White Running Back Complains About Being Unappreciated, Stephen A. Smith Gives Him An Epic Wake Up Call
On Friday’s edition of ESPN’s First Take, sports journalists and commentators Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless provide commentary on Stanford University running back Christian McCaffrey’s statements in Sports Illustrated.
“When you read about white athletes these days and white skill possession receivers specifically, one word you’ll always find is tough,” McCaffrey told Sports Illustrated in the May 16 issue of the publication. “You’ll rarely see explosive, athletic, stuff like that. … You get a little bit upset: ‘I ran the same 40 as this guy, and you’re calling him ….’ People do the eye test and underestimate me, so I do play with a chip on my shoulder.”
Last season, the Stanford standout broke legendary Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders’ all-purpose rush and receiving yards record of 3,250 yards. McCaffrey surpassed him with an astonishing 3,864 yards.
This achievement did not guarantee him the coveted Heisman Trophy. For that very reason, his supporters, family, and teammates — and even he — felt jilted.
On First Take, Smith agrees that McCafferey does not get enough credit. However, the sports journalist points out that Black people have felt the same way in many of their professional lives. In the first three minutes of the clip Smith says this about the young man:
“Christian McCaffrey deserves more respect, more recognition than he is receiving. He is a white guy that is not receiving it because of the color of his skin and the position that he plays.”
“There’s a whole bunch of Black folks that feel exactly the same way about different positions — even in different professions every day we wake up. As Black people — particularly Black men — we find ourselves looking at situations and saying ‘if we were white it would be different.’ ”