ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith used the observance of the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and the coming inauguration of Donald Trump to defend black leaders and celebrities who have met with the president-elect from charges of selling out.
Smith offered his plea on “First Take,” the week after Steve Harvey visited Trumpand faced anger and ridicule for calling him a “great man.” Smith called on others to meet with Trump, saying, “perhaps it is time for all of us to see the big picture, to essentially pay more attention to the issues permeating our society, what it will take to resolve them, and connecting ourselves to who we can ultimately hold accountable rather than focusing on disdain for that very individual in a position to make a difference. Knowing that is not going to get us anywhere.”
Smith, wearing an Aaron Rodgers jersey, wondered, “Has anyone thought about what impact it could have if Trump spoke to LeBron James? How about Steph Curry? How about Mike Tomlin, Tony Dungy, Chris Paul, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles or a host of conscientious sports figures connected to communities, committed to helping inner cities ascend from an abyss that has plagued us for decades. What then? Will they be sellouts, too, just for meeting with the man?”