Heated Clash: ESPN Analyst Calls Out Colleague for Making Up Racism Narratives 'That Do Not Exist in Reality'
ESPN analyst JJ Redick finally had just about enough of fellow panelist Kendrick Perkins’ constant proclamations that NBA MVP voters are racists because some of them have voted for white players, and he confronted Perkins right on the air in a clash that was weeks in coming.
Redick and Perkins have been engaging in a duel on ESPN’s “First Take” as well as social media posts for more than a week over Perkins’ claim that Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic — who is white — has allegedly been “stat-padding,” Clutch Points noted late last month.
On “First Take” — where lead host Stephen A. Smith constantly rails about “racism” — Redick blasted Perkins for the “ludicrous” stat-padding accusation. Redick called Perkin’s accusations as one that is “unbased in reality.”
.@jj_redick STRONGLY disagrees with @KendrickPerkins that Nikola Jokić is stat-padding 😳 pic.twitter.com/yYrP4IWM5S
— First Take (@FirstTake) February 28, 2023
Perkins jumped to his own Twitter account to respond to that criticism, saying that such stat-padding “goes on all the time.” And he again hinted that the NBA and its MVP vote is burdened with racism.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) February 28, 2023
While the discussion of “stat-padding” is a bit of an in-the-weeds discussion, Perkins also repeatedly hinted that he thinks the NBA’s MVP voters are racists for voting for white players.
The former Boston Celtics star never outright said that the MVP vote is “racist.” Instead he couched his claims in code words such as “what do these guys have in common” when he was talking about white players, and they’ve moved the “goal posts” for “certain people” and “for others we don’t,” Sports Illustrated noted. But it is unmistakable in context that Perkins is saying that the MVP vote is tinged with racism.
On Wednesday, Perkins again alluded to racism for why Jokic is winning the NBA MVP this year.
Kendrick Perkins suggests that Nikola Jokic is winning the MVP this year because he is a white European.
On National Television. This talking point started two weeks ago and is gotten worse and worse ever since.pic.twitter.com/ODNZX9UtQa
— Swipa (@SwipaCam) March 1, 2023
This was apparently just too much for Redick. When the two finally ended up on the same show at the same time, Redick unleashed on Perkins right there, in person.
“Stephen, I mean no offense to you. I mean no offense to ‘First Take.’ Because I think this show is extremely valuable. It is an honor to be on this desk every day. It really is,” Redick, who is white, began.
“But what we’ve just witnessed,” Redick said of Perkins’ constant rants, “is the problem with this show, where we create narratives that do not exist in reality.”
“The implication, what you are implying, that the white voters are that vote on NBA are racist. That they favor white people. You just said that,” Redick said.
Meanwhile, Perkins, who was likely not prepared to be confronted directly like this, began screaming at Redick to disrupt the white broadcaster’s chance to make his point.
But Redick continued, correctly pointing out, “That’s exactly what you implied, Kendrick Perkins.”
JJ Redick condemns First Take and pushes back on Kendrick Perkins alleging NBA MVP voters have a racial bias against Black players: pic.twitter.com/7pOMmGW4AH
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 7, 2023
The full segment of the debate between Redick and Perkins can be found here.
We don’t see exchanges like this very often. In most cases, the race baiters are allowed to spew their hate-filled conspiracy theories with abandon and are allowed to sow division in this country without opposition. But this time, someone was called out for it.
Perhaps this will stiffen the resolve for others who are equally tired of these constant, wild-eyed proclamations of racism supposedly lurking around every corner and under every bed.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.