Black Lives Matter was more popular than either political party and raked in an eye-popping amount of donations that made its leaders really rich, really fast.

    Unfortunately for those folks, the passion of the summer of 2020 isn’t there anymore, as we saw this past June when they tried to revive the whole thing on the issue of abortion. The money isn’t there either, since the price of gas and the price of milk have both gone up and most folks no longer have as much disposable income to put toward the cause du jour.

    So, they have to return to exciting the base, and that’s where guys like this come in. After all, why work hard and try to better things when the guy on TV is telling you you’re entitled to something a lot better because the other guy was privileged?

    A few years ago I almost got in a fist fight with a co-worker over an issue we should never have been discussing. A few days ago a relatively new coworker tried to engage me on the issue of privilege. I told him I didn’t want to hear it because of my own background at least on my father’s side, which I talked about elsewhere here. He of course got all racially righteous and I told him I thought it would be better if he left my office before one or both of us said something or did something we would later regret. He left, and I will never speak to him again except in the line of duty. That probably didn’t have to happen, but, he sees a white guy in the office so he knows he’s doing better than him (mostly because I’ve been here a lot longer) and he felt the need to make his thoughts known. He probably would have preferred that I just keep my mouth shut and listen to his lecture, but I just wasn’t going for it. Neither should you folks. It’s time for us to start pushing back. Sometimes when you fight the power, the power fights back.

  2. “We don’t trust this meritocracy always” means we only trust it when Blacks are dominant such as basketball and football.

    If he feels underpaid ask him where he can go to be paid more. Obviously, negotiation is a skill he does not have if he feels that he is underpaid.

  3. I used to get a kick out of “Steven A,” as he evidently prefers to be referred to. He always struck me as a real-life Foghorn Leghorn, or Howard Cosell in black face. I particularly get a kick out of his vocabulary. He’s a walking, talking thesaurus. He must be a type in black culture, maybe the loudmouth crazy uncle who always dresses better than everyone else and purports to make more money than everyone else?

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