ESPN analyst Will Cain came out swinging against the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers for banning singer Kate Smith’s rendition of God Bless America, because other songs she sang back in the 1930s may be considered “racist” today.
Cain called the banning of the famed contralto an absurd “overreaction” to Smith’s decades-old oeuvre.
The sports analyst appeared on ESPN’s First Take with hosts Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman to rail against the Yankees’ banishing of Smith’s rendition of God Bless America and the Flyers’ removal of a memorial statue to the singer that stood outside Wells Fargo Center.
Smith, who died in 1986, recently came under fire when songs she sang in the 1930s resurfaced. Songs such as “That’s Why the Darkies Were Born” and “Pickaninnies’ Heaven” raised the hackles of liberals and caused a cascade of abuse to fall onto the singer’s reputation.
But Cain found it idiotic to focus on those old, traditional songs as a basis to discount Smith’s entire career.
“It’s an absolute and utter fool’s errand to go back through history, decades, someone who’s been passed away for 30 years, incidents that occurred eight decades ago, and apply modern historical standards to something you can almost reach a century,” Cain said. “I’m suggesting that your standard, yours, only requires a handful of people to be a little outraged to go back and tear statues down. And I’m telling you that by your standard, President Obama’s statues would not stand today when it comes to gay rights, and that is asinine. That’s easy for you to say, because you’re not the offended party.”
.@stephenasmith, @maxkellerman and @willcain discuss teams distancing themselves from singer Kate Smith amid claims of racism. pic.twitter.com/fMU7TlyGp0
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 22, 2019
Liberals came out in force to attack Cain on a tweet about the discussion, according to Awful Announcing.
Several liberal members of the sports media jumped in to slam Cain:
the problem with the slippery slope argument is you could apply it in the other direction and argue that we should never rebuke anyone who's ever done anything wrong.
alternatively: perhaps we, as a society, are capable of evaluating these decisions on a case-by-case basis.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) April 22, 2019
Today I learned who @WillCain is and oh boy, was this a lesson on bad takes. Glad @maxkellerman made sense here and was rational. https://t.co/IwVMfbrVcI
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) April 22, 2019
ESPN’s Will Cain Believes We Should Ignore Any Racism That Happened in The Past & Stop Being Offended About Centuries of Oppression as If It Still Doesn’t Happen (Video) https://t.co/v7IrBMtj1f pic.twitter.com/AFXWe2e9PO
— Robert Littal (@BSO) April 22, 2019
For Will Cain #endgame pic.twitter.com/bFxoJpJEZw
— Robert Littal (@BSO) April 23, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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