ESPN host Stephen A. Smith slammed the newly-announced hiring of NBA Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash as the Brooklyn Nets head coach, claiming it’s “white privilege” that landed him the job.
It was some remarks that got blasted non-stop since he made them earlier in the week.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no way around it: This is white privilege,” Smith declared. “This does not happen for a Black man. No experience on any level as a coach and you get the Brooklyn Nets job?”
“Sometimes, you just want to scream — want to scream to the high heavens: How the hell is this always happening for somebody else other than us?” Smith exclaimed. “Why is it that we have to be twice as good to get half as much? Why is it that no matter what we do, or how hard we work, and how we go through the process and the terrain of everything … somehow, someway, there’s another excuse to ignore that criteria to ignore those credentials and instead bypass it and make an exception to the rule for someone other than us.”
If that wasn’t good enough, Smith took to his show the following day to not only double down on his original comments, but expand on why he was correct in what he stated about the Nash hiring.
“I mentioned white privilege yesterday. I have a message to those who feel that I was wrong, that I need to apologize, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, etcetera, etcetera. I don’t give a damn what y’all feel. Y’all can all kick rocks. I don’t give a damn. I’m not budging from my position one inch.”
“My point about white privilege, tell me the Black man that would happen for? No resume whatsoever as a coach, at all. And you get a job of this magnitude. I’m not talking about Derek Fisher, with the sorry New York Knicks at the time. I’m not talking about Jason Kidd, his first era when they were building the Brooklyn Nets squad, I’m not talking about Doc Rivers in Orlando. I’m not talking about those opportunities.
I’m talking about championship ready, and it would be a shock if you don’t win 50 games and you’re not contending for a crown. Black folks with no resume getting a job like that? I have been covering the NBA for 25 years…. brothers do not get those opportunities.”
The Hall of Fame point guard and the Nets agreed to a four-year deal for him to take over as the coach replacing interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who took over the role after the team fired Kenny Atkinson earlier in the season.
He played 18 seasons in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. He was an eight-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA First Team nominee, two-time NBA MVP, and led the league in assists five times.