ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said Ron DeSantis has “lost his mind” after Florida’s governor signed legislation to ban diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) programs at Florida universities.
Smith acknowledged that he was not “enthusiastic about the subject”, but took aim at the Florida governor nonetheless.
The ESPN host began his rant with an insult that turned into a somewhat backhanded compliment.
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“And in the case of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — at this pace, he could go down as one of the stupidest people I’ve ever seen,” Smith said on his podcast earlier this week. “And we know he’s not stupid. We know how smart he is.
“If you are DeSantis, it is bad enough that you have alienated the Latino community. It is bad enough that you have alienated millions of women, because I assure you, even if you have There is an abundance of women against abortion, most would like the right to make choices for themselves as opposed to male politicians dictating those choices for them. Now, we come to this latest material, and this is where it boils down for me. Goes home, ’cause I’m a black man, and we’re talking about the NAACP.
“Respect to Governor, Ron DeSantis, who has clearly offended Latinos, Blacks, women – have you lost your mind or do you just want to throw the election? Is that what you’re trying to do?”
DeSantis signed SB 266 into law on the campus of the New College of Florida, an institution to which he has made drastic changes this year. SB 266 prohibits any public university from using state funding to pay for DEI programs, and it also gives university presidents more authority over hiring practices.
It’s Bill DeSantis’ latest offensive against what he calls a “waking up” effect on education. Recent years have also seen them pass legislation that gives parents more rights over their children’s education in elementary, middle and high school.
In addition to the funding ban, DeSantis signed a bill to ban public universities from requiring them to provide “diversity statements” to recruit or hire students and faculty. Such statements are usually meant to demonstrate how an applicant’s experiences will help make a campus more diverse and inclusive.
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DeSantis officially announced his bid to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election earlier this week.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.