ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Walks Off Set After The Celtics Promote Brad Stevens

Written by on June 3, 2021

Brad Stevens got promoted from head coach of the Boston Celtics to president of basketball operations for the team even despite having no front-office experience in his basketball career, CBS reports. While some sports fans were here for the new change, some people were not, including ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith.

While explaining why he saw that as a serious issue for many candidates who never got the opportunity to get that job, Smith got pretty worked up and later walked off-camera. But before doing that, he made a good point about the lack of diversity among the head coaching and front-office ranks across the NBA. He also argued that Black NBA players should be more vocal about the issue:

“In the world of sports, where you got dudes with guaranteed contracts, making money that will secure their generations — generations of family — you’ve got folks hesitant to speak up. You’ve got players, NBA players are some of the most powerful people in this world, when have they spoken up for Black coaches?” Smith asked. “When?! When have they spoken up for Black coaches and Black executives, GMs, president of basketball operations? When has that happened? LeBron, all of them, everybody! Where the hell have they been? Nobody has done anything.”

Smith also pointed out that the NFL has something called the “Rooney Rule,” which requires teams to interview at least one racial minority candidate for coaching and front-office job openings. But he noted that the rule hasn’t brought about a proper level of diversity in the actual hiring decisions, the news site notes.

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