ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid got into a lengthy Twitter feud on Saturday night, just hours after Colin Kaepernick participated in a workout in front of NFL scouts in Atlanta.
Shortly after Kaepernick’s workout — which marked the first significant step in recent months in the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s battle to land with a new team — Smith went to Twitter to post one of his classic reaction videos.
Smith took issue with Kaepernick’s last-minute move to change the venue of the workout, and thinks that he doesn’t actually want another chance to play in the league.
He doesn't want to play. pic.twitter.com/ZuSI1IVW9r— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
“This man wanted a chance. Twenty-five teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility … And what does Colin Kaepernick do?” Smith said, in part. “Not Tuesday, when he found out about it. Not Wednesday, not Thursday, not Friday, Saturday, three hours before the workout, because of some issue with a liability waiver, Colin Kaepernick wants to change the venue. Colin Kaepernick wants his own receivers. Colin Kaepernick wants to video things himself. Colin Kaepernick wants the media … He don’t want to play. He wants to be a martyr.”
Kaepernick changed the venue of the workout at the last minute on Saturday, moving it from the Falcons practice facility to a local high school in order to allow the media to watch and film the event to maintain a “transparent and open process.” The NFL later released a statement saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” even though he still worked out in front of several teams and the media.
Reid — who played with Kaepernick in San Francisco and took a knee with him during the national anthem at games to protest police brutality and social injustices in the United States — took offense to Smith’s tweet.
.@stephenasmith Tap dancing for the NFL like ⬇️. Damn straight Colin wants to control the narrative! He supposed to trust the organization that blackballed him and has done absolutely nothing in good faith??? Born on Tuesday, just not last Tuesday. https://t.co/EKztmcrDbu pic.twitter.com/gz0xnDe10e— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) November 17, 2019
Smith quickly fired back, launching eight tweets at Reid to defend his take.
Man, please. You embarrass yourself @E_Reid35 every single time you open your mouth. You — of all people — talking of tap dancing when you’re the one collecting a check from the very institution you collect a check from. You @E_Reid35, who takes a knee — supposedlyfor brothers —— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Yet attack brothers — Malcolm Jenkins, Jay-Z, ME — at every turn the second someone disagrees with you. You @E_Reid35 got the nerve to call out the @NFL when your beef was suppose to be with society in regards to police brutality and racial oppression. Where’s your plan?— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Huh @E_Reid35? To call our or beat up everyone who utters a word you disagree with? All Brithers, BTW. Let me tell you something Mr. @E_Reid35: Kaepernick has been supported. We’ve all said he was done wrong. That he was blackballed. That he should be in the league. Who the hell— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Hasn’t acknowledged that? But life isn’t fair. It damn sure ain’t ideal. And at some point, you’ve got the grab the opportunity. Kap’s occurred today. And what does he do: alters the process, and shows up with a T-Shirt alluding to SLAVERY @E_Reid35. For a JOB INTERVIEW! When— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
are you — yes, you @E_Reid35 — going to wake the hell up and realize that maybe, just maybe, the enemy at THIS POINT ain’t the NFL. It’s not Malcolm Jenkins, Jay-Z or ME. Maybe the enemy is YOU, your childish tendencies and your unwillingness to accept that you can’t run.......— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
a damn thing but so much when your hand is out for someone else’s dime or product. Especially when you haven’t played in 3 years, when you were 1-10 in your last 11 games as a starter and the top-4 league MVP candidates are all black @E_Reid35. When will you learn?— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Chances are.....you won’t. Because your ears are clogged and you’re too blinded by vitriol to see when a brother is showing you — y’all — love and respect @E_Reid35 by simply letting you know what will work at what won’t. But oh, I forgot: we all ain’t S&@$ in your world. So...— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
why even bother. You’ll never listen. But others will hear @E_Reid35. You can bet the house on that. Just listen. It’s coming from the multitude of places. And it’s damn sure — like a storm — on @FirstTake Monday morning. So buckle the hell up!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
Good luck on Sunday. Sincerely!
Reid — a loud defender of Kaepernick who was also part of the massive collusion grievance against the NFL that was settled earlier this year — did not respond to Smith’s lengthy rebuttal.
Kaepernick ended up working out in front of representatives from eight teams on Saturday after the venue change. While Smith may not think so, Kaepernick himself insisted that he is more than ready to take the field again.
“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years,” Kaepernick said. “We all know why I came out here: To show you today, in front of everybody, we have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them, to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”
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