TV Host Hit with Backlash for This Extreme Statement

Stephen A. Smith an ESPN Host went into a tirade during a broadcast of “First Take.” He agreed with LeBron James saying that a suspension of “at least five games” for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was “excessive.”

Smith, however, took his assessment a step further. He explained that the suspension came about because Irving tweeted a clip from a film rife with anti-Semitic tropes. “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”  was the movie the clip was from. Smith said the  suspension was akin to people “trying to put their knee and keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck.”

Kyrie Irving initially refused to apologize. It was this that led to the player’s suspension more than sharing. However, he offered an apology after he was suspended. “To all the Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize.”

The ESPN Host argued that if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, could say that he didn’t believe Irving was anti-Semitic. In smith’s determination that that should be the end of the whole drama.

“We got riots that took place in the streets a couple of years ago. And I told everyone back then; I said when George Floyd had that knee on his neck, what people didn’t get, outside of the black community, is that black folks were going off because we were saying from a figurative perspective, from a metaphorical perspective, we always feel like we got a knee on our neck,” Smith said. “And that’s where the frustration and the fulminant of vitriol and hostility and, dare I say; violence came shining through.”

The host went on to connect what happened to George Floyd. Floyd made headlines when he was killed in the custody of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Smith related the Floyd situation to the way the team was treating Irving.

“So here we are again. Now, this doesn’t have anything to do with that in a literal perspective, but this is somebody or a bunch of people out there trying to put their knee and keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck. Kyrie does not deserve that,” Smith explained. “He made a mistake. He made a mistake; he had to apologize for it. He’s been embarrassed because of it. He’s cost himself money because of it. He’s been suspended because of it.”

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