ESPN’s Michael Smith Blasts the Sports Media for Inventing Race Controversy

On Wednesday, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton responded to criticism of his on-field actions by saying some people may be scared by the fact that he is an African-American quarterback.

ESPN’s Michael Smith reacted to Newton’s response on his Thursday show on ESPN2, “His and Hers,” asking if the media is “so hungry for a storyline” that they are creating one by bringing race into the equation, much like Charles Barkley said on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday.

“I’m not doing this every day,” Smith said. “I am not going to appeal to the least common denominator when it comes to the conversation about Cam. I’ll do it today because he went there. But to me, and I’ll channel my inner Rush Limbaugh here, are the media so desirous, so hungry for a storyline, for a lightning rod, for a polarizing figure that we’re actually inventing one, Jemele? Because all we’re doing is responding to comment sections, to message boards, to letters to the editor, or to the aforementioned ridiculous petition. That’s what we’re talking about right here to me. So for me, you know, there’s nothing new under the sun here. Let’s not get so caught up in the moment where we forget that he’s not the first quarterback — let’s just talk black quarterbacks. He’s not the first black quarterback to dance.”

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