On Saturday evening, ESPN’s Stephen Smith was castigated by Carolina Panthers’ safety Eric Reid over his video in which he commented negatively on former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s behavior.
Here’s a quick refresher.
On Tuesday, Kaepernick was offered an opportunity to demonstrate his prowess to league members at a “workout” event on Saturday. A memo from the NFL reportedly stated in part: “We have … arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career.”
On Saturday, approximately half an hour before the event was set to begin at the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility, Kaepernick called an audible, moving the showing to a high school in Riverdale, Georgia.
This move was allegedly the result of the NFL not allowing Kaepernick to bring his own camera crew, and reportedly wanting him to sign a waiver that would prohibit him from suing the NFL if he didn’t get picked up by a team following the workout.
The NFL and Kaepernick appear to be in dispute about the nature of the waivers.
According to ESPN’s Howard Bryant, Kaepernick and his team were uncomfortable that only the NFL would be videotaping his demonstration because the league could edit the recording to make the quarterback appear less than capable.
Following his workout at Charles Drew High School, Kaepernick made a statement in which he challenged the NFL to “stop running from the truth.” Prior to the event, the quarterback was seen wearing a “Kunta Kinte” shirt.
In response to all the hullabaloo, ESPN commentator Stephen Smith slammed Kaepernick in a lengthy video posted to social media.
Smith said in part:
You see? You see? He don’t want to play; he wants to be a martyr. But guess what? It ain’t working this time…
He wanted to show up to a high school in Georgia, not an NFL facility, a high school, and then YouTube it live – like the average Joe out there gets to decide if he’s on an NFL roster. You don’t want to work; you just want to make noise, and you want to control the narrative. It’s over. Colin Kaepernick’s aspiration in the NFL for an NFL career, it’s over.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, a reported friend of Colin Kaepernick, didn’t take Smith’s message well, tweeting the following:
.@stephenasmith Tap dancing for the NFL like . Damn straight Colin wants to control the narrative! He supposed to trust the organization that blackballed him and has done absolutely nothing in good faith??? Born on Tuesday, just not last Tuesday. https://t.co/EKztmcrDbu pic.twitter.com/gz0xnDe10e
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) November 17, 2019
[Stephen Smith] Tap dancing for the NFL like. Damn straight Colin wants to control the narrative! He supposed to trust the organization that blackballed him and has done absolutely nothing in good faith??? Born on Tuesday, just not last Tuesday.
Less than half an hour later, Smith sent out a series of tweets defending himself and scorching Reid [Below is a compiled version of Smith’s tweet-storm. To read the tweets in their original form, click here]:
Man, please. You embarrass yourself, [Reid], every single time you open your mouth. You – of all people – talking of tap dancing when you’re the one collecting a check from the very institution you collect a check from. You, [Reid], who takes a knee – supposedly for brothers – yet attack brothers – Malcolm Jenkins, Jay-Z, ME – at every turn the second someone disagrees with you. You, [Reid], got the nerve to call out the @NFL when your beef was suppose to be with society in regards to police brutality and racial oppression. Where’s your plan?
Huh [REID]? To call our or beat up everyone who utters a word you disagree with? All [Brothers], BTW. Let me tell you something, Mr. [Reid]: Kaepernick has been supported. We’ve all said he was done wrong. That he was blackballed. That he should be in the league. Who the hell hasn’t acknowledged that? But life isn’t fair. It damn sure ain’t ideal. And at some point, you’ve got the grab the opportunity. Kap’s occurred today. And what does he do: alters the process, and shows up with a T-Shirt alluding to SLAVERY, [Reid]. For a JOB INTERVIEW!
When are you – yes, you, [Reid] – going to wake the hell up and realize that maybe, just maybe, the enemy at THIS POINT ain’t the NFL. It’s not Malcolm Jenkins, Jay-Z or ME. Maybe the enemy is YOU, your childish tendencies, and your unwillingness to accept that you can’t run a damn thing but so much when your hand is out for someone else’s dime or product. Especially when you haven’t played in 3 years, when you were 1-10 in your last 11 games as a starter and the top-4 league MVP candidates are all black, [Reid]. When will you learn?
Chances are…..you won’t. Because your ears are clogged and you’re too blinded by vitriol to see when a brother is showing you – y’all – love and respect, [Reid], by simply letting you know what will work [and] what won’t. But oh, I forgot: we all ain’t S&@$ in your world. So why even bother. You’ll never listen. But others will hear, [Reid]. You can bet the house on that. Just listen. It’s coming from the multitude of places. And it’s damn sure – like a storm – on @FirstTake Monday morning. So buckle the hell up! Good luck on Sunday. Sincerely!
On Sunday morning, Reid hit back, tweeting:
try 2 burry Colin. I stand 4 truth & justice above all else. You r mistaken by thinking that because u or anybody is black that you are spared from my criticism especially when you’ve been so blatantly on the NFL’s side in corrupting their own process to hinder Colin’s employment
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) November 17, 2019
Smith once again replied:
… The more you talk, the more ridiculous you sound, @E_Reid35: pic.twitter.com/Pf0KxSjqZy
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
As of publication, Reid has yet to respond to Smith’s clap back.