HomeSportsESPN Apologizes for Statement Made by Kendrick Perkins Over Race and the NBA MVP Voters

ESPN Apologizes for Statement Made by Kendrick Perkins Over Race and the NBA MVP Voters

by Nick Geddes
Kendrick Perkins
(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

ESPN‘s Molly Qerim began Wednesday’s edition “First Take” by issuing an apology for Kendrick Perkins falsely claiming Tuesday that 80% of NBA MVP award voters were white.

Perkins made the statement while discussing the possibility of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic potentially winning his third straight MVP award. Perkins implied that Jokic’s skin color was helping his cause.

“I want to correct something here from yesterday’s show,” Qerim said, via Fox News. “When Kendrick Perkins said 80% of NBA voters for the MVP award are white, the NBA publicly announces the voters each year, and after review, it is clear the panel is much more diverse than what was portrayed by Kendrick Perkins and we wanted to make sure we corrected that today.”

Fellow ESPN analyst and former NBA guard JJ Redick pushed back on Perkins’ comments, engaging in a heated back-and-forth with the former NBA center.

“Stephen A. [Smith], I mean no offense to you. And I mean no offense to ‘First Take’ because I think this show is extremely valuable,” Redick said. “It is an honor to be on this desk every day. It really is. But what we just witnessed is the problem with this show. Where we create narratives that do not exist in reality. The implication that you are implying – that the White voters that vote on NBA [awards] are racist, that they favor White people. You just said that.”

Charles Barkley Fires Shot at Kendrick Perkins, Says He Suffers from ‘ESPN Disease’

“Inside the NBA” and NBA legend Charles Barkley soon got in on the bashing of Perkins, saying he suffers fromESPN” disease.

“That’s asinine and silly,” Barkley said on 92.5 FM Altitude Sports Radio in Denver, via Awful Announcing. “Asinine, silly and stupid. Pick one of the words, whatever one you want. One of the things that’s silly about ESPN at times, they do this silly debate every year about the MVP, going back to even when I played. They did it a lot with LeBron, which makes me laugh, too. Derrick Rose won it. He deserved it. Kevin Durant won it. He deserved it.

“It’s a regular season award. It ain’t who the best player is. It’s who had the best regular season, but every year ESPN gets these fools on radio and TV to talk about who’s the best player… They have these silly things every year and it’s really just, that’s the silliness of these morning talk shows.”