Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Stephen A. Smith Please Dont Defend Kobe Bryants Ignorance.

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) I’ve always loved Stephen A. Smith.  His energy, intellect and instinct as a sports analyst is second-to-none.  I also appreciate the fact that every time I was on Stephen’s Show (“Quite Frankly, which ESPN should never have taken off the air), he always treated me with decency and respect.   I appreciated his show because there are few media spaces where black men can congregate for intelligent discourse, which makes his show even more precious than the amazing work being done right now by Arsenio Hall.

With that being said, sometimes, one brother has to check another.  Stephen A. Smith is a friend to the athletes, and with those friendships come the trappings of cronyism.  Unfortunately, this can sometimes cause us to defend the indefensible or stand up for ignorance solely because the person spouting that ignorance happens to be a prominent and respected colleague.

In this case, that friend happens to be LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

Bryant made some unfortunate remarks this week about the Trayvon Martin case.  I hope he was misinterpreted when he stated during a recent interview that he doesn’t feel the need to stand up for someone just because they’re black.  Of course we can agree on this to a point, but in the Trayvon Martin case, there wasn’t much ambiguity.Stephen-A-Smith-Kobe-Bryant-2014

Kobe Bryant then followed his untimely comments with a set of confused statements about our progress as a society and a misguided belief that somehow, racial harmony must be equated with changing the way we evaluate the thousands of cases of severe racial injustice that occur across the country and around the world.  The point for Kobe Bryant to consider is that you may not defend someone just because they’re black, but there are people who will kill you just because you’re black.  That’s still the America in which the rest of us reside.

Stephen A. spoke with Arsenio Hall recently and defended Kobe’s remarks, saying that Kobe was “on point” with his comments.

Really Stephen A. Smith? On point about what exactly?  If you’re saying that he was on point about not defending any old buffoonery just because someone is black, I agree with that (see my many nasty discussions in the past with toxic hip-hop artists).  But if you’re using this argument to somehow defend Kobe’s aloof and disconnected reaction to the Trayvon Martin childslaughter, then that’s when we have to hit the breaks.

The fact of the matter is that despite what Kobe Bryant says, LeBron James and the Miami Heat should be applauded for breaking the typical athletic silence when it comes to severe racial injustice in America.  Black people are sick and tired of athletes spending so much time choking dollar bills down their throats that it murder their own vocal chords in even the worst of tragedies.   Black men should be better than this and we are meant to be more than petty corporate puppets.

The millions of young black males looking up to Kobe Bryant, buying his jerseys and supporting him on the court are looking for a black man who cares about them more than he cares about Nike sneakers.   However, if Kobe chooses to remain disengaged, that’s his right.  At the same time, he should not conveniently choose to become engaged when he chooses to urinate all over the hard work being done by those of us who actually give a d*mn about our kids.

Let us reiterate the simplicity of the Trayvon Martin case that brought the entire nation together:  Trayvon was unarmed, stalked and blasted in cold blood by a deranged, unauthorized security guard primarily for being a black man with a hoodie in the wrong neighborhood.  George Zimmerman was then acquitted for this murder and later proved to the nation that he is every bit the violent stalker that the world believed him to be.

The fact that a black man’s death must be such a squeaky clean case of injustice makes it virtually impossible for us to get justice or support in cases that might be more nuanced.  If a black man has a criminal record, then he must have deserved to die.  If he happened to have a gun to protect himself, then of course the white man had to shoot him.  The bar is set high when trying to explain why a black man might have been an innocent victim instead of the frightening monkey-men that the world believes us to be.  If anyone should appreciate the pain of these gross mischaracterizations, it would be tall, muscle-bound black professional athletes.

The idea that even a case as clear and unambiguous as that of Trayvon Martin still evades the consciousness of our most prominent athletes is resounding proof that many of these negroes have indeed been brainwashed and had their brains sold into slavery.

I love Stephen A. Smith and I maintain that he was a wonderful brother to meet in person, but in this case, he’s flat out wrong.  He and Kobe have to remember that there is a responsibility that comes with being a prominent African American and the world can’t start and stop with unhealthy cronyism.  If Kobe is really your friend, you’ll correct him.  Stephen, I think you know that I’m right.

