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Stephen A. Smith Denies Implying Racism As Reason for Tom Brady Skipping White House Ceremony

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"Utterly ridiculous."

Those were the words outspoken television personality and radio host Stephen A. Smith used to describe the theory that he was implying that racism had anything to do with Tom Brady's absence at a White House ceremony honoring the Super Bowl champion Patriots last week.

"It’s utterly ridiculous," Smith said on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan Show" Monday, taking on charges that he might have injected race into the Brady discussion. "You’re going to have bloggers and folks in the media that react to bloggers and they try to use headlines to try to make a story. I never, ever, ever said, nor would I have called Tom Brady a racist. That’s ridiculous, OK. I don't know the man personally. I don't engage in such chatter in that regard.

"But more importantly than that, his reputation has been impeccable. He’s been class personified on every level. And it’s utterly ridiculous for people to go that route, but that’s the age that we’re living in. So be it. I’m a big boy, I can take it."

On Friday, Smith first went on ESPN's "First Take" and took a swipe at the Patriots star quarterback before piling on Brady Friday afternoon on his Sirius radio show.

"So Tom Brady couldn't attend, huh? So Tom Brady couldn't attend," Smith said on "First Take." "But was he there in 2001 when George W. Bush was president? Yes. Was he there in 2003 and 2004? I'm not sure about anything, I'm just simply presenting the question because I got a problem with the fact that the franchise quarterback... the face of New England Patriots, the future Hall of Famer and all of this other stuff. Tom Brady can't do anything wrong. He passes gas as perfume, OK. That's how untouchable Tom Brady is but when George W. Bush was president in 2001, 2003, 2004, Tom Brady was there. Tom Brady was there at the White House celebrating.

"But Barack Obama is president of the United States and Tom Brady's got family commitments. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm simply saying, how come you couldn't... it's the president. It's the president."

Smith didn't let up on the political theme when speaking on "The Stephen A. Smith Show" on Mad Dog Sports Radio Friday afternoon.

"Where the hell was Tom Brady?" Smith asked. “I mean, is he a Republican and don’t want anybody to know?... Why do I think like if George W. Bush or Bill Clinton… why do I feel like Tom Brady would have been there then? Is it just me?”

On Sunday, ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss reported that Brady was at Gillette Stadium while his teammates were being honored in Washington.

"For what it’s worth, I’m told Brady was present at the stadium for a stretch of time Thursday while many in the organization were at the White House," Reiss wrote in a blog entry.

Smith said in his "Dennis and Callahan Show" appearance that he doesn’t know if politics played a role in Brady's decision to take a pass on the White House invitation.

"What I am saying is, you are the President of the United States of America. You respect the office, and if the man requests you, you show up," Smith told D&C. "And if you don’t show up you either be straight up and honest and tell us, 'You know what? This is why I’m not coming.' Or, you show up. What you don’t do is sit up there and say, 'a family commitment.’ If it was a family emergency or something along that line, that would be different.

"I’m quite sure the owner, Mr. Robert Kraft, had commitments. I’m quite sure coach Bill Belichick, the de facto GM as well, had commitments. They showed up."

Smith was reminded that other star players such as Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch have skipped the White House invite in the past, but Smith said that those players are not in the same class as Tom Brady.

"I thought they should have gone," Smith acknowledged regarding Harrison and Lynch, but he made it clear that Brady should be held to a higher standard. "Tom Brady is Mr. Impeccable. Tom Brady is the one that cares about his image down to the T — the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he dresses, the way he carries himself, the quotes that he gives, how politically correct he has always been. James Harrison will never be accused of that. Marshawn Lynch will never be accused of that."

Smith was reminded that the high-profile Michael Jordan also was not in attendance for a White House ceremony after the Bulls won their first NBA championship in 1991.

"I would have gotten on Michael Jordan too if I was hosting my own radio show at the time," Smith said. "I was just about to graduate from college when Michael Jordan decided not to go to the White House."

The point Smith wanted to make clear is that he feels Brady should provide more details as to his whereabouts on Thursday.

"'Family commitments' seems a bit vague to me when this is something that obviously was planned in advance and you have everyone else who shows up there, including two guys who are no longer members of the Patriots -- Darrelle Revis and Stevan Ridley -- not to mention we're talking about Tom Brady here," Smith said. "We're talking about the dude with the supermodel wife, the Tom Ford blazers, always, always sharp. He's a four-time Super Bowl champion and one of the greatest ever. And more importantly, recognized widely as one of the greatest people who is about doing things the right way at all times."

For now, Brady continues to remain silent on the matter with his only known sightings in New York City over the weekend: at an Apple Store on Friday, and reportedly taking family photos on Sunday.

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