ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith gave Colin Kaepernick a brutal verbal beatdown Wednesday after he learned the San Francisco 49ers quarterback decided not to vote at all in the 2016 presidential election.
In a fiery and lengthy rant, Smith argued Kaepernick has delegitimized everything he tried to accomplish by first sitting then taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of “oppression” in America.
“As far as I am concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant,” Smith said. “I don’t want to see him again; I don’t want to hear from him again; I don’t wanna hear a damn word about anything he has to say about our nation — the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change, etcetera, etcetera. He comes across as a flaming hypocrite.”
If you can believe it, those were the nicest things the ESPN commentator had to say. Smith seemed to grow more angry with Kaepernick as he continued:
“After all this noise that you made, even though you didn’t intend to do so by offending our military servicemen and women…to turn around and not to even take your behind to the polls to vote for a particular candidate — it is shameful! Absolutely shameful!”
“Him of all people, because of the position he took, because of the attention he brought to the issues, the fact that you don’t even have the decency to go to the polls and activate yourself in this election, as our president said, is a damn shame. I don’t want to hear another word from Colin Kaepernick! It’s a waste of time.”
Nope. He still wasn’t done. Smith went on to hit Kaepernick over his poor play on the field and called for a total media blackout.
“I would personally make a request to the media in this nation,” he said. “Wherever he is, if he ain’t on that football field trying to throw another damn incomplete pass, do me a favor and make sure of one thing: Take the camera away from him. It means nothing!”
That’s going to leave a mark. A big one.