Black Coaches

Was Stephen A. Smith Right To Call Out NBA Players On Lack Of Black Coaches?

Stephen A. Smith Blasts NBA Players On Lack Of Black Coaches | Sports Takes & News |

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Stephen A. Smith walked off the set of his ESPN show Wednesday when discussing the lack of attention NBA players are giving the lack of black head coaches and team executives across the league. Smith, who has ranted against the hiring of Steve Nash and the signing of Tim Tebow, asked “Where they hell have they been!?” when discussing why the black players, who make up to 70% of the league’s roster spots, are not more vocal about there only being seven black coaches among the 30 jobs available. Was Stephen A. Smith right to call out NBA Players the way he did last week; or is Smith only now noticing what others have been saying for a year, that players will only speak out on issues that affect them directly, yet set aside other issues they deem unimportant? 

The fans and media who follow the NBA have watched as players boycotted and protested events from across the country over the last year. Some of those events almost shut down last year’s playoffs as a group of players led by LeBron James wanted to walk out of the NBA Bubble rather than continue playing.

The “Black Lives Matter” Logo was added to every court while the NBA completed the playoffs last year in Orlando; yet, if you listen to Stephen A. Smith, players like LeBron James has not carried that cause into one area that has long been a point of contention for him.

On his ESPN show “First Take” Wednesday, Stephen A. Smith said, in part:

“… when we talk about Steve Nash and Tim Tebow, and Brad Stevens … I want to call out the NBA players … You got something to say about everything else, where you at!? Steve Nash never coached on any level, and not only does he get the job, but he gets the job with the full support of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who, by the way, never insisted that a Black candidate be interviewed.”

Smith continued by adding:

“NBA players are some of the most powerful people in this world. When have they spoken up for Black coaches? When!? When have they spoken up for black executives!!? GMs, presidents of basketball operations, when has that happened?LeBron.All of them.Everybody. Where the Hell Have they been?!!” 

Smith also took to Twitter where he posted:

“I’m not about to lie. I’m pissed at these things happening — only to see Black Athletes say nothing — knowing these kind of opportunities don’t happen for us.  So much for being WOKE.”

This is the dilemma that NBA Players have put themselves in after protesting the deaths of George Floyd and others at the hands of rogue police officers: Now that they have spoken out about one issue, they will be expected to speak out about ALL issues, and by not doing so, they are considered to be pandering to the crowd by only addressing issues that are best for their brand rather than standing up for doing what is right. 

Just as a billionaire who donates to one charity but doesn’t to another is often questioned, now NBA players are being asked “why isn’t our cause worthy of your attention,” especially when that cause in taking place within their game and affecting people they know and interact with professionally and personally.

Many fans were turned off by athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem prior to games in many sports since they wanted sports to be a diversion from society’s ills, not a mirror reflecting them back. NBA ratings suffered as fans disapproved of the actions taken by players, and the league removed the “Black Lives Matter” logo from the courts when teams returned to their home arenas for this season. Now, as is his right, Stephen A. Smith is upset that NBA players are not speaking out for their own within the game by not promoting the hiring of Black coaches and front office executives across the league. The bigger issue that Smith is upset about, however, is that athletes are picking and choosing which battles to fight, and so far, it appears they are only championing those that are in their best interest.

It is doubtful that there will be protests over Brad Stevens being promoted by the Boston Celtics to the job Danny Ainge gave up last week, Smith’s cries are valid since more NBA players should be upset that the franchise didn’t even speak to anyone else before making the move. Now, as a few coaching positions open up, Smith is only looking for the same voices who spoke up about issues outside the game to address those within the NBA.

I give credit to Steven A. Smith for speaking his mind and calling out those athletes who he knows and covers as part of his job, because by doing so he has turned the spotlight on them to use their clout to make positive changes within the NBA. So far, however, his plea has been met with silence, leaving people like me to wonder the same thing Smith is … WHY? 


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Was Stephen A. Smith Right To Call Out NBA Players On Lack Of Black Coaches? |

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