Stephen A. Smith Says There's A "Knee On Kyrie’s Neck"

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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 11: ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith during Game Three of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum on July 11, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Stephen A. Smith doubled down on his support for Kyrie Irving on Friday.

Stephen A. Smith says that people are putting "their knee on [Kyrie Irving's] neck." The comment is in reference to the backlash to the Brooklyn Nets' star's antisemitic comments. Smith doubled down in his support of Irving on Friday during ESPN’s First Take.

"We got riots that took place in the streets a couple of years ago, and I told everybody back then," Smith began. "I said when George Floyd had that knee on his neck, what people didn’t get outside of the Black community is that Black folks were going off because we were saying from a figurative perspective, from a metaphorical perspective, we always feel like we got a knee on our neck."

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 14: Head coach Stephen A. Smith of Team Stephen A. looks on before the 2020 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Presented By Ruffles at Wintrust Arena on February 14, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

"And that’s where the frustration and the foment of vitriol and hostility, and dare I say violence, came shining through," Smith added.

He continued: "And so here we are again. Now this doesn’t have anything to do with that in a literal perspective, but this is somebody, or a bunch of people out there trying to put their knee and keep their knee on Kyrie’s neck."

"Kyrie does not deserve that, he made a mistake," Smith said. "He made a mistake. He had to apologize for it. He’s been embarrassed because of it, he’s cost himself money because of it, he’s been suspended because of it."

Stephen A. Smith also believes that the Jewish community should be able to forgive Irving. That is if commissioner Adam Silver says that Kyrie Irving learned his lesson.

The Nets originally suspended Irving for sharing an antisemitic film on Twitter and failing to apologize for doing so. It's unclear when Irving will return to the court. Nets owner Joe Tsai recently remarked that he "has to show people that he’s sorry" before that can happen.


About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.