Stephen A. Smith: 'Nobody's Going to Pit Me' Against Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 19, 2019

OAKLAND, CA  - May 31:  Stephen A. Smith  is photographed during the ESPN post-show after the game between Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals on May 31, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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ESPN's Stephen A. Smith offered his latest comment in an ongoing debate with Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid over quarterback Colin Kaepernick's continued absence from the NFL and the league's new entertainment and social justice partnership with Jay-Z's Roc Nation.

"I'm not taking that bait. Nobody's going to pit me against Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick," Smith said. "I have profound respect for Eric Reid. ... I think anybody on this planet would want a friend like Eric Reid." Smith also called Reid a "roughrider and a warrior going down with the crew."

Smith also said he believed Reid was "protesting more about Kaepernick than he is about the issues."

Reid has expressed significant concerns about the deal in light of Kaepernick still looking for NFL work after three years away from the game despite interest to return. The ex-San Francisco 49er protested systemic oppression and social injustice during the 2016 campaign.

Smith had a more optimistic take on the deal, saying that the NFL is looking to address issues Kaepernick brought to light with his protest:

Reid responded, calling Smith's comments "asinine," leading to the analyst's latest remarks.

Smith also responded to Reid via Twitter.

"He is more than entitled to call my position ludicrous," Smith said. "[Reid] has earned the right to do that. He’s good with me. I have no idea how he feels about me. Nor do I care. But I respect him and what he’s trying to do for US. Period!"

As for Kaepernick, the former Nevada star is still looking for work, as he made clear in an Aug. 15 video:

Reid and the Panthers open their 2019 season against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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