ESPN First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith let loose with a rant this morning against “flaming hypocrite” Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers QB, for declining to vote in yesterday’s historic presidential election.
Kaepernick’s controversial “take a knee”national anthem protest during pre-game ceremonies has generated a lot of media headlines and commentary and inspired similar acts by members of other athletic teams in and outside the NFL.
The 49ers are currently mired in last place in the NFC West with a dismal 1-7 record heading into Sunday’s matchup with division rival Arizona Cardinals
Kaepernick previously described Hillary Clinton and now President-elect Donald Trump as “proven liars” and racists, according to the San Jose Mercury News, which also revealed that the QB had no plans to go and vote on Election Day.
“No professional athlete has been more outspoken about social issues this year than Colin Kaepernick, so you would think Tuesday would have been a huge day for him. Believe it or not, Kaepernick didn’t even vote in the presidential election,” Larry Brown Sports observed.
When the anthem controversy was originally heating up, Trump suggested that the QB find another country more to his liking.
In the clip embedded below, Kaepernick’s lack of interest in exercising his right to vote did not sit well with the outspoken Stephen A. (whose detractors sometimes refer to as “Screamin’ A.”).
“He absolutely betrayed his cause. As far as I’m concerned Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant. I don’t want to see him again, 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, et cetera, et cetera. 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 and quite frankly, I hope he goes away. He’s lucky to be in the league right now.”
Smith added that Kaepernick should no longer get any TV face time outside of gridiron action.
“And Colin Kaepernick. after all this noise that you’ve made, even though you didn’t intend to do so, by offending our military service men and women. And pointing out about how you wanted to bring attention to racial injustices and beyond that’s in this country. To turn around and not to even take your behind to the polls to vote for a particular candidate–it is shameful…As a matter of fact, I would personally make a request to the media in this nation: 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…”
The Mercury News noted that the QB is not the only San Francisco player who refrained from voting. “In an anonymous poll of 25 players conducted by this newspaper during Tuesday’s locker-room access, 17 of them had not voted, though three planned to later in the day after leaving the 49ers facility.”
Separately, Fox Sports 1 analyst Jason Whitlock, a former ESPN employee, is less-than-enamored with the Colin Kaepernick Star-Spangled Banner protest as well. He has previously expressed the opinion that Kaepernick’s symbolic action is divisive, childish, uninformed, and self-serving. But he has also credited Kaepernick with making the country more aware of the significance of the national anthem and the flag.
“When Stephen A. gets a topic in his sights and get focused on it, he can really kick a rant out of the park. This is one of those times,” The Big Lead claimed about the Colin Kaepernick rant.
Do you agree or disagree with Stephen A. Smith that, under the circumstances, it is hypocritical for Colin Kaepernick not to vote in the presidential election and/or for any down-ballot candidates or referenda questions?
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/AP Images]