Stephen A. Smith Stands Firm on Kelly Criticism

Stephen A. Smith, co-host of ESPN’s First Take and host of the Stephen A. Smith Show on Sirius XM, defended his comments concerning Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly’s personnel decisions and the overall culture in Philadelphia, saying he did not call Kelly a racist. Smith explained his comments on his radio show :

“… a bunch of idiots, in the world of Twitter and beyond, saw me on First Take today, speaking about Chip Kelly, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, and essentially are trying to create story lines and headlines by accusing me of calling Chip Kelly a racist. Ladies and gentlemen, I did no such thing. But if you are uncomfortable with what I said […] this morning, let me say this to you: I don’t give a damn.”


Smith elaborated that he was “uncomfortable” with the recent roster changes Kelly has made. Smith cited the dismissal of receiver DeSean Jackson, the recent trade of LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin signing with the Kansas City Chiefs while keeping receiver Riley Cooper, stating the decision ”doesn’t make any sense.”

Cooper was fined by Kelly and the Eagles and sent home from training camp after publicly posting a racist comment while at a Kenny Chesney concert.

Smith’s original comments on First Take:

“Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable. I think that’s fair to say. I mean, we’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions that Chip Kelly makes and I’m like what is up? What’s up with that? I mean, it’s like you’ve got to be his kind of guy, you know? And I’m like, well, Riley Cooper’s your kind of guy?”

 

While Smith has repeatedly denied suggesting that Kelly’s personnel changes were racially motivated, the outspoken ESPN broadcaster continues to defend his statements.

And for unknown reasons, Smith went on to take exception with the fact that Kelly has nine former Oregon Ducks on the active roster.

“Who are these, the Philadelphia Ducks? You got nine players from Oregon on this roster,” Smith said.

— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) March 10, 2015

 

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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