Max Kellerman To Be Suspended For Calling SEC Fans Dumb Rednecks?
Is Max Kellerman going to be suspended for calling SEC fans dumb rednecks during an episode of First Take this week?
It remains to be seen.
During a back and forth with Stephen A. Smith on Thursday’s episode of their popular ESPN show, Kellerman made the case that SEC fans are essentially just a group of ignorant hillbillies who could not separate fiction from facts.
“Stephen A., you made the argument a couple weeks ago, you thought if SEC football wasn’t played, that could swing the general election,” Kellerman said.
“Because people in Trump’s base would be very upset that they didn’t have football, which is practically a religion down there. And I disagreed. Because he would simply shift blame, because the pandemic is raging. They seem to be susceptible to very low-quality information, and easy to propagandize and almost immune to facts.
“Because, as Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adviser, said, they have alternative facts. And if they stay in their propaganda silos — like the Fox News propaganda silo — it wouldn’t matter what happened because they’d say the handling of the pandemic has been great.
“The handling of the pandemic has been the worst in the industrialized democratic world, by far. By far, in the United States, at a federal level, it’s been a disaster. And as a result we’re dealing with this pandemic. And yet, I didn’t think that would affect voters because the blame would be shifted.”
Kellerman was referencing a conversation that he and Smith had back on August 12, when his co-host argued that a lack of SEC football in 2020 could lead to votes for President Donald Trump in November’s election.
“I’m going to say that it’s going to affect the politics of this nation, potentially,” Smith said at the time.
“We have to take into consideration that the president of the United States basically took the South when he won the electoral college, obviously not the popular vote. We’ve heard him come out and say, ‘It would be tremendously bad,’ and all this other stuff if college football was canceled. Not really accepting his role, in terms of being responsible for all of this.
“When you look at the ACC, when you look at the SEC, one could argue that was Donald Trump country. And so if they don’t have college football, and they’re economically ravaged because of the absence of college football, and the absence of that revenue from those local economies, how do we anticipate people are going to react to that?”
Kellerman brought the conversation back up on Thursday to suggest that NFL fans, unlike SEC fans, would have a major impact on the election if players opted to cancel the season in protest of racial injustice in America.
“If the NFL doesn’t play football, I think the NFL players have a lot of power here,” Kellerman said.
“If they don’t play football, at a certain point, the core will remain. But the football base goes all throughout the country.
“It doesn’t just hit one or another’s political base, but insofar as there’s a such thing as swing voters still, it would absolutely affect some of them. If the NFL season isn’t played or it’s interrupted, as a result of social justice issues — and of course we all understand this is all against the backdrop of the pandemic,” he continued.
“I know we exist in this sports bubble and we have this outsized idea of the effect of sports, but I think that might actually have political consequences in a general election.”
Max Kellerman Angered Fans
Kellerman’s comments were not met with a warm reception in certain circles. Various SEC fans immediately took to Twitter to point out how insulted they were by the First Take host’s implications.
ESPN’s Max Kellerman calls SEC football fans stupid and “easy to propagandize and almost immune to facts.”
Why the hell did he think going on national TV and calling a large portion of the country dumb was a smart idea? pic.twitter.com/I2kqxg2uXg
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 27, 2020
ESPN’s Max Kellerman says SEC football fans are dumb, susceptible to propaganda & don’t care about facts and that’s why they support President Trump. pic.twitter.com/4ML7VHcJhP
— The Daily Coverage (@TDCoverage) August 27, 2020
As of yet, ESPN has yet to comment on Kellerman’s position. The network has a deeply-entrenched relationship with SEC football that puts a lot of money in many people’s pockets, and one of their biggest stars coming out and insulting the conference likely doesn’t help that.
Will Kellerman ultimately get suspended? Time will tell. But if he doesn’t, ESPN may be opening a can of worms that it will have a hard time closing back up down the line.