Draymond Green accuses Chris Russo of ‘racist undertone’ amid ‘First Take’ comment

Draymond Green accuses Chris Russo of ‘racist undertone’ amid ‘First Take’ comment

Draymond Green has responded to Chris Russo telling him to shut up and play.

“Yesterday, he [Russo] goes on TV and he says ‘America is tired of Draymond Green.’ He then proceeds to say ‘shut up and play,’ ” Green said on his podcast, “the Draymond Green Show”, Thursday. “I’m not one to really pull a race card very often because I think we all know the role that race plays in a world that we live in, but that definitely had a very racist connotation. A very racist undertone. Even beyond it having a racist undertone.”

Russo was not on Green’s radar until he began joining “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith on Wednesdays, and so Green is unaware about Russo’s platforms on MLB Network and SiriusXM, and his long tenure as No. 1 in afternoon drive with “Mike and the Mad Dog” on WFAN before that.

“Who are you, what have you done in your life to speak for America and say shut up and play?” Green asked.

“Those shut up and play, shut up and dribble days, those are long gone. We don’t listen to that anymore. We don’t want to hear it anymore. It has no place here and nor will it be tolerated. I also proceeded to say it’s time for you to go home and sit on your couch and thank the good lord that I didn’t want his job. Before I signed with Turner, I was actually offered a spot on ‘First Take.’ ”

Draymond Green, Chris Russo
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Green vowed that athletes would be taking over sports media from those like Russo who didn’t play.

“The landscape of media is about to change,” he said. “You will no longer be allowed to sit there and say what you want. You will no longer be allowed to put out these false narratives. You will no longer be allowed to not know what you’re talking about and we’re going to listen to you. Those days are long gone, and you know why? Because we have guys like JJ Redick who’s done it, who speaks it, who knows how to speak on any different topic, who’s not afraid to shut an idiot up.”

Green concluded his rant by promising he would hold Russo accountable.

“So, bad dog, go thank the good Lord that I didn’t want your job. You can have that. But just know, you will be held accountable. I will be watching you and embarrassing you, so make sure when you go up there screaming and yelling and talking all that that nonsense out the side of your neck, no buddy, you will be held accountable. You will. Believe that. I’m holding everything you say accountable. The days of the media holding accountable and you no longer being held accountable are over. We not living with that no more.”

What Green did not bring up is that the specific thing that Russo was most upset about was his boast about making $25 million a year. What he also did not bring up, in accusing Russo of racist undertones, is that Stephen A. Smith already defended him twice on these counts.

The first time, during the original First Take segment, Smith said that while he disagreed with Russo that Green should shut up and play, that his critique was not based in race.

“It’s not a race thing,” Smith told Reddick on Wednesday. “With Doggy, it’s not. You do have old school fans that lament the fact that you’ve got a lot of folks out there that are just saying ‘enough already’ like he does.”


Smith added that he encounters a “whole bunch of Mad Dog Russos running around” — and that they aren’t just in their 50s and 60s. “You’ve got a whole bunch of people in their 20s and 30s who will say about a player or team they don’t like: ‘enough already,’ ” Smith said.

Smith also called into SiriusXM’s “Mad Dog Unleashed” on Wednesday to defend Russo.

“Mad Dog Russo is free to be who the hell he wants to be on ‘First Take,’ ” Smith said.

“We ain’t there to hug and say Kumbaya to each other in terms of agreeing and coincidiing with one another with all our opinions. What the hell would I need you on ‘First Take’ for if you didn’t have a different opinion?

So for me, when I saw that transpire today, I want to emphasize first of all race had nothing to do with it. You were talking about athletes, period. Draymond Green was the topic of discussion at that particular time.

“It was interpreted by JJ Redick the way he interpreted it. I didn’t even had a problem with that. My only issue was when he brought up Fox News. And here’s why. First Take is not a show that is going to be about the business of attacking networks. You can like or dislike a particular individual, but there are an abundance of people that work at Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and everywhere else and so let’s not generalize and talk about a particular network.”

Smith said he doesn’t expect panelists on “First Take” to agree all the time, and that the model of the show — and why it’s remained number 1 for a decade — is having people hash out passionate arguments and letting the audience decide how they feel.

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