NY Jets: Geno Smith calls out ESPN over recent IK Enemkpali article

NY Jets (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Former NY Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith is upset over a recent ESPN article.

Former NY Jets‘ quarterback Geno Smith is not happy and he took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his anger in regards to a recent ESPN article that was published detailing the events of his infamous interaction with IK Enemkpali some five years ago.

Jets’ beat reporter Rich Cimini published the article on Tuesday where he talked to a number of former Jets players and team personnel to try and get to the bottom of what happened on the fateful Tuesday morning back in August of 2015.

The piece itself seemed well-done and fair to both parties involved. At least in my own personal opinion, it didn’t seem to paint either Smith or Enemkpali in a negative light.

And if anything, Enemkpali was condemned more than Smith was.

But that didn’t stop the former second-round pick to taking to Twitter and ranting about everything from the article to ESPN to Walt Disney (ESPN’s parent company). The results weren’t pretty.

Take a look.

This what y’all posting? This what really happened? Hell no. Negativity sells in this world and lies go further than the truth. The devilish acts perpetuated in the media will never get old. It’s a shame what these people do for a story! https://t.co/esGO5mzNPF

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

You rats will never be honorable.

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

We got the real story! We gonna tell it when we ready! We got bigger fish to fry right now and best believe I’m here for a real reason. Where I’m from things could’ve gone left after that incident very fast. I chose to take a different route. That’s what a man does.

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

I woke up to more money in my account and my baby smiling. I’m living a life only few can imagine. God been fighting my battles. These cowards will never win.

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

These media outlets instigate. They paint the picture of a successful black man in this negative light. It’s almost like there’s some sort of agenda. I haven’t played for the Jets in 4 years.

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

Let’s talk about ESPN being owned by Walt Disney who made a killing off putting toons in black face. Soliciting violence in all the cartoons.

— Geno (@GenoSmith3) August 11, 2020

Smith covers a lot of ground with those tweets ranging from issues with the media to racial concerns in sports to finally calling out Disney’s troublesome past.

Evidently, this is something that Smith wants to move on from and bury deep in his past. It should be noted that both Smith and Enemkpali were reached out to for the story but each declined to comment.

So it’s not as if Smith was blindsided by this piece being published.

Nonetheless, some of the quotes taken from the article are pretty interesting. Notably, former wide receiver Brandon Marshall was particularly sad for Smith who he had become a mentor of sorts to after working with him in the offseason.

“The season flashed before my eyes. I really felt bad for the kid, like tears in my eyes.

I was also pissed off to the point where I wanted to fight IK. I was like, “Holy s—, you just potentially put out our starting quarterback.” Like, who does that? Like, how the hell does this happen? [Laughs] You know I don’t always have [my wits about me], so for me, I was like, “I’m going to slap the s— out of this guy.” Then I walked up to him and I saw his eyes. He had this red in his eyes. I was like, “This is not the guy you want to mess with.”

Former Jets’ outside linebacker Trevor Reilly, who was in the locker adjacent to Smith’s when the incident occurred, detailed his relationship with Enemkpali and perhaps gave a little insight into Enemkpali’s mindset.

“IK was my roommate when we were rookies [in 2014], so we were pretty good friends. IK, he just grew up different. He once told me, “In college, if someone tried me, we’d go to fisticuffs.”

The infamous dispute was over a $600 payment that Smith repeatedly put off paying. It stemmed from a youth football camp that Enemkpali was running in which Smith agreed to attend.

Enemkpali opted to pay the $1,200 for travel and hotel feels, but when Smith never showed up he felt slighted. The two agreed to split the fee, but Smith continued to put off paying his portion.

Perhaps the most damning quote comes from Reilly who detailed what Smith supposedly said directly before the punch.

“We get to training camp and IK is asking him about it. That day, he asks him. I was sitting right there; my locker was next to Geno. Geno just kind of says, “Just chill, man, forget about it. What are you going to do if I don’t pay you?”

If true, that’s likely the most damaging quote about Smith in the entire story. And it’s a safe bet that that specific quote could have caused Smith’s angry Twitter rant.

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Either way, Smith is absolutely right about something. Five years have passed and it’s probably best for everyone involved and the entire NY Jets organization to put this behind them.