Stephen A. Smith’s racial remarks about Jason Garrett are irresponsible
Why ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith’s claim that Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has only kept his job in Dallas because of his race is ignorant, illogical and irresponsible.
Yet another member of the media is making waves by way of controversial statements aimed at “white America” and specifically the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett. ESPN television personality Stephen A. Smith recently claimed on his television show “First Take” that Garrett’s race is the reason that he was not fired after the Cowboys’ 4-12 season.
I believe this is the most asinine statement one could make about Garrett and his job status. While there is no doubt that the Cowboys’ head coach did not have a fantastic season, he did not deserve to lose his job, regardless of whether his skin is white, black, orange, purple, or green with yellow spots.
“Jason Garrett is the walking epitome of everything that black folks in America lament” – Stephen A. Smith
Garrett has a career record of 45-43 (.511 winning percentage) including the playoffs. Furthermore, Garrett has had to coach 21 games without starting quarterback Tony Romo who has missed significant portions of the 2010 and 2015 seasons after breaking his clavicle.
How many NFL head coaches are going to have a winning record despite playing 24.7% of his games without his franchise quarterback on the field?
With Romo on the field, Garrett’s record in the regular season is 36-28, a mark that will get few coaches fired unless there are extenuating circumstances. So logic would suggest that Garrett did not get fired because the Dallas Cowboys front office and specifically its owner and general manager Jerry Jones is racist. But because Jones may have finally learned that consistency at the top of an organization is paramount to its success.
Those who look at these comments from Smith through the lens of logic and reason have to wonder why he is not angered by the fact that the Indianapolis Colts did not fire their Caucasian coach Chuck Pagano after his team, which was heavily favored to win its division, went 8-8 and missed the playoffs because the its franchise quarterback Andrew luck also missed most of the season. Not only did Pagano retain his job, received a four-year contract extension.
Where is Smith’s outrage over this unexpected turn of events? The answer: Smith is aiming his vitriol at the Cowboys because they are the most high-profile organization in professional sports.
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In the world of constant shouting and noise that has become sports talk television and radio, if media personalities do not make waves they are likely to be ignored. Which means a loss in ratings or even worse, a descent into irrelevance. But Smith playing the race card to get attention is deplorable.
Is he not satisfied with the firing of white coaches Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles, two-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Coughlin who was forced to step down by the New York Giants, Mike Pettine of the Cleveland Browns, or Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans?
Smith is correct in one assertion: that Garrett’s friendship with Jerry Jones has helped his job security. However, does Smith really think this has anything to do with race?
Has he not watched Jerry Jones operate over the last two decades? This is a general manager who held on to numerous players and coaches with whom he was close despite their poor or declining performances. Furthermore, of these friends of Jones one can find multiple members of both the black and white race.
"“Jason Garrett is the walking epitome of everything that black folks in America lament,” Stephen A. Smith said about Jason Garrett. “…and everything that black folks lament in America. He didn’t get the blame but he got the credit.” Link"
Well Mr. Smith, in this article Mac Engle of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram lays out why he thinks Garrett should be fired. Likewise, in this November article November article by Randy Galloway (also of the Star Telegram) lobbies for Garrett to be fired.
A simple Internet search will turn up hundreds of more articles, blogs and fan posts criticizing Garrett if not calling for his outright firing. But Smith didn’t seem to find these pieces; instead he simply made a controversial, divisive and ignorant comment meant to bring nothing to the conversation other than attention to himself.
If Stephen A. Smith wants to argue for Jason Garrett’s firing, he has every right to do so. In fact, he has every right to say whatever he wants via the First Amendment.
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While I disagree with the notion that Garrett deserves to be fired, I can understand how others feel differently. But what I don’t understand is why Stephen A. Smith feels the need to play the race card in an attempt to incite America (especially over a topic as insignificant as sports) when disunion is the last thing our society needs right now.