Stephen A. Smith Thinks Chip Kelly May Be Racist

Stephen A. Smith found a way to be provocative on today’s First Take. Surprise, surprise.

The topic du jour was Chip Kelly‘s unconventional wheeling and dealing in Philadelphia. In the past few days LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin have been scuttled out of town. Add those departures to the high-profile one of Desean Jackson last year, and Smith has enough to see a trend.

And he’s not happy about what he sees.

“Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that dare I say leave a few brothas feeling uncomfortable. I think that’s fair to say. We’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions that Chip Kelly makes and I’m like what is up … what’s up with that?

It’s like you gotta be his kinda guy, you know? And when Riley Cooper’s your kind of guy…

Let’s get beyond the system though, the operative word is culture. The culture is what resonates with me more profoundly because I’m looking at Chip Kelly and I’m like … really?

I mean, this is Philadelphia. I’m always in Philly, and I’m telling you right now you got people walking the streets and and and … hell with it … you got brothaswalking the streets going like ‘What’s up with Chip? I don’t understand this.’

Now I’m not saying I know, I’m just gonna say that it does strike me as a tad bit odd. I’m gonna repeat this. Gone: LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, ya know, DeSean Jackson. Staying: Riley Cooper.”

The not-so-subtle implication is that race is playing a role in Kelly’s decision-making process. And that he’s far more interested in keeping white players than black players.

Is that the reality? Probably not. Is there enough of a story going on for ESPN to toss kerosene on an open flame? Probably not.

But, hey, that’s the business model.

As always, statements like this serve one purpose: to get people talking about First Take and whichever of those two brainiacs has said the most recent outlandish thing.

So here I am, feeding the beast, giving them what they want. Why?

Because Smith deserves every ounce of ridicule he’ll get for making this connection. It’s damn irresponsible to insinuate Kelly is discriminating against black players.

And if Smith is so concerned about it, maybe he could — and I’m just spitballing here — use his position at the most powerful media outlet in sports to ask Kelly himself.

Of course that would require getting out of the sniper’s nest and floating this idea to Kelly’s face.

We won’t hold our breath waiting for that to happen.

[H/T: Crossing Broad]