This is starting to get messy now. If you thought Steve Smith’s comment about the Panthers mowing his law was bad…it has nothing on this.
The disgruntled former Carolina receiver called into Charlotte sports radio station WFNZ and went off to refute Ian Rapoport’s report that he asked to be traded after the Panthers asked him to take a pay cut.
In addition to saying the team stabbed him in the back, Smith also laughed at the notion that he was a distraction to the team, saying he wasn’t the one who beat his wife.
“Every time I keep reading stuff and reports come out, I just think I was stabbed in the back,” Smith said. “Just like coach Rivera said he wasn’t a sore loser, but yet he never even spoke to me through the whole ordeal. Not one time. He didn’t look at me man-to-man and said this was going down. He said he’s a players’ coach but he never came in and said, ‘Hey Smitty, this is going on. Wanted to give you a heads up.’ He hid in his office.
“Then you come at the end of the game and I play decent and then you come and shake my hand and say, ‘Congratulations. I hope the family’s well. Good luck.’ But we were supposed to be boys and respected me. You would have done it from the jump. You don’t do it at the end. And then you tell the media. Why? So you can look a certain way.”
“I’ve always been a distraction? But I didn’t hit my wife. Yeah I hit some teammates six or seven years ago but I didn’t beat my wife. I didn’t get arrested for DUIs. I didn’t fall off no motorcycles. … All I did was charity work in Charlotte. I made mistakes. But building this big ol’ crutch about it like as if I pushed their hand?
You can check out the full interview here.
I have to admit, Smith has a legitimate gripe with the way the Panthers handled his release. It was tacky and after 13 years he deserved better. But you’re on a new team, you proved you’re still a threat on the field against the team that wronged you. Now it’s time to grow up and move on.