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Super Bowl MVP explains his “bigotry” tweet

Smith Getty Images

Last Sunday night, after former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay, Super Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith made this observation, via Twitter:  “There is no room for bigotry in American sports. It takes courage to change the culture.”

Most assumed Smith was referring to Sam.  Via Todd Dybas of the Tacoma News Tribune, Sam was making a broader observation.

“It was about the fact the Redskins’ name is what it is, the fact that Jonathan Martin doesn’t feel comfortable, the fact that Marcus Smart is being called names on the sideline,” Smith said.  “It was more about all those things than just [Sam].  I think that’s just another example, Michael Sam coming out.  We need to face things head-on and be a little bit more responsible about the way we see things.”

If you liked the sound of that, consider Smith’s assessment of sliding to round seven of the 2011 draft.  Unlike so many other guys who are overlooked, Smith doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder; he understands why it happened.

“[Teams] will draft guys in the first round who will be busts and never have the careers they expect to have because of human nature or weaknesses they might have,” Smith said.  “Learning, dedication, passion.  Those are things that can’t be measured, so you don’t really blame those people.”

Most never even noticed Smith until he caught the ball that had been tipped away from 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in the end zone during crunch time of the NFC title game.  Smith doesn’t seem like the type of guy who attempts to get attention.  But when the attention comes Smith’s way, he’s got some intriguing things to say.

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51 Responses to “Super Bowl MVP explains his “bigotry” tweet”
  1. slbasegame257 says: Feb 16, 2014 6:27 PM

    He was our best linebacker all year. GO HAWKS

  2. fdugrad says: Feb 16, 2014 6:29 PM

    He is clearly an intelligent, perceptive young man. Well said Mr. Smith.

  3. slugbaitspace says: Feb 16, 2014 6:35 PM

    Other things that can’t be measured are compassion, empathy and morality.

    Quality guy here…

  4. crabcakesfootball says: Feb 16, 2014 6:35 PM

    Seahawks are a good example for the Redskins.

    One you have a player willing to say what he means and not controlled by an inept PR Dept.

    But also, a team name and logo that embraces the local culture not mocks it.

    The seahawks logo that looks like a totem pole is a classy way of honoring the region. Not mocking it.

  5. sc711 says: Feb 16, 2014 6:43 PM

    Way to go young man.

    Changing bias takes time, the more people speak out…… the quicker it happens.

  6. russellwilsonismymvp says: Feb 16, 2014 6:46 PM

    Quality guy. Just one of many on the Hawks roster who work hard to be the best.

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 16, 2014 6:47 PM

    Malcolm In The Huddle also wants to remind you to give your Mom something nice this Valentine’s weekend, eat all of your vegetables, and look both ways before you cross the street. Preferably while helping a little old lady.

  8. unbridledsexy says: Feb 16, 2014 6:58 PM

    It’s refreshing to hear a well spoken you player saying something relevant and intelligent. Proud he’s from my team, but I truly hope he’s not alone in his assessment. I know of 31 other teams that could use players just like him. Hell, they’re probably there already, we just don’t hear from them.

  9. wishingtonredslur says: Feb 16, 2014 7:01 PM

    Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

  10. Steve B says: Feb 16, 2014 7:02 PM

    crabcakesfootball says:
    Feb 16, 2014 6:35 PM

    But also, a team name and logo that embraces the local culture not mocks it.

    The seahawks logo that looks like a totem pole is a classy way of honoring the region. Not mocking it.

    ——————————————

    Yes, the Redskins are dysfunctional, but how does their logo mock local culture?

  11. chawk12thman says: Feb 16, 2014 7:02 PM

    Class personified

  12. taylorgangtrippymane says: Feb 16, 2014 7:05 PM

    Go Hawks

  13. ariani1985 says: Feb 16, 2014 7:15 PM

    Go seaturds!

  14. meatcarroll says: Feb 16, 2014 7:16 PM

    Malcolm Smith > Navorro Bowman. First I threw popcorn, then the city of Seattle threw a party. #DefendingWorldChamps

  15. abninf says: Feb 16, 2014 7:17 PM

    If you want to intice people to think like you, calling them names probably isn’t the best route to take.

