When iconic CBS anchor Walter Cronkite turned against the war in Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson infamously said he had lost America. The same logic applies to me and Stephen A. Smith’s latest musings about Gordon Hayward receiving preferential treatment in Boston due to his race.
As devout WEEI fans know, I am always willing to entertain conversations about race relations in Boston. When African-Americans like Rob Parker say they feel uncomfortable in our city, I listen. When outfielder Adam Jones says he was called the n-word at Fenway Park, I believe him. But this speculation from Smith is a step too far. On ESPN Radio Monday, Stephen A. suggested some Celtics players were disgruntled at the leeway Hayward received at the start of the season, because they believed the organization wanted to emphasize a white star.
“Then there’s the element of Boston, Massachusetts,” Smith said. “They don’t just want a star. Of course, they’ll take any star that they can get, because their priority is winning. But everybody and their mother knows that particularly when it comes to Boston, if we can have a white superstar, that would be even better. And they view Gordon Hayward as having that kind of potential. So, all of those things considered, the players recognize this, were aware of this. And ultimately those who were compromised by having to be on a court with Gordon Hayward were sensitive to it.”
While there were reports earlier this season about some of the Celtics’ young players being frustrated with Hayward’s playing time, it’s irresponsible to tie that to race without any definitive proof. Smith never included the words “source” or “sources” in his diatribe. It seems like he was just picking stuff out of thin air.
To make matters worse, NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman added his own lazy opinion to the aggregated piece, saying he thinks there are some Celtics fans who would prefer a white star. Of course, he mentioned the standing ovation Hayward received at the Garden a couple of years ago as his proof.
But much like Stephen A., Feldman is low on actual evidence. As my colleague and fellow social justice warrior John Tomase points out, Hayward actually caught a lot of grief from Celtics fans earlier this season, who were impatient with his recovery from a severe ankle injury.
One of the last thing I would ever want to do is shutdown conversations about race. But Smith’s rumination on Hayward, and Feldman’s follow-up, lacks muster.
Full article @ Stephen A. Smith’s Gordon Hayward race take is lazy
Source: GreenStreet Blog