Athlete vs. Pundit – Jalen Rose vs. Skip Bayless vs. Stephen A. Smith

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Bunker

After this comment on First Take on Tuesday April 10, 2012, where Jalen Rose calls out Skip Bayless on fabricating his success as a high school basketball player (which is no different than what any intramural basketball player in college would do); First Take deemed it necessary to revisit the comments to “set the record straight”. However, what followed was a volatile exchange surrounding the age old debate pitting [former] Athlete vs. Analyst.

The Athlete arguments goes a little something like this:
As someone who has been in the position, the locker room and the situations that most athletes will face, I have a better understanding and the proper context to explain to the audience what’s going on. I can relate to a bad pass, a great play, a locker room argument, a slip of the tongue, an emotional outburst and explain it in a manner that one who hasn’t played can do. Athletes often argue they truly understand the difficulty in which it takes to go through the grind of being an athlete. Again most of the athletes’ argument is based on empathy and perspective.

The Defensive Athlete:
The Athlete does not like being referred to as “soft”. No athlete wants to hear from a journalist that they think he/she “quit”. Athletes don’t like to be told whether they care or not. Athletes don’t like to be seen as selfish by the media or fans.

The Analyst:
Due to their education, writing and reasoning skills, they feel they have the right to critique the athletes. Athletes are public figures, the job of the media is to hold these public figures accountable for their actions. They are entitled to stinging criticism, because they are able to see sides of the game that the athletes aren’t able to see, in addition they often are the voice of the fans the athletes affect.

The Defensive Analyst:
The Defensive Analyst hates being told that “they don’t know the game, because they never played”. The DA will often remind the athlete that he is not jealous that he was never an athlete or a failed athlete. The DA will also use their predictions and shared opinions with other athletes as evidence for any and all of their arguments.

Basically, Stephen A. Smith, Jalen Rose and Skip Bayless put these cards on the table . None of these men are without skeletons. Jalen’s famous “Uncle Tom” comment will haunt his journalistic career forever. Stephen A. Smith has had many faux pas during his impressive career. Skip Bayless sort of seems like a hypocrite as he got a taste of some of his own medicine.

Here’s the clip: Enjoy!


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