I usually have been quiet and kept to myself in regards to the media chastising Joe Paterno. (Just for the record, before you decide to jump down my throat and calling me a blind supporter of Paterno, I took the time to look at everything and kept an open mind on his situation regarding Jerry Sandusky. But as time went on I realized that that is not the Joe Paterno I knew and followed for almost two decades of my life.
Enter Stephen A. Smith.
Smith was one of the many from ESPN who was ready to condemn Paterno from the beginning. He was quick to say Paterno failed morally and legally as well as saying the Penn State football program deserved the death penalty. Smith even said about the surviving members of the Paterno family (and I paraphrase) 'That he understands they will stick up for him because he was their father, or husband. But that they need to shut up and that Paterno was a disgrace for allowing Sandusky continuing to prey on young children.'
Smith is saying all of this based on very weak evidence that was provided to the public courtesy of former Director of the Federal Bureau Investigation, Louis Freeh (Who by the way lest we forget has quite a few of his own skeletons in his closet during his time as the Director of the FBI and noted for many coverups during said time!)
Smith came off as nothing more than a mere ignorant bystander in the whole ordeal regarding Penn State and Sandusky. I knew like any other talking head out there that Smith would continue to spew misinformation and their narrative to fit their agenda so that they could dictate what people would and should think. So I really made nothing of it.
That all changed when Ray Lewis announced his retirement.
Smith went on ESPN's show "First Take" and talked about the legacy of Ray Lewis with Skip Bayless. Obviously one of the topics to come up in the conversation regarding Lewis was the incident involving him back in '2000' where he was involved with the stabbing death of two men. Instead of offering criticism, Smith praised Lewis saying that he was the "greatest leader in sports" and is a "coaches dream". Meanwhile saying all of this, Smith actually took the time to be objective about the issue and tried to look for a gray area in it instead of black and white. (Watch full segment below)
Whether one wants to argue that whether Lewis or Paterno's legacies are tarnished that's a debut for another time. One thing for certain is that Stephen A. Smith's tainted his own "legacy" by portraying such hypocrisy in giving one man due process but not another. What is worse is that in Paterno's case is that he is not here to defend himself unlike Lewis was. So as far as I am concerned, Smith really never had any real legacy of his own to tarnish to begin with.
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