Rolling out sports caught up with the ever controversial Stephen A. Smith at ESPN The Magazine‘s Pre-Draft party in New York. Smith spoke candidly about reverse racism at this year’s NFL draft, Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and the possibility of Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens teaming up again. –a.r.
Some believe that Toby Gerhart of Stanford will not be picked in the first round of the NFL draft because he is a white running back. Many black quarterbacks were discriminated against in the past. Because there are no starting white running backs in the NFL, do you believe that race will affect Gerhart’s draft position?
My argument is that I don’t think race has anything to do with Toby Gerhart not being drafted in the first round. He ran a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combine. Linebackers in the NFL are running that speed so I don’t think race has anything to do with it. But when you have a scout on record saying that race may play a role, you can’t ignore that. I try to believe that’s not the case, but it may be reverse discrimination. Because if a white scout said that about a black ball player, as a nation, we would bring up racism. So why cant we bring it up in this situation? Fair is fair.
What are your thoughts on Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension?
Ben Roethlisberger deserved to be suspended. His crime was stupidity. We don’t know wether he sexually assaulted a girl or not. But we do know that he exercised extreme stupidity and that he violated the NFL’s code of conduct policy.
Donavan McNabb and Terrell Owens had a tumultuous relationship when they played for the Philadelphia Eagles. So why would they want to team up in Washington?
I talked to Donavan McNabb and he says that’s not true. I spoke with Terrell Owens and he said that he would love to be in Washington to play for the Redskins. But the final decision is up to Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan and they don’t want T.O., so I don’t think that’s going to happen.