Shannon Sharpe, a former NFL star, and current Fox Sports news analyst, knows a little bit about facing adversity after growing up poor in Georgia. After a series of Instagram posts by Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant about racism and accountability, Sharpe gave the wide receiver a strong lesson on what race truly means for a Black person in America.
Bryant took to Instagram earlier this week to support a notion uttered by race expert Charles Barkley that the reason Blacks don’t find success is other Black people. He followed that rant with a series of posts that suggested success comes from within and that race shouldn’t play a factor in one’s ascension. The posts sparked a lot of dialogue and prompted Sharpe to respond during a segment on the FS1 Undisputed show.
Below, we’ve shared one of Sharpe’s thoughtful and measured quotes:
I think Dez’s heart was in a good place, but because he hasn’t read up enough on the race relationship and the history of racism in America, it came out totally wrong… Dez, when you say personal accountability—okay, so I’m supposed to hold me accountable for slavery? What about Reconstruction? What about the Jim Crow South? What about segregation? What about the violation of my civil rights and my voting rights? So who do I hold accountable for that?… Dez, I can’t get ahead if someone is constantly keeping me behind.
Read the full transcript courtesy of Fox Sports 1 here. Watch Shannon Sharpe’s response to Dez Bryant below.
Photo: screen cap