Worlds Collide: Stephen A. Smith Calls Into Mark Levin’s Radio Show for Bizarre Conversation About DeSean Jackson and Hitler
In a surreal moment of media worlds colliding, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith called in to Mark Levin’s radio show over the weekend to argue the Philadelphia Eagles shouldn’t summarily fire DeSean Jackson for his anti-Semitic comments and bungled explanation afterwards.
According to a post on The Right Scoop blog, the voluble Smith called Levin to take issue with the conservative host’s stance that the Eagles should cut Jackson though the veteran wide receiver offered up an apology acknowledging that “Hitler was a bad person.” (The relevant portion begins at 1:00:53).
“You want to take issue with me?” Levin said at the outset, apparently tipped off by his producer as to why the ESPN pundit was joining his show.
“Well, listen, I would say to you, you are right to be incredibly upset about DeSean Jackson and what he had to say,” Smith said. “It was inappropriate, it was uncalled for, definitely there was no excuse for him to say what he did say. And then his apology was a bit convoluted, to say the least.”
“On top of it all, you know, the Jewish community itself has reached out to him and said he needs to be educated and he has opened himself up to receiving that kind of education,” Smith added. “What I took issue with, specifically with what you’re saying, is the Eagles should just let him go no matter what and how upset you would be with them if they were to keep him on board. Keep in mind you had a player in Riley Cooper years ago that offended the African-American community in 2013…”
“Stephen, I don’t know who the hell Riley Cooper is,” Levin broke in, “I don’t keep up with stuff like you do.”
“That said, this is a hard mistake! You’re praising Adolf Hitler?!” Levin added. “That is it.”
“DeSean, when I found out about his Instagram post, I called him,” Smith explained. “And the first words out of my mouth were: ‘What the hell are you doing?! Why would you do something like that?!'”
“What did he say to that?” Levin asked.
“He said: ‘Listen, I was hanging with my cousin and these guys started talking about these things from a historical perspective and I was looking at us as black people and some the things we’ve been gong through the George Floyd killing and these conversations were happening so I just wanted reach out and give positive input to the black community,'” Smith said. “And I said: ‘By mentioning Hitler?!'”
“Be consistent,” Smith concluded, after again bringing up Riley Cooper, who was briefly suspended for spouting the n-word and then re-signed by the Eagles in a massive contract. “People screw up a lot, particularly when it’s athletes trying to step out of their lane. Some athletes are incredibly knowledgeable and some incredibly not so.”
Moments later, the conversation took another bizarre turn, as Levin buttonholed Smith for not personally inviting him to UFC fights.
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