Financial Juneteenth lessons from this article:

1)   African Americans have been economically disadvantaged historically.  This can often lead to excessive materialism and a suffocating belief that all matters of integrity should be abandoned for the sake of earning extra money.  This might produce a wealthy bank account, but a meaningless life and a soul that is effectively bankrupt.   You can get rich, buy fancy cars and use your money to enhance the greater good, all at the same time.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

2)   There is a reason that the best athletes in America are not very well educated, along with many leading hip-hop artists.  Corporate America doesn’t have a strong incentive to give platforms to educated, courageous and conscientious black men, for this would lead to the destruction of many of the white supremacist constructs that allow the existing power structure to maintain itself (which is why Arsenio Hall lost his show shortly after giving a platform to Min. Louis Farrakhan).  So effectively, athletes are kept uneducated and addicted to money for the same reasons that many pimps keep their prostitutes addicted to drugs.  An addict will almost never become an activist because an addict is too busy chasing more drugs.  Black men are becoming addicted to money, fear and complacency.  This has got to stop.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit http://BoyceWatkins.com.



7 Responses to “Stephen A. Smith Please Dont Defend Kobe Bryants Ignorance.”
  1. Glenn Towery says:

    I am a huge Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Lakers fan but I was very upset when I learned of this statement by Kobe Bryant. However, it serves as a lesson I will never ever forget. I was guilty of assumption. I assumed that Kobe Bryant with all of his courageous acts on court and gifted skills at basketball was also a very intelligent man when it comes to cultural social struggles. My assumption was wrong and Kobe opened his mouth and showed me that. I was very disappointed in him and the lack of connection he demonstrated by his statement. He has been a Black man in Italy and America and has gone all over the world. I see, now that for his, I think, it is a class thing. Poor=Black=Guilty. Say-it -ain’t-so-Kobe. Say-it-ain’t-so. Awww but unfortunately it is. I am still a fan of his prodigious basketball talents, but feel he is a rookie when it comes to a cultural connection with his own Black people. I will pray for him. Its not too late. He can still grow and evolve. Who knows maybe this reaction from others will spur him to do so. Bring your head out of the clouds Kobe and take a good look around at cultural reality.

  2. Broke Black Guy says:

    So why does the author hate kobe so much…… @doug “The problem is us” please be more specific than that please… e.g. What problem? Who’s us? Is “us” just an illusion? Who’s “whitey”?

  3. Kobe Bryant, if my memory serves me right, which apparently
    his doesn’t, was not only fighting for his basketball life
    in 2003, there were large segments of white society who were ready
    to lynch him. The only facts they knew was a white women had
    accused him of rape. In their eyes, another big, Black, over
    paid basketball player, was automatically guilty. Most advertisers ran
    from Kobe’s burning house before they knew all the facts.

    So while he says he doesn’t want to make a decision to support
    and defend another accused Black person, just because they’re
    Black, others didn’t hesitate calling him guilty just because this
    white female said he was. There have been and are thousands of
    Black men who were killed or are serving time based solely on the false
    testimony of a white witness with no supporting proof. Kobe would have
    joined them without his high priced lawyers.

    I don’t think that this current feeble effort at appeasement will
    earn him any more commercial endorsements or fans, but it
    has certainly lost him quite a few. While he has proven brilliant
    on the court, off, he needs to read a few Black history books.

  4. Angye says:

    I got what Kobe was saying and agree with him. All this other stuff Dr. Watkins is saying has nothing to do with what Kobe said.
    What we need to be getting indignant about is black on black crime. It is shameful.

  5. Get a clue says:

    We are being annoilated by other blacks.

  6. doug says:

    It is beyond sad that black on black crime is greater than white on black crime. The problem is not “whitey.” The problem is us.

  7. James Davis says:

    For those of you who don’t get it when it comes to Trayvon Martin:

    The killing of Trayvon Martin on a rainy Sunday night on February 26 of 2012 was tragic. The investigation by the Sanford Police Department made his death even more tragic. The chief of police over ruled his lead investigator who wanted George Zimmerman charged with manslaughter. To have had a youngster lose his life for nothing more than being a youngster, that is carrying out the act of going to the store to get a bag of candy and drink of tea, did not set well with the black community of Sanford and indeed people of justice around the world.

    To have a police chief tell a nation that the killer should go free because it was the unarmed dead youngster’s fault sent a shocking message through the Sanford black community and around the world. That message was that you could be innocent of committing a crime, walking in your neighborhood and still end up dead, and the killer goes free, as long as the killer said you put his life in danger, even though the killer pursued you with a gun and shot you. It did not make any sense then and does not make any sense now.

    The sentiments of those who protested for Mr. Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution for the murder of Trayvon Martin appear to be as strong today as it was when they gathered in Sanford, Florida on March 22, 2012, in numbers exceeding by some estimates as many as 30,000.

    It is beyond sad when any black people anywhere in this country, and that means high profile athletes, do not understand that we as black Americans are in danger of being completely annihilated when our justice system is used in this manner. You cannot allow racially hypocritical whites to take control of our law enforcement agencies and hand out this type of “justice,” without calling them out on it and doing in such a way that the whole world sees it. (http://www.Jobcreationnow.com)

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