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.