SPEAKING UP FOR JEFF PEARLMAN

There are very few people I have met in my life who are truly free of racial prejudice.  This includes a good many who seem to believe they are, but whose actions and words (sometimes under cover of “humor”) tell a very different story.

One of those very few is sportswriter and best-selling author, Jeff Pearlman.

I have known Jeff for about 15 years.  I know who he is, what he says in general conversation, how he reacts to prejudice and how he comports himself within a racially diverse family.  There is absolutely no doubt about his color-blindness whatsoever.

That is why it pains me to read that, after Jeff posted a criticism of ESPN for deeply cutting its on-air staff but retaining Stephen A. Smith and his $3.5 million dollar salary, Smith invoked race as a reason for Jeff’s position.

We can argue back and forth over whether Smith is worth that kind of money, even as ESPN’s subscriptions have dropped so dramatically.

But – and, again, I say this from personal knowledge and personal observation – the race issue is non-existent here.  Not even one millionth of one percent.

And I would bet money that Stephen A. Smith knows it full well.

Shame on him for invoking it.

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