  16. csilojohnson says: Feb 16, 2014 7:28 PM

    Yes because the Seahawks are so classy….

  17. qdog112 says: Feb 16, 2014 7:35 PM

    I think Smith is like most players. Face it they all want attention. It’s the entertainment business and he wants it just like the next guy. After all, the amount of attention is directly aligned with the celebrity, which is connected to earning potential.

    He wants it. There are many players with something good and insightful to say. It just doesn’t get the attention that something dumb and sensationalized, does. That said, Smith is using his new found spotlight to say something meaningful and he sounds sincere.

  18. beastmode5150 says: Feb 16, 2014 7:36 PM

    Malcolm is just another in a long line of Seahawks players that “get it”. Carroll doesn’t keep talent around just because they are talented, they have to be good people.

  19. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Feb 16, 2014 7:40 PM

    “Smith doesn’t seem like the type of guy who attempts to get attention. But when the attention comes Smith’s way, he’s got some intriguing things to say.”

    Very well-stated.

    It’s also pretty cool that Malcolm Smith has the perspective at such a young age to contemplate such matters. That’s not very common, as many similarly situated are more known from going overboard on the entitlement syndrome.

  20. Vim says: Feb 16, 2014 7:44 PM

    Almost any other franchise in any sport will be a great example for the franchise that plays professional football in Washington, DC.
    I mean, they have a morally corrupt ownership, a weak management structure and organization, inept coaching staffs with rampant nepotism, and players who have no control whatsoever and think they are the next coming af all great gods.

    And on top of all that they insist on having a name that is considered derogatory to Native Americans by any educated and well read person

  21. tap79 says: Feb 16, 2014 7:49 PM

    Smith is a number 1 LB he really came out and proved himself at the end of the season he is an extreme asset to the Seahawks….. But I wouldn’t say he was the best all season. Wagner is right up there too but I would say the best was and is KJ Wright. That dudes a bad mother…..

  22. ravensterps says: Feb 16, 2014 7:50 PM

    The man is absolutely right.

  23. realitypolice says: Feb 16, 2014 7:50 PM

    Actually, no one even noticed Smith then, either. Richard Sherman made sure of that.

  24. mickton says: Feb 16, 2014 7:50 PM

    Twitter is a playground for idiots employed by the nfl

  25. donnymacjack says: Feb 16, 2014 8:08 PM

    @crabcakesfootball – Good comments and observations. The original Seahawk logo was even more traditional and honoring of the Native American culture in the PNW.

  26. redbearwoodall says: Feb 16, 2014 8:10 PM

    “…intriguing things to say.”
    I didn’t know “intriguing” meant the same thing as “the exact same as every other PC person who has opened their mouth in the last few years.”

  27. kane337 says: Feb 16, 2014 8:14 PM

    Not all change is good.

  28. burndownhottopic says: Feb 16, 2014 8:19 PM

    A+ person right there. Its 2014 people – we should all be thinking like this young man.

  29. alldonesmith says: Feb 16, 2014 8:21 PM

    I like this guy.

    -49er fan

  30. fnc111 says: Feb 16, 2014 8:22 PM

    He is from U$C.

  31. igornathanhiggers says: Feb 16, 2014 8:39 PM

    The term “bigotry” is getting used too loosely nowadays. I’m not sure the people using it actually know what it means…to be fair, even google has redefined the word in the past 6 months.

    It’s becoming evident that the American dictionary is being influenced politically…

  32. nfl4days says: Feb 16, 2014 8:46 PM

    A comment that looks like it was by someone living in 2014 and not 1930? The Neandethals won’t like that. Pete has drafted a lot of classy guys and I’m actually glad they won the SB. Even Sherman is a great guy off the field and in the community.

  33. bobzilla1001 says: Feb 16, 2014 8:51 PM

    When a Super Bowl MVP speaks, people listen!!! What’s that kid’s name again?

  34. mediasloppy says: Feb 16, 2014 8:52 PM

    A Seahawk I can root for.

