Tiki Barber wants no smoke with Stephen A. Smith.
On Tuesday’s episode of his WFAN show “Tiki and Tierney,” Barber responded to Smith’s Monday warning and threat that Barber should “watch [himself] and know who [he’s] talking about.”
He responded with…and apology.
“It is not worth my emotional energy to get bent out of shape about something that I have no control over. I have much respect for Stephen A. Smith. He is the prominent Black journalist in sports right now, so if he felt affronted by a conversation that I was having — that wasn’t actually about him. It was about how we have used and hijacked racism to make excuses for failing diversity initiatives — then I apologize to Stephen A. Smith.
“But that being said, he is the prominent Black journalist on a major network, and threatening another Black man is not what this country should be about. Period.”
Last week, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racism in the hiring process — claiming the Giants gave him a “sham” interview, already knowing they had chosen Brian Daboll for the job. He only found that out after Bill Belichick mistakenly texted his congratulations to him for securing the job, when he hadn’t even interviewed for it yet.
Smith slammed the Giants on “First Take,” and said “when it comes to Black coaches… there’s nobody more incriminating than the New York Giants.” Barber later disagreed with Smith on his podcast, while adding “doesn’t know anybody in the Giants organization” to make a claim about racism against the team.
That’s when Smith ended Monday’s “First Take” with a fiery response to Barber.
“Tiki, you don’t know who the hell I know. I’ve been a journalist for almost 30 years, I know a few people within the Giants organization. I know a lot of stuff about you, my brother, that I would never say because I have the decency not to say those things,” Smith said. “Chill out. Watch yourself and know who you’re talking about.”
Clearly, Smith knew something and Barber decided it was best that he backed off.