ESPN host Max Kellerman has defended ongoing race riots as mostly “peaceful” and attributed violent demonstrations on “extremist [and] right-wing agitators.”
As the Washington Examiner reports, the ESPN host’s comment came in response to claims made by UFC fighter Colby Covington, a Trump supporter and critic of Black Lives Matter.
After his victorious fight last weekend against Tyron Woodley, Covington spent part of his post-fight press conference speaking on the phone with President Trump.
“You keep us safe … not these woke athletes,” he said. “I’m sick of these woke athletes and these spineless cowards like LeBron James.”
During Tuesday’s edition of “First Take,” Kellerman pushed back and defended the “peaceful” protests.
“When he talks about, like, Black Lives Matter, 93% of the protests are peaceful, the host said, pointing to a recent study published by Princeton University. “The vast, overwhelming majority are peaceful. And, by the way, the 7% that are not — they have a very broad definition of what’s not, quote on quote, peaceful.”
“For example, if you block traffic or something like that, or if you respond to police provocation. And even then, a big percentage of that, that wasn’t peaceful, is actually outside agitators — extremist, right-wing agitators posing as protesters in order to make the protests look bad,” Kellerman continued.
“When he talks about being woke, yes, of course, there is a minority, but it’s a large minority in this country of people who would like people to stay asleep. They’d prefer their athletes sleeping on social issues, rather than woke,” he added. “It’s not that I’m questioning the sincerity of Covington’s beliefs, it’s that I question how much of it is his understanding that if he plays that up and defines a character, we’ll talk about him … he will be noticed, he will be talked about … and he will make more money that way.”
Watch Covington’s comments below:
Colby Covington calls LeBron James a “spineless coward”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 20, 2020
The Washington Examiner adds:
The ESPN host was referring to a study published in part by Princeton University, which found that 93% of the protests gripping the United States this summer were peaceful. The report revealed that there were 570 “violent demonstrations” in 220 cities.