Stephen A. Smith on Kurt Busch: Double Standard for White, Black Athletes on Domestic Violence

On Monday’s “First Take” on ESPN2, co-host Stephen A. Smith was asked what his reaction was to NASCAR driver Kurt Busch being suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for domestic violence with his ex-girlfriend.

Stephen A. Smith questioned where the public outcry was for Busch that there was for black athletes that have recently been accused of domestic violence like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald.

“The reason why this story resonated with me, Skip Bayless, is because I wanted to highlight something that needs to be mentioned that black folks, myself included, have lamented for many, many years. Kurt Busch gets cited for domestic violence by a judge. Ok, yes, he gets suspended by NASCAR. We appreciate that. Where’s the public outcry? Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, McDonald in San Francisco, even though that case ultimately was dropped. You know, Adrian Peterson with child abuse. Kurt Busch has this happen to him. NASCAR takes the position they take. But where’s the public outcry. Where’s the story circulating for days upon days upon days at the time? Now maybe it’s because it’s NASCAR and not the NFL or whatever the case may be. I don’t know what the reason for that is.”

Smith went on to say, “But America needs to understand that if you happen to be black, when stuff like this happens, and you see how it just gets mentioned in the news and it’s pointed out there and it’s discussed because ESPN clearly did its job. The other networks clearly did their job in highlighting it. When you talk about public uproar, where’s the uproar with what Kurt Busch allegedly did? I think that’s something that should be pointed out. when you talk about a lot of folks in the black community, not everybody, of course, I can’t speak for everybody, but when you think about a lot of black folks and some of the things that we’ve lamented historically, it’s the level of fervor whether it’s vitriol, it’s fervor, whatever word you use, that comes into play when one of these black athletes are put out there front and center for alleged transgressions, it should be out there and a healthy uproar no matter what. I didn’t get the sense that happened with Kurt Busch. That’s why I wanted to say what I wanted to say.”

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