During the Thursday broadcast of “First Take” on ESPN2, co-host Stephen A. Smith asked billionaire sports owners like the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, the Washington Redskins’ Dan Snyder or Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban to heighten their level of sensitivity when it comes to social change, reasoning that they can make a difference.
“[S]omething has to be done about it,” Smith said. “Not enough of us have pointed to the leagues itself, and I’m not talking about the NBA, the NFL or Major League Baseball, I’m talking about the owners who own teams in those leagues.”
Smith went on to say, “The players can only do but so much. The professional athletes can only do but so much, but these billionaire owners, like the Jerry Jones of the world, whose franchise is worth $4.2 billion, maybe, just maybe, it would be incredibly helpful that instead of talking about how much you abhor or disagree with the position of a Colin Kaepernick, you’d look at the bigger picture about how these African-American athletes, who you have no problem exploiting, ok, and using to your advantage so you can gain notoriety, popularity and ultimately money, maybe, just maybe, if you heightened your level of sensitivity when it came to the plight that exists within their respective communities and you used your considerable muscle to talk to people and to strive to make a difference, I promise you, whereas Capitol Hill and others with the power to make change would just give professional athletes lip service, they wouldn’t be able to do that with the likes of a Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, even a Daniel Snyder of the Washington Redskins, the Mark Cubans of the world of the Dallas Mavericks, who’s a brilliant man, and others. People with money, with power, with cachet can make a difference.”
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