When Nick Cannon made anti-Semitic comments during a discussion with Public Enemy figure Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin, Dwyane Wade tweeted support for The Masked Singer host. Wade later deleted the first tweet and then clarified that he doesn't support the comments. ESPN host Stephen A. Smith has since weighed in on the drama and defended Wade. He also called out Cannon's critics.
"Dwyane Wade is one of the most special brothers you will ever meet in your life," Smith said. "He doesn't have a hateful bone in his body. I've known him for years, and I'm telling you what I know about this guy." Smith then explained that he believes Wade is someone who is extra sensitive to issues of hate. He is a member of the African American community and has a daughter who is part of the LGBT+ community.
As Smith continued to discuss, he said that the overwhelming response to George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody on May 25, was that people promised to listen. However, he believed that the recent responses to someone "getting out of pocket" was to immediately cancel them. He wanted to know where the "counsel culture" is.
While Smith spoke about his personal experiences with Wade, he did make comments about Cannon that sparked criticism on social media. Smith said that the comments "may have been anti-Semitic" and that he didn't actually know what they were. This statement prompted speculation from Twitter users.
When Smith said that he didn't know what Cannon said, many Twitter users did not believe him. They said that the First Take host had "no excuse" for not knowing the statement or the context. This conversation took place days prior to Smith's video, providing enough time to learn about everything going on.
"Stephen I've watched you for years on ESPN. You know what Nick Cannon said and you know the context in which he said them. It's unfathomable that you wouldn't know 3 hours later let alone 3 days later. What's unconscionable is that you couldn't come out and denounce it flatly," one person commented on Twitter. Others chimed in and said that Smith was displaying "hypocrisy" by turning a "blind eye" to Cannon's comments.
While some Twitter users did express disappointment or anger about Smith's video, he also received support. These fans said that they are not fans of the "cancel culture" and that it's better to promote education and civil discourse. They were ready for "honest, raw" conversations.
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