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2021 Creative Arts Emmys

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Every sports pundit has their day on social media, and today that honor belongs to Emmanuel Acho.

The former NFL player turned FS1 sports analyst is in hot water for his recent appearance on Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay‘s Higher Learning podcast hosted on the Ringer.

The podcast is known for delving into everything Black culture, like where sports and politics intersect. So during a recent episode, Acho spoke about how his Nigerian heritage affects his relationship with white people because he isn’t the decedent of slaves.

“When white people say, ‘Well, racism doesn’t exist,’ I know why they say that. Because I’ve been in them rooms when they’re saying that,” Acho said in the clip.

“When I kick it with black people and they’re like, ‘All white people are racist,’ I know why you’re saying that. All the while, I have the privilege and luxury of not having generational trauma [of slavery in America], because my parents were born in Nigeria. So my method is removing some of the sting, because I don’t have that sting, and trying to deliver it in a manner that people can receive it.”

Lathan, a Black American, took issue with Acho’s stance that his method of conversing with white people is better.

“Let me tell you why what you just said offends me. You’re saying that you didn’t have generational trauma, and you didn’t mean it this way, but you saying [that] in some way meaning that your delivery method to white people is going to be either more effective or more sanitized is, to me, dangerous, and let me tell you why,” Lathan responded.

“Everybody that you just named, and what you’re talking about, does what they do in different ways. I don’t think that any of the things that they do are necessarily harmful, but what I could say, is a black man, a prominent one, acting as an emotional butler for white people, and serving them the most milquetoast, un-spicy, unseasoned brand of racial discourse and accountability possible, could definitely be harmful. Like, we’re fighting for our lives, and to me, having a conversation like that, at that particular time, it’s not that it’s a different method. Everybody has a different method. It’s that it’s the wrong method.”

The disagreement erupted on Twitter when one user accused Acho of thinking his lack of generational trauma makes him less “hostile.” Acho disagreed, which led to Lathan doubling down and sharing a portion of the one hour and 24-minute podcast.

Twitter soon began to pile on and couldn’t wait to drag Acho for his views. See the reactions below.