As the news cycle spills over onto Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who announced Sunday that he was gay, here’s some random thoughts on Pushgate – Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart’s push of a Texas Tech fan in the last few seconds of Saturday night’s basketball game:
1. There are no winners. Smart looks bad, and Jeff Orr, the Tech fan, looks bad.
2. As badly as that incident unfolded, Sunday’s action was appropriate. Smart was suspended three games, and in a news conference in Stillwater, apologized to Orr and others, saying his “emotions got the best of me” and “I take full responsibility.” Orr too apologized to Smart, OSU, Tech coach Tubby Smith and the Tech basketball team. Both schools took the high road, refusing to blame the other side.
3. The narrative until Sunday afternoon on ESPN platforms, in particular, was that Orr might have directed a racial slur, and possibly, maybe, could have, thrown in the N word, at Smart. This was fueled by an Oklahoma State broadcast crew reporting Smart told someone that he was called the N word. This would have been about third-hand information.
But Smart never said that Saturday night, and with the opportunity to do so Sunday via Twitter or even in the news conference, did not accuse Orr of that. Had he heard Orr say that, you have to think he would not have remained silent.