ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who is known for his controversial rants and highly opinionated banters, hit a new level of anger on Wednesday when he discussed San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s failure to vote.
“As far as I’m concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant, Smith said Wednesday on ESPN’s First Take. “I don’t want to see him again. I don’t want to hear from him again. I don’t want to hear a damn word about anything that he has to say about our nation, the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change, etc., etc.”
Kaepernick became one of the NFL’s most talked about players after he first refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem in the preseason. He later decided to kneel, which sparked demonstrations throughout the league.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL.com in August. “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.”
During a conference call with the media in Arizona on Wednesday, Kaepernick told reporters he “really didn’t pay too close of attention” on election night.
“I’ve been very disconnected from the systematic oppression as a whole. So, for me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression,” he said, according to ESPN. And to me, it didn’t really matter who went in there. The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.”
Stephen A. Smith’s minute-long rant has more than 11 million views, 159,000 shares and 108,000 likes.