Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett took to Twitter on Friday to respond to criticism from the polysyllabic, empty bag of humid wind known to sports fans around the world as Stephen A. Smith.
Michael Bennett, the outspoken Pro Bowl football player, recently gave an interview with John Clayton and Gee Scott on their 710 AM Seattle ESPN radio show and said that he thought his team would be the perfect landing place for Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has yet to be signed by an NFL team while lesser and unproven quarterbacks have been awarded contracts worth millions of dollars.
Bennett suggested that Seattle would be the “perfect place” for the signal caller whose decision to sit out the national anthem in protest of the over-policing of communities of color spurred debate and controversy last season. Said Bennett:
I think a person that’s dedicating their life to creating change, why wouldn’t you want that type of leadership in your locker room? Why wouldn’t you want a young person that’s dealt with people wanting to kill him because of his choices in life? So I don’t know why people feel like that is a problem.
Of course, the blustering, All Lives Matter-haircut, forehead glare whose on-screen graphics tell us is Stephen A. Smith took issue with Bennett’s statement. Smith’s argument rests on his belief that Kaepernick’s admission that he didn’t vote in the 2016 election invalidates any stance he has ever taken.
Smith used the time he usually dedicates to hollering long words into a camera as a replacement for actually substantive statements to invoke the names of civil rights martyrs Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and reminded Bennett of the good white people like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who died for African Americans’ right to vote:
So go ahead and root for Kaepernick to get a job. ... But if you’re gonna delve further and try to treat him like he’s some kind of martyr, do me a favor: Remember the real ones that represented first, not just the ones you happen to be pretty damn cool with.
In explaining his decision not to vote, Kaepernick said, “I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote. I’d said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against a system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And, to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
While Kaepernick’s stance might be controversial to many and distasteful to Smith, the jawline-less yodeler conveniently left out the reality that many civil rights leaders have chosen not to vote, including W.E.B. Du Bois. He also dismisses the fact that Kaepernick’s statement was thoughtful and appeared to reflect the ideas of the aforementioned Malcolm X, who said in his “Ballot or the Bullet” speech:
It was the black man’s vote that put the present administration in Washington, D.C. Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote put in an administration in Washington, D.C., that has seen fit to pass every kind of legislation imaginable, saving you until last, then filibustering on top of that ...
They get all the Negro vote, and after they get it, the Negro gets nothing in return. All they did when they got to Washington was give a few big Negroes big jobs. Those big Negroes didn’t need big jobs, they already had jobs. That’s camouflage, that’s trickery, that’s treachery, window-dressing.
In any case, after Smith’s rant, Bennett tweeted:
So, like a man, Stephen A. Smith went to the telephone and called Michael Bennett, talked about the issues, settled the argument and walked away like a mature adult.
That’s not how douchebag shuckers and jivers work. If he did that, what would the white people who tune in every day to hear him holler at the screen think? Instead, Smith went back on his show Thursday and explained why he didn’t call Bennett, saying, “I didn’t feel the need to call Michael Bennett because I didn’t think I said anything offensive.”
Pro tip: Whenever anyone says, “I got nothing but love for ____, but ... ,” the next sentence out of his mouth will be a stupid equivocation for his actions. Smith says he has nothing but love for Bennett but adds, “I ain’t calling that nigga.”
So today, since Bennett doesn’t have a TV show where they have to squeegee spit off the camera at every commercial break, Bennett took to Twitter to explain himself:
And that’s where we stand. Stephen A. Smith, the man who defended Martin O’Malley’s “All lives matter” comments by bringing up black-on-black crime; the guy who chastised black people because he believes we should all respect Donald Trump; the fuckboy who said that sometimes women deserve to get punched in the face; the blowhard who threatened Kevin Durant on live television after Durant called him a liar for saying he was going to the Lakers ...
That guy is now lecturing us on civil rights.
We should end this piece with something appropriate, like a photo of Stephen A. hanging out with someone who called Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization, or someone who works in the Trump administration, or maybe a despicable law-enforcement officer who is responsible for four deaths but says young black men have no care whatsoever for their fellow man.
Here you go.