If ESPN is interested in awarding the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to someone who has displayed actual…you know…courage, they might want to consider looking in their own backyard.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith addressed students at the University of South Alabama on “The Legacy, History and Impact of the African American Athlete” as part of the school’s commemoration of Black History Month.
But the speech the students got was not likely the one they expected. According to WKRG in Alabama, Smith said:
“Racism doesn’t exist. Obviously, I’m lying. Of course it exists, but not for you. See, you don’t have to go to the back of the bus. You’re not denied the opportunity to eat at restaurants, or to enter night clubs, or to patronize businesses. You have the right to vote. You’re not being lynched. You’re not being hung,” Smith said, according to USA’s student newspaper, The Vanguard which recorded the speech.
He went on to acknowledge that older black students do suffer from racism.
“You’re older, you know I’m not talking about you. But youngsters, you need to understand that white folks got problems, too. Some of them can’t pay their bills. Some of them are struggling. Some of them are being denied opportunities. And you need to understand that, because when people are going through their own problems, they are not going to lament what your trials and tribulations are.”
So, to sum up, Stephen A. Smith went to a college campus and told a throng of minority millennials that they were in fact not the victims of racism, that they weren’t special because white people have problems too, and that no one will feel sorry for them.
And he actually made it off campus alive. Bravo Stephen A, bravo.