Thread: Robert Smith
07-13-2004, 04:45 PM #1Coach
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Good old Robert Smith wish we still had him. Good quality person. Anyway thought would be an intresting read
Ex-Viking Smith talks like he ran: Straight ahead
BOB SANSEVERE, Pioneer Press Columnist
Robert Smith helped out at a football camp last month. One of the other helpers was Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, who had shorn off his locks and gone with the shaved-head look. During a Q&A session, one of the campers asked Williams, "Yo, what's up with the 'do?"
Williams shot back at the camper, "Is that the way to ask a question?"
The camper rephrased his question, asking politely about Williams' new haircut.
If only more people would rephrase, or better yet, ask questions that do not mangle the English language. The world might not be a better place, but at the very least, it would be easier to understand what's being said.
"Ricky is really down to earth. We think the same way on a lot of issues," Smith said. "If you let kids get away with that (mangled English), they'll get away with it."
You might remember Smith as a fine running back for the Vikings who retired after the 2000 season. There's so much more to this still-young man of 32 than his football background. Sometimes aloof as a player, Smith is opening up in a self-published book he has titled, "The Rest of the Iceberg: An Insider's View on the World of Sport And Celebrity."
Copies are printed on demand, and the first batch will be out next week. Smith tried getting a major publisher, but he learned that publishers are tougher to crack than most defenses.
"The answer I got was, 'Who are you?' " Smith said. "My name wasn't big enough to print a book."
It's too bad; Smith has plenty to say. On Monday he talked about the concerns he has with the attitude and behavior of members of the black community.
"Too much of the black community has tried to blame outside forces for what goes on in the black community," said Smith, who is black. "Too many young black kids think the way to make money is to sell drugs, rap or be an athlete. The media isn't doing a good enough job. The black community isn't doing a good enough job. Everyone knows the center for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kids can roll off stats for an athlete as if their life depended on it, but they don't know who the presidents were."
Smith agrees with actor Bill Cosby, who ripped into the black community earlier this month when he told a group of activists in Chicago that some black children "think they're hip."
"They can't read, they can't write," Cosby said. "They're going nowhere."
Said Smith: "We teach creationism and kids can't even spell. They don't realize there's a real world out there. Then they try to get a job and run into a brick wall. They turn to crime. They turn to drugs."
Smith believes many children, and not just black children, are too heavily influenced by athletes and hip hop artists.
"I have nothing against hip hop," he said.
He's against the language and behavior it promotes.
"It's not the way to carry yourself in our society or in the real world," Smith said. "There's not a hip-hop doctor. By the time some of them outgrow it, it's already too late."
Smith believes race issues exist on both sides.
"People in the black community aren't saying anything and white people who say something are called racist," he said. "Until blacks talk honestly about blacks without being called sellouts or Uncle Toms, and whites can talk honestly, we won't get anywhere."
Smith sure seems to be talking honestly, including when he says it is good for children to see athletes fail or get into trouble with the law.
"Society is so obsessed with athletes, celebrities, actors and rappers that it has really been detrimental," Smith said. "Athletes in trouble are good for children because it shows athletes aren't perfect and aren't above the law. It's far worse for a kid to see his father hit his mother than hear an athlete got a DUI."
Smith also has something to say about people worried about what he calls "surface issues."
"There are complaints about SUVs having an impact on pollution," he said, "but there isn't talk about people having 10 kids and creating a need for the energy we use.
"People aren't seeing things from different angles."
Smith wants to do something about the things that bother him, so he has considered running for his local school board. Asked why he wouldn't aspire to be enter national politics and widen the swath of his message, he said, "Smart-mouth atheists don't make it on the ballot too often."
But sometimes they do make a lot of sense.
07-13-2004, 07:40 PM #2
It's good to see someone that isn't afraid to speak how they feel. Most famous people these days don't really say what they want cause they don't want to get torn apart by the media. Not that I can blame them.God Bless America, & the MINNESOTA VIKINGS!!!
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