Stephen A. Smith visited the University of South Alabama on Feb. 29 to speak about “The Legacy, History and Impact of the African American Athlete” for a Black History Month event at the school.
Smith, a journalist with ESPN, spoke about his feelings on the state of race relations in America.
“Racism doesn’t exist. Obviously, I’m lying. Of course it exists, but not for you. See, you don’t have to go to the back of the bus. You’re not denied the opportunity to eat at restaurants, or to enter night clubs, or to patronize businesses. You have the right to vote. You’re not being lynched. You’re not being hung,” Smith said, according to USA’s student newspaper, The Vanguard which recorded the speech.
He went on to acknowledge that older black students do suffer from racism.
“You’re older, you know I’m not talking about you. But youngsters, you need to understand that white folks got problems, too. Some of them can’t pay their bills. Some of them are struggling. Some of them are being denied opportunities. And you need to understand that, because when people are going through their own problems, they are not going to lament what your trials and tribulations are.”
Smith is ESPN’s weeknight radio show host in several markets and a columnist for ESPN.com.
The University of South Alabama has hosted several Black History Month events, and more information about them can be found on USA’s website, southalabama.edu.