The story of the video of Ezekiel Elliott pulling a woman’s shirt down and exposing her chest at a St. Patrick’s Day Party has mostly died down in the past two days, as the Cowboys and NFL have not weighed in. But there is an iteration of it that was discussed yesterday on Pro Football Talk and today on First Take, which is how it compares to the video that made the rounds in 2015 of Gronk motorboating a woman at a club.
On First Take, host Molly Qerim asked Stephen A. Smith if a hypothetically-unmarried LeBron James would have received more backlash for motorboating a woman in a club than Gronk did, before pivoting to encompass a black superstar athlete. “If they were African-American, and that video surfaced in a club, it wouldn’t just be, ‘Oh, it’s LeBron being LeBron.'” (Dan Le Batard made this general point about Gronk after he was guzzling beers in the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade in 2015.)
Stephen A. didn’t believe that the Ezekiel Elliott and Gronk circumstances were analogous, because, whether you believe it was in good taste or not, the woman in motorboating video appeared to be fully consensual* with the act. In the Elliott video, Smith maintained that the woman, despite motioning to Elliott and her breasts beforehand, clearly recoiled.
Things got a bit contentious. Qerim responded that Stephen A. did not know for a fact that what Elliott did was not consensual. Stephen A. didn’t buy this argument and reiterated that “we have video where it shows clearly that the woman slapped his hand away, did not want that happening, but [you think] because we heard from his lawyer that they eventually went out together and everything was fine, that made this act okay.”
We’d advise watching the full video for context before making a judgment on the arguments or quotes.
*SAS alternated between “consult” and “consent,” but clearly meant the latter.