Bennett said Tuesday that the Seahawks would be a perfect destination for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unsigned. Kaepernick drew scrutiny for his protests against police brutality and racial inequality last season by kneeling during the national anthem throughout the campaign.
Smith responded Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” blasting Bennett for advocating on behalf of Kaepernick, taking issue with the quarterback not voting during the presidential election. Smith also said Bennett should focus on civil rights leaders, as opposed to Kaepernick’s ongoing protests.
Bennett took umbrage with Smith’s criticism on Twitter, lambasting him for not addressing him directly:
Smith remained unfazed and didn’t apologize to Bennett during Thursday’s episode of “First Take.”
Bennett tweeted a lengthy rebuke Thursday in response to Smith, with the ESPN personality’s face watermarked on the image:
Despite your words, I want this interaction to be positive. We can agree on one thing, voting is important, and I never said it wasn’t. But, it’s so easy to talk on television and not get your hands dirty actually doing the real work. It’s so easy to divide people by playing on fears and lies instead of trying to highlight the hard work that athletes do in the community. I know by responding to you I’m just making your job easier by giving you something else to yell about tomorrow, but you are spreading so much ignorance that it’s hard to be silent. You tell us we don’t know anything, but we stand alongside people who have dedicated their lives to try and make change. We’re stepping out on our platform to make a real, substantial impact, while you play the clown. You say we don’t know anything, yet we are the ones sitting down and talking with Angela Davis, John Carlos and community activists you don’t even know. These are people whose respect we care about a great deal more than someone who gets paid for just being loud. I have spent countless hours in minority communities from orphanages in Haiti to juvenile detention centers in this country, building community gardens so our young people living in “food deserts” without anywhere to buy food other than a corner store, have better nutrition. Please be a better person- other than someone who is just all talk and no action. I encourage you to join me, in person and checkbook, and help build up our communities.
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