Earlier this week, both the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers disassociated themselves from late singer Kate Smith after it was discovered she recorded a few songs with racist lyrics back in the 1930s. Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” had been a staple for both teams.
Monday, ESPN’s First Take took on the subject, and predictably, the segment went viral. Will Cain, the network’s conservative voice, is catching a lot of heat for what he said regarding the decision to yank Smith’s recording and pull down her statue.
“I’m suggesting it’s an absolute and utter fool’s errand to go back through history – decades. Someone who’s been passed away for 30 years. Incidents which occurred eight decades ago. And apply modern historical standards to something you can almost reach a century. I’m suggesting that your standard – yours – only requires a handful of people to be a little outraged to go back and tear statues down.
And I’m telling you that by your standard President Obama’s statues would not stand to today’s standard when it comes to gay rights.”
Stephen A. Smith then told Cain that it was easy for him to say because he’s “not the offended party.”
Here’s the exchange:
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 22, 2019
A number of ESPNers have responded to Cain on Twitter. Mina Kimes wasn’t thrilled.
the problem with the slippery slope argument is you could apply it in the other direction and argue that we should never rebuke anyone who's ever done anything wrong.
alternatively: perhaps we, as a society, are capable of evaluating these decisions on a case-by-case basis.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) April 22, 2019
Cain has been with the network since back in 2015. He hosts his own radio show in the afternoon on weekdays.
It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes from this, considering ESPN has tried to move away from political debate the past few years. We’ll keep you updated.