“My only problem with Colin Kaepernick right now is that there are too many people talking for him,” Smith told Ebro Darden, Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg on a recent episode of Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning.
“Enough of that! You are an intelligent, principled black man.”
As we know from history, Kaepernick’s national anthem protest began three NFL preseasons ago when he refused to stand on the sidelines. The former 49ers quarterback addressed this topic with NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Wyche revealed Kaepernick said during the NFL’s preseason three years ago.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Stephen A. Smith Expands on Kaepernick Conversation
Smith didn’t hold back his opinion on the topic of Kaepernick’s future. Specifically, the ESPN analyst spoke about how he believes it all depends on him.
“You wanna be in the NFL,” he said. “Then speak!”
“Do you want a job or not?” Smith continued. “You’ve got to create your narrative and tell your own story. At the end of the day, Colin Kaepernick has to speak up for Colin Kaepernick.”
It’s a strong statement from Smith, who’s featured on ESPN’s First Take and has his own radio show, among other things.
Colin Kaepernick Draws Strong Responses to Protest
Kaepernick would later kneel instead of deciding to not participate during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games.
His refusal triggered other athletes like Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, NBA free agent, Carmelo Anthony and recently retired Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade to join their WNBA counterparts in becoming vocal about police brutality of minorities.
“He’s not a starting quarterback talent,” Dave Meltzer tells the Chicago-based Domenick Nati Show.
Meltzer is currently the CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, one of the world’s leading sports & entertainment marketing agencies, which he co-founded with Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon.
You can check out the conversation below. It begins at the 10-minute mark:
“But I will tell you this – here’s the problem with Kaepernick: Instead of taking a positive route, right, instead of saying: ‘Hey black lives matters, [he should have said] I want to make a statement with my platform that I’ve been given as the quarterback of the team and going to his agent, going to the owner, going to the commissioner and saying what can we work out here. That would be positive. Instead unilaterally without thinking, he kind of created a negative action that could be misinterpreted for a positive purpose.” Meltzer stated.
“And I think that a lot of players should take heed and lessons from Kaepernick that, ‘hey there are great ways out there to use your platform to get your point across.’ Get help. Use the platform in a positive way so there isn’t any misinterpretation.”