ESPN’s Robert Flores takes shot at First Take over Travis Kelce and Cam Newton pic.twitter.com/VxCQYNZ5yP
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) November 30, 2015
Thanks in large part to dancin’ Cam Newton and his 11-0 Panthers, the topic of showmanship, “class” and professionalism has become a hot debate around the NFL this season. How much celebrating is too much celebrating? Why do some players get away with their elaborate dances, while others become the subject of controversy, like Newton, whose celebrating was examined on First Take a few weeks ago?
On Monday, SportsCenter anchor Robert Flores briefly alluded to this discussion with one serious truthbomb regarding Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who has submitted his latest excellent touchdown dance this weekend.
“I’m wondering why there’s no Letters to the Editor or why First Take’s not doing ‘Should Travis Kelce be dancing in the end zone?’… I wonder why they’re not doing that. Oh, because he’s not black. That’s probably what it is.”
Well, that’s certainly a powerful one-liner dropped right in your eye, and it’s hard to argue that such a double-standard doesn’t exist for black and white players not only in the NFL. Often times when black players dance and celebrate, fans and sports media will dub them “immature” or “not respecting the game.” But when white players do it, they’re “passionate” and “fun.”
That discrepancy is real, and First Take is about as guilty as any sports medium for feeding the beast. Despite the accuracy of Flores’ statement, we’ve seen plenty of ESPN personalities receive some sort of backlash for criticism of the network, so it’ll be interesting to see what — if anything — comes of Flores’ comments.
For now, though, he’s certainly not backing down, so good for him.