On Thursday’s “First Take” on ESPN2, co-host Stephen A, Smith reacted to the report that an anonymous NFL scout called former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones “a poor man’s JaMarcus Russell,” while another said of Jones, “Not the brightest cookie in the world. I worry about him when he gets money in his pocket. I just don’t know if it’s all there mentally.”
Russell was drafted first overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 draft, but later released in May of 2010 for his poor performance. He was arrested that June for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. Russell later admitted to testing positive for codeine after he was selected by the Raiders.
Smith let his frustration with the anonymous scouts’ comments, calling them “as egregious as it gets.”
“If this is what a scout told [the reporter], so be it,” Smith said. “I would sincerely hope that he took the liberty of picking the phone back up or before hanging up the phone on that particular conversation, he also told the scout, ‘You know you sound racist as hell, right? you do know that? Because that’s exactly how this sounds –racist as hell.’ And that’s the only way to look at this. And I’m going to go to this last sentence, Skip, think about this. ‘Not the brightest cookie in the world. I worry about him when he gets money in his pocket.’ Think about that for a second. Who the hell do you think you are? That coward, punk no-good scout that would sit up there and not attach his name to this and put that stuff out there about this kid on a personal level like that? It’s as egregious as it gets.”
The ESPN personality did not stop there. Smith then said those quotes speak “to what a lot of black folks have to go through” in “corporate America and beyond.”
He concluded, “This is disgusting, man. It speaks to what a lot of black folks have to go through — not just in sports, but in corporate America and beyond. Because you’re not just fighting the fight in terms of elevating your abilities to the ultimate level so you can receive the ultimate prizes. You’re fighting innuendo, you’re fighting stereotypes, you’re fighting all of these kind of things that black folks and other minorities in this country historically have had to go through. And in the year 2016, we’re still seeing this kind of garbage taking place. You know why we’re seeing it? Because as things change, somehow they really don’t change. Do they?”
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