  35. pfic15 says: Feb 16, 2014 9:01 PM

    Not really intriguing… I hear these same thoughts echoed everyday. Actually its just more of the same. Good message…

  36. stampnhawk says: Feb 16, 2014 9:02 PM

    One of those “everything happens for a reason” types of situations. Smith the 4th best LB on the team, but is in the right place at the right time, certainly in the SB, to make plans that anyone of those guys in the LB corps made, and from that, he gets the spotlight shone in him which allows his personality and words to attract attention.
    If that’s Kj Wright intercepting the ball and Bobby Wagner picking up the fumble, who knows who the MVP goes to, and you likely never hear from Malcom Smith.

  37. deathmonkey41 says: Feb 16, 2014 9:02 PM

    He never really says he supports Sam’s decision to come out.

  38. jessesnapple says: Feb 16, 2014 9:18 PM

    LOL at Smith being our best linebacker all year. He filled in admirably when Wright and Wagner were injured at their respective times, but I’d take either of them over Smith if given a choice between the three.

  39. ilovefoolsball says: Feb 16, 2014 9:19 PM

    It’s just funny to talk about the seahawks being classy in any way that doesn’t involve the quarterback, let alone the defense.

  40. whatwhat2013 says: Feb 16, 2014 9:46 PM

    “Most assumed Smith was referring to Sam. Via Todd Dybas of the Tacoma News Tribune, Sam was making a broader observation.”

    Do you mean Smith?

  41. jimmyt says: Feb 16, 2014 10:44 PM

    Just curious, in the unlikely event the Redskins change their name who will all the good people go after next?

  42. seahawksbmx says: Feb 16, 2014 10:55 PM

    Google “rich eisen malcolm smith” and listen to the podcast. This kid’s story is quite amazing. And he’s Steve Smith’s younger brother for those that didn’t know (the former NYG WR; not the Panthers’ current one).

  43. natelan69 says: Feb 16, 2014 11:07 PM

    Had never heard of this kid prior to the Super Bowl, but his display of class and intellect OFF the field has won him a huge fan in me!

    I’m so damn happy to see football and its fans, finally, starting to evolve emotionally and intellectually. I always wondered if I was “too smart” or “progressive” to responsibly watch and enjoy football. Now I don’t have to be ashamed to watch NFL anymore.

  44. guachosporlife says: Feb 17, 2014 12:57 AM

    His “I’m going to Disney World” commercial was awesome…great enthusiasm and feel.

  45. joeflaccospuremediocrity says: Feb 17, 2014 3:45 AM

    It also takes courage not to throw beer on an injured linebacker as he’s carted off the field.

  46. howiefeltersnatch says: Feb 17, 2014 8:04 AM

    What a soft group of individuals this next generation is.

  47. timmmah10 says: Feb 17, 2014 9:11 AM

    “Soft individuals.” Deflect that fact that your opinions and convictions are outdated and wrong, and call everyone soft.

    The Redskins mascot IS offensive.
    The Jonathon Martin bullying IS poor workplace behavior.
    Michael Sam coming out SHOULDN’T be as big as a deal as it’s been made out to be.

    Smith merely stated the opinion of the next generation.

    Suffrage, Segregation… there were two sides to history on many other issues, and we all know who turned out how those turned out.

  48. trollhammer20 says: Feb 17, 2014 10:48 AM

    Smith is simply asking people to live mindfully.

    And in a sport where you have locker room behavior that takes place in Miami, crowds of 80k so drunk that many won’t remember the day’s events the following morning, and comments like some of the ones found on these boards, apparently, for some folks, that’s asking a lot.

  49. bassfreeq says: Feb 17, 2014 10:51 AM

    We’ll better change the browns(because all other colors are envious),Better change the black hawks(that one is Jst wrong on so many levels), how about the the braves(cause every1of them want to be a chief). Com’on people. Or should I say panzyfied Americans. Wake up!. These are your worries. Really?! What about your beloved president and this gov. Taking away the rights from its constituents. Unbelievable.

  50. slbasegame257 says: Feb 17, 2014 11:50 AM

    All you who say that Malcolm Smith wasn’t our best linebacker all year are wrong. Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman who has a show on 710 AM Seattle agrees with me. Give credit where credit is due. GO HAWKS

  51. itsfinn says: Feb 18, 2014 2:01 AM

    Funny how the only people not offended by the name Redskins are, like, actual Indians.

    The Choctaw word for Redskin is Oklahoma.

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