NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin said he’s “tired of seeing black men fight black men” after five Memphis police officers were charged in the death of Tyre Nichols, and drew an ill-advised comparison to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock last year.
During ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday, sports host Ryan Clark talked about the “calculated” evil of the five police officers accused of beating Nichols, 29, to death after stopping him for reckless driving. Irvin, the former Dallas Cowboys star, decried the black-on-black incident and even invoked Smith slapping Rock at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022.
“And I know [is] we keep saying it’s not a black-white thing,” Irvin said. “You don’t ever want to see anybody get hit, anybody get beaten like that. But it does hurt a little more because it’s a black man doing it.
“It hurts man,” he added. “I’m tired of seeing black men fight black men. It’s a blue thing. But we’ve seen it quite a bit this year going way back to Will Smith and Chris Rock stuff.”
“I’m just tired of seeing us do it,” Irvin continued. “We got enough of a fight to get our right perspective and our right place, we don’t need to be fighting each other like this. Please, let’s just stop that, please.”
Earlier in the show, the ESPN hosts praised the father of Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts for raising him, as they shared stats about fathers being absent in the black community.
“Give some credit to Averion Hurts, who is his father,” Clark said. “We talk so much about black fathers being in the home. He raised that man to be who he is today.”
Later, Clark posted a clip on Twitter that’s gone viral noting that both Super Bowl-bound African American quarterbacks have black fathers who “raised great men,” referring to the elder Hurts and Patrick Mahomes Sr., the father of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“Patrick Mahomes Sr, & Averion Hurts are present fathers that raised great men,” the ESPN host tweeted. “The narrative of the absent black father is pushed through the media. So, let’s remember to push this as well. Salute to you both for changing the narrative. I know Jalen & Patrick appreciate you.”
Patrick Mahomes Sr, & Averion Hurts are present fathers that raised great men. The narrative of the absent black father is pushed through the media. So, let’s remember to push this as well. Salute to you both for changing the narrative. I know Jalen & Patrick appreciate you. pic.twitter.com/yFyLbzDmy1
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) January 30, 2023