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On Monday morning’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, the often screaming sports analyst Stephen A. Smith was challenged by invited guest and ex-NBA player Jay Williams to discuss Kyrie Irving.
Irving broke the internet over the weekend when he not only requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, but within 48 hours, became a Dallas Maverick in a NBA blockbuster trade that few people, if anyone, predicted.
“You’re the one saying I’m being sensitive, moaning and whining, but you’re the one that seems very emotional right now over the subject matter,” Williams said.
“Come on now. I’m not sitting up here on national T.V. absolving Kyrie Irving of every decision. I’m just saying how it’s interesting to me, it just carries such a bigger momentum, in particular with you! More so than anybody else, Stephen A!”
This is far from the first time the men disagreed about Irving.
Though Irving is now on his fourth team after reportedly burning bridges on his way out of each previous franchise, his on-court ability is unmatched, and multiple teams made an effort to land the half-contrarian half-brilliant point guard.
In December 2022, Jay Williams voiced his support for Irving, who posted a link to a film deemed anti-Semitism, and called out the heavy-handed punishment sent his way, comparing Irving’s treatment to modern-day “buck breaking.”
Williams also called out the national media for their hysteria over Irving but not the likes of Brett Favre, who last week, sued certified psychologist Dr. Umar Johnson.
Johnson claims he received a letter from Favre’s attorneys informing him that he faces potential legal action for “certain public statements” he’s made about the retired quarterback’s involvement in the infamous Mississippi welfare scandal.
Though Irving has support with Black Americans, Smith has long been critical of the mercurial baller, which has drawn ire from not only Williams, but many viewers of First Take.
Stubborn as the opinions he shouts, Smith will likely continue to cover Black sports figures with a spiteful slant.
As a staunch defender of men like Dana White and Jerry Jones, Smith has long made glowing public remarks complimentary of White owners whilst relentlessly condemning Black athletes enveloped in lesser controversy.
In November 2022, Smith went on a hour-long tirade during his “Know Mercy” podcast defending himself against “coon” and “sellout” accusations. Nonetheless, his words often advocate for the plantation’s sustainability, built on the backs of Black athletes, while turning a blind eye to the abhorrent actions happening at the very White top.