Steve Nash Responds To Stephen A. Smith Saying ‘White Privilege’ Is Reason He Landed Nets Coaching Job

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Following the news that the Brooklyn Nets had hired Steve Nash to be the team’s next head coach Stephen A. Smith broke down the hire on ‘First Take.’ While Smith acknowledged that Nash was a great player, is a great guy, and that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed off on the hire, Smith accredited Nash getting the job to “white privilege.”

Nash takes over the Nets with zero head coaching experience, which was Smith’s main point in saying the hire was an example of white privilege and this sort of thing doesn’t happen for black men in the NBA. However, Derek Fisher was hired by the Knicks in 2014 with zero coaching experience.

“This ain’t about him what I’m about to say, ladies and gentlemen, there is no way around it,” Smith said. “This is white privilege. This doesn’t happen for a black man.”

The Nets held Nash’s introductory press conference on Wednesday and the Hall of Famer addressed Smith’s comments about white privilege while elaborating on social and racial issues seen in the league and around the country.

“I have benefited from white privilege,” Nash explained. “Our society has a lot of ground to make up. I’m not saying that this position was a factor. I think as white people we have to understand that we get served a privilege and a benefit because of the color of our skin in our communities. We have a long way to go to find equality and social and racial justice. I hope that I’m a great ally to that cause. This is something that Clara and Joe Tsai have really made an incredible gesture to help within our organization, but also in our communities to help stem the gap in racial injustice.

The 46-year-old Nash takes over in Brooklyn after being named a two-time NBA MVP and eight-time All-Star during his career in which he played in over 1,200 NBA games.