Amidst all the shocking trades so far in the NFL, questions have surfaced about decisions made. Many eyebrows especially went up at the Philadelphia Eagles after head coach Chip Kelly let go of LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson. Philly fans were shocked! While opinions formed about the releasing of these key players, Stephen A. Smith had a few outspoken comments of his own.
On the hit sports debate show First Take, Smith made these comments about the coach:
“Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable. I think that’s fair to say. I mean, we’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions that Chip Kelly makes and I’m like what is up? What’s up with that? I mean, it’s like you’ve got to be his kind of guy, you know? And I’m like, well, Riley Cooper’s your kind of guy?” (NBC Sports)
Did he just imply that racial considerations were a factor in these decisions? Chip Kelly let these players walk away because they’re black? Smith later reiterated his comments during the next show.
While the decisions are indeed questionable with DeSean Jackson being the Eagles’ best wide receiver in years, implying that Kelly had ulterior motives is unfair and embarrassing to the black community. I’m not saying that Smith is 100% inaccurate, but the basis for this character judgment is a bit rash. I doubt an NFL head coach would sacrifice the main objective to win in order to create his own “culture in the locker room.”
Smith stated that he didn’t call Kelly racist on his Sirius XM radio show.
No, the sports analyst did not flat out call the head coach racist. But Smith has failed to realize how strong his implications were. His word choice and language gave us the assumption that’s what he meant.
His exact words were “DeSean Jackson gone. LeSean McCoy gone. Jeremy Maclin gone. But Riley Cooper is still here,” and “dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable.” What exactly are you saying then sir? Is he wrong for questioning the outrageous decision? Absolutely not. It left the entire sports world stumped. However, I don’t think we should be jumping to that sort of reasoning.
There have been twenty one black coaches in the history of the NFL and many endorsed trades that left football fans scratching their heads. And what about the other white coaches in the league? Should their motives be questioned as well? African-American men are predominated in the American sports world. Every time decisions like these are made, should we really consider them racial agendas?
The year 2014, and now the beginning of 2015, have proved to be a sensitive time for racial topics. With so many attacks on the black community, it leaves a lot of people on edge about racism and prejudice.
While Stephen A. has a right to have those concerns and to question the Eagles organization, it wasn’t right of him to make implications. He had no valid basis to make them, and he knew that. So instead he claims he only felt “uncomfortable” about the decision. While there are so many other legitimate racial tensions going on to feel uncomfortable about, this wasn’t one to comment on nor cause a stir. But hey, as I always say, that’s just my opinion.