Stephen A. Smith slams Tiki Barber over Giants, Brian Flores comments
Stephen A. Smith ended Monday’s episode of “First Take” with a warning for Tiki Barber over comments the former Giant made in response to Brian Flores’ discrimination lawsuit against the team and the NFL.
“Chill out. Watch yourself and know who you’re talking about,” Smith said in the final moments of the ESPN show.
On Friday, Barber condemned Smith’s response to Flores’ allegation of racism in the hiring process.
The former Dolphins coach claimed his interview was a sham to fulfill the NFL’s Rooney Rule diversity requirements. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the Giants chose to hire Brian Daboll as their next head coach three days before interviewing Flores.
“Tiki Barber took the liberty of sounding off about me [on Feb. 2], talking how about I called the New York Giants racist and how I don’t know anybody there … First of all, I don’t recall calling the Giants racist. I brought to the attention that you got a guy like [team owner] John Mara on the [NFL’s] Diversity Committee and this man has never hired a black coach in the history of the franchise — one of only six franchises to do it,” Smith said.
Did Stephen A. Smith just threaten Tiki Barber here? Wow… pic.twitter.com/8NluCQUPj4
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush)
The ESPN host noted that he also “had a problem” with the hiring process of former head coach Joe Judge.
“Tiki, you don’t know who the hell I know. I’ve been a journalist for almost 30 years, I know a few people within the Giants organization,” Smith said, before making he matter a bit more personal
“I know a lot of stuff about you, my brother, that I would never say because I have the decency not to say those things.”
Last week, Smith expressed his support and praise for Flores in his class-action lawsuit against the NFL and the Giants, among other teams, filed in Manhattan.
Soon after, Barber told Brandon Tierney on their WFAN show, “Tiki & Tierney,” that he didn’t agree with Smith.
“I can’t sit here, with conviction, like Stephen A. [Smith], who doesn’t know anybody in the Giants’ organization and claim that they’re a racist organization. I would never do that. The only reason I would do that is because I’m trying to make a point, and my point is that Brian Flores is trying to make a point,” said Barber, who spent his entire 10-year career with the Giants.
The former running back, 46, also teared up while defending the Mara family, which co-owns the Giants with Steve Tisch, saying he believes the family is not racist.
At the time Flores filed the lawsuit, he was in consideration for open head coach positions with the Texans and Saints. The Texans are on the brink of promoting Lovie Smith to become their head coach, while the Saints job remains vacant.
“Before we filed the class action I sent messages to both teams [Texans and Saints] letting them know … that also I am still very interested in coaching and leading one of those teams,” Flores said on ESPN’s “Get Up” last week.
This content was originally published here.