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Michael Bennett’s calculated takedown of Stephen A. Smith; “Please be a better person”

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

“What in the hell has happened to you?” said Stephen A. Smith in a message to Michael Bennett on Wednesday, in reference to Bennett’s suggestion that the Seahawks would be a perfect landing spot for Colin Kaepernick. The full video can be seen here...

Some of my favorite comments on YouTube include:

“So Bennett is smart until he disagrees with Stephen A.“

“Malcolm X didn't vote, Muhammad Ali didn't vote. The election night was not decided by popular vote. Stephen A needs to humble himself because he [sic] missing the point.”

And many, many, many comments that I can’t repeat.

Bennett had some things to say to Smith and First Take:

But Bennett also summed up a longer response in a mature, calm, sensitive, and thoughtful manner:

“Despite your words, I want this interaction to be positive. We can agree on one thing, voting is important, and I never said it wasn’t. But, it’s so easy to talk on television and not get your hands dirty and do the real work. It’s so easy to divide people by playing on fears and lies instead of trying to highlight the hard work that athletes do in the community. I know by responding to you I’m just making your job easier by giving you something else to yell about tomorrow, but you are spreading so much ignorance that it’s hard to be silent. You tell us we don’t anything, but we stand alongside people who have dedicated their lives to try and make change. We’re stepping out on our platform to make a real, substantiated impact, while you play the clown. You say we don’t know anything, yet we are the ones sitting down with Angela Davis, John Carlos, and community activists you don’t even know. These are people whose respect we care about a great deal more than someone who gets paid just to be loud. I have spent countless hours in minority communities from orphanages in Haiti to juvenile detention centers in this country, building community gardens so our young people living in “food deserts” without anywhere to buy food other than a corner store, have better nutrition. Please be a better person- other than someone who is just all talk and no action. I encourage you to join me, in person and checkbook, and help build our communities.”

Smith’s response is not disappointing if you’ve become accustomed to the fact that Smith is only going to do the thing that gets him more attention. Smith called Bennett “sensitive” for his responses.