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ESPN host: Tom Brady must be racist for snubbing Obama; black players who skipped invite OK?

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Listeners of ESPN Radio are buzzing about sports analyst Stephen A. Smith insinuating on Friday that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was racist by declining an invitation to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl win with President Obama.

Smith doesn’t mention race in the audio at all, but many accused him of implying it based on the tone of his rant:

Brady said he couldn’t attend the White House gathering because it conflicted with his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party, according to The Daily Caller. But Smith saw something more sinister in the player’s absence.

“Was he there in 2001 when George W. Bush was president? Yes. Was he there in 2003 and 2004?” Smith said in a Friday show. “I’m just simply presenting the question because I’ve got a problem with the fact that the franchise quarterback, the face of the New England Patriots, future Hall of Famer and all of this other stuff, Tom Brady can’t do anything wrong.”

Smith kept pounding on the fact that Brady didn’t turn down Bush’s invitations.

“When George W. Bush was president in 2001, 2003, 2004, Tom Brady was there at the White House celebrating,” he said. “But Barack Obama is the president of the United States, and Tom Brady’s got family commitments?”

Smith never used the word, “racist,” but he made it clear that he thought Brady’s snub was racially motivated.

“Why do I feel like if George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or somebody was there, why do I feel like Tom Brady would have been there then?” Smith wondered.

Interestingly, Smith didn’t mention that Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork, both black members of Patriots 2015 Super Bowl team, didn’t attend the White House celebration, either.

Related:

Tom Brady says no to Obama’s White House invite while Patriots teammate wonders if president was ‘wasted.’

Editor’s note: This post has been modified after publishing. Several tweets were added.

Carmine Sabia

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