Stephen A. Smith Goes After Colin Kaepernick For Not Voting
Colin Kaepernick has effectively managed to piss off just about everyone in America, be it those who took his National Anthem protests as an affront to the sacrifices our service members make, or those of us who took issue with his claim that Hillary Clinton is an outright racist. He's even managed to piss off one of his most vocal supporters, seeing as Kaepernick did not vote in Tuesday's election.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback's lack of civic engagement struck a nerve with a certain ESPN talking head who found it rather hypocritical that someone with such a visible desire for social change would abstain from the one process that allows citizens to enact it.
"As far as I'm concerned Colin Kaepernick is irrelevant," Stephen A. Smith said Wednesday on "First Take". "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. He comes across as a flaming hypocrite. As far as i'm concerned, I'm not interested in a damn word that he has to say. i hope he goes away."
Smith was not done. (Is he ever done?)
"My days of rooting for him have come to an end and here is why. As an african-american in this country you have to be sensitive to the fact that civil rights legislation was passed in the mid 1960's, ok? When we talk about the battles that have been fought, the things that have happened to people, what they've had to endure, the fact that folks ended up dying for the right for him to have the right to vote in this great country of ours, you have the opportunity to vote and what exactly is voting all about? Ladies and gentlemen, you know what voting is? Do you not understand that that's the reason why we're the greatest country on the planet earth? It's not just because of our wealth. It's not just because of the resources that we have available to us. It's because we have the power to change and manipulate the course not just of our lives but of generations to come because of the voice that we have through the vote to promote change. If anybody in this country should appreciate that more, it is African-Americans, because that right wasn't something that was always bestowed upon us."
"Having the audacity to kneel for the National Anthem -- talking about how you won't stop until there is change that takes place -- but ignore the very thing, the most poignant thing you can fathom to help facilitate that change, and you play no active role in that? It's inexcusable."
Disaffected African-American voters staying home on Tuesday may perhaps be the single biggest disappointment for the Clinton campaign, but in fairness, energizing young African-Americans to come out and vote was kind of the Clinton campaign's responsibility. Moreover, it's hard to blame black people for their own cynicism about a system that has not been kind to them, but Stephen A. Smith's point still stands: if you're going to make a big deal about political issues, you'd best participate in the political process (unless your goal is to watch the whole thing burn to the ground, which could potentially be Kaepernick's goal in all this).
Watch Stephen A.'s fiery rant, below...
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