Wednesday’s episode of First Take featured a discussion between JJ Redick and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo regarding Draymond Green in the aftermath of a heated Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies. The discussion centered around how Green carried himself — Russo claimed that America is getting sick of Green and that he should “shut up and play,” while Redick pointed out the parallels between that and pundits who tell athletes to “shut up and dribble,” going as far as to say that Russo’s rhetoric about athletes is the sort of thing you hear on Fox News.
Redick received plenty of praise in the world of basketball for how clearly he spoke out against a worn-out and incorrect talking point. That continued on the most recent episode of Green’s podcast, as the Golden State Warriors star reacted to the conversation, excoriated Russo (who he repeatedly called “Bad Dog”), and spoke at length about the way that athletes are letting their voices be heard in the media.
“Yesterday, there’s a lot of news in the sports talk world, but in particular, JJ Redick sending the clown back to the circus,” Green said. “Number one, I’m not sure where this Bad Dog guy really came from, I really noticed him over the course of the last couple months going up and screaming to the top of his lungs when he’s sitting next to Stephen A. Yesterday, he went on TV and he says, ‘America is tired of Draymond Green.’”
Green then played the clip of Russo’s commentary and questioned how what he has done in his life to be able to speak for the nation by making these sorts of sweeping claims, and while he stressed that he’s “not one to really pull the race card very often,” Green made an exception in his response to this.
“That definitely had a very racist connotation,” Green said. “A very racist undertone, and even beyond it having a racist undertone, we don’t need to go any further than: who are you? Who are you to say, like, what have you done in your life to say America’s tired of him, shut up and play? Shut up and play?”
After mentioning that he reacted to this on his Instagram account, Green mentioned that the days of telling athletes to “shut up and play” are gone, won’t be coming back, and won’t be tolerated. He also told Russo to “thank the good lord” that Green didn’t take his job, as he was offered a spot on the First Take desk before he decided to sign his deal with Turner.
To close, Green riffed about the landscape of media and how it’s changing, saying that people like Russo “will no longer be allowed to put out these false narratives” and “not know what you’re talking about and we’re going to listen to you,” before praising the work Redick does as someone who has been an athlete at the highest level and isn’t “afraid to shut an idiot up.”
“When I say ‘sincerely yours, the new media,’ you will be held accountable, and you will have to know what you’re talking about in order to speak on these sports,” Green said. “You will have to know what you’re talking about in order to speak on this game of basketball. You know why? Because we’re doing it now.”