GWINN: The Fraud Isn’t Tim Tebow, It’s Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith
Getty Images/Stacy Revere

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith recently argued that Tim Tebow’s attempted NFL comeback with the Jacksonville Jaguars is an example of “white privilege.”

Tebow, 33, recently walked away from his attempt to make the major leagues as a member of the Mets organization and signed a one-year deal to play for his former college coach Urban Meyer as a tight end.

That, Smith argues, is not necessarily a bad look for Tebow, whom he describes as “deserving” and says he even text him to tell him so. But, instead, when looking at the “totality of the situation,” Smith says Tebow’s second chance is an example of “white privilege.”

Smith also had an issue with Tebow getting a chance to play tight end, which he has never played.

After being dutifully set up to go on a race rant by co-host Max Kellerman, Smith begins talking at the 1:48 mark:

Smith’s point about not “giving a damn” about his audience’s feelings is evidently a company-wide sentiment given the steady and steep plummeting of ESPN’s ratings over the years as the network continues its quest to turn anything and everything into a political or racial issue.

Smith’s incoherence began with congratulating Tebow on his opportunity and calling it “deserving,” only to turn around and accuse the Jags of “white privilege,” but it did not end there.

“The reality is that Urban Meyer is in a position where he could exercise – I’m not saying he did it for Tim Tebow because he was white or anything like that,” Smith added. “It has nothing to do with race in regard to that. I’m simply saying when you see an opportunity like that happen, it is clear that it happens for white folks, and it doesn’t happen for everybody else, and that’s problematic.”

But wait a minute, if Tebow being white wasn’t the reason why he was given a tryout, then what the hell is the point of Smith’s rant here? Where’s the “white privilege?” There certainly is “privilege.” Tebow and Meyer produced national championships together, a Heisman Trophy, and are good friends. There’s no question that history and relationship are what led to a 33-year-old getting a chance to play a position he’s never played before.

Certainly, no other 33-year-old washed-up QB’s would get a chance to come back at a different position.

However, as Smith admits, that opportunity was not based on race.

So, after “bizarrely” calling Tebow “deserving” of his opportunity and then attacking the whole thing as a fraud, Smith then ices the contradictory/schizophrenic cake by admitting race had nothing to do with Tebow’s tryout while still calling the whole thing an example of “white privilege.”

The only fraud taking place here is Stephen A. Smith.

Smith is better than this. This is the same Stephen A. who fearlessly and correctly blasted Kaepernick for not voting and being more consumed with becoming a “martyr” than a football player. This is the same Stephen A. who credited Donald Trump with giving him important career advice despite the deep hatred his network has for the former president. And this is the same Stephen A. who had the guts to warn the sports media that they were “stepping out of our lane” by attacking Trump and talking politics in general.

Again, Smith is actually not the idiot he portrays himself to be on TV. As this writer knows from having spoken with him,

The problem with Smith is that he says the quiet things out loud. Such as revealing his friendly and entirely appropriate text message to Tebow and admitting that race played no role in his tryout.

The trick with being a heel or a controversial click-bait guy is that you have to be all-in, or people can find the holes in your game. ESPN, Smith’s employer, clearly wants him to be the network’s Racial-Antagonist-in-Chief. The problem is Smith is really not that guy.

But those $8 million per year paychecks sure are nice.


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