ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is a black man. He’s had to point this out a lot over the past few months when his black credentials were thoroughly examined after what many believed was a bashing of quarterback-turned-freedom-fighter Colin Kaepernick’s clusterfuck on an NFL tryout.
Smith was called everything but a child of God for his trashing Kap for pulling out of what we now know was a sham of a workout geared toward getting Kaepernick to sign away his rights to ever sue the league. Kap skipped the official NFL workout to hold one of his own.
What many black people wanted, or at the very least expected, was for arguably the biggest name in talk sports to come out swinging in favor of Kaepernick’s decision, but instead what many of us got was a Kaepernick tongue-lashing, Stephen A.-style.
Maybe Stephen A. is on a “comeback to the blacks” tour but in a recent interview, the ESPN host claimed he was working behind the scenes with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to get Kaepernick a tryout.
Jemele Hill, a former co-worker of Stephen A.’s, took to Twitter—as she is wont to do—and aired this bama out for being messy and double-dipping and recklessly driving all over the journalistic ethics highway.
“Arguably ESPN’s most prominent talent admitting to help orchestrate a workout for Colin Kaepernick … yeah let me go back to minding my business. Guards!” Hill tweeted, the Spun reports.
Let me read between the lines on this tweet a bit: What Hill seems to be saying is, “Nigga, is you tripping? Your job
is to check coats is to cover and commentate on the news, not work behind the scenes to secretly orchestrate a job interview for a whiteballed player.”
Could I totally be reading too much into this? Perhaps, except Hill’s followup tweet confirms it:
Stephen A., being the messy, loud-talking, slimmer Jason Whitlock, got his Twitter fingers all in a huff and shot back:
Let’s break Stephen A.’s tweet down, shall we?
1. Stephen A. is right: He does have a name and if Hill wanted to use it, she would have. She’s not a sub-tweeter; she’s a straight shooter and maybe Hill didn’t want to be a loudmouth (as Stephen A.’s tweets read just like his announcing voice.)
2. Ummm, I can’t remember if Stephen A. was out on the frontline fighting for Hill when she got into a Twitter spat with Trump, the most racist-y racist to ever racist. Oh, that’s right, Stephen A. was in the “stick to sports” camp.
3. How is this not journalistically fucked up? I really don’t know how it isn’t. Maybe one of our dear readers can explain to me how a commentator of sports can work to help a quarterback get back into the league on any level. It’s one thing to champion a player, but it’s a whole ’nother to work to get him a tryout.
Now here is where Hill really puts him in his place, and in order to understand this, you have to understand the subtle art of black women who are about to hand you your ass.
Hill does what looks like conceding by tweeting that she’s going to call Stephen A., but anyone who was raised by a black woman and has had the life pinched out of their arm for misbehaving in church knows that this is no retreat. This phone call is going to be hot, and I wish I could get the transcript because something tells me this will be one of the few times Stephen A. will be at a loss for words.