Fox Sports pundit Chris Broussard is public enemy number one in Toronto — and all of Canada, for that matter — after comments he made in a recent episode of First Things First.
“It’s not America!” Broussard exclaimed. “And you feel it! Especially as an African-American.”
While discussing the possibility of Nets star Kevin Durant landing north of the border, Broussard, 53, went on a diatribe explaining how Toronto is a foreign experience for African-Americans. This is Broussard’s reasoning as to why Durant, who recently requested a trade out of Brooklyn, would not want to play for the Raptors.
“I don’t think KD will want to go to Toronto,” Broussard said on FS1. “I’ve visited there many times, covering the league. Great city, but it’s not America. And you feel it when you’re there, I’m telling you, especially as an African American.
“It’s a different situation than African Americans are used to being in. I’ve talked to people in that organization pre (GM Masai) Ujiri about, can they keep African-American superstars there?”
Ex-Raptors Weigh In on Broussard’s Remarks
Former Raptors Terence Davis Jr. and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson repudiated Broussard’s comments. Davis, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings, told Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz that playing for Toronto was “all love,” and that he had “never experienced anything like it,” alluding to the fact that the Raptors have a whole nation supporting them.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was blunter with his response. The 27-year-old said that the longtime analyst was “tripping,” and that “Canadians love you like you grew up there.”
Fans and Pundits Alike React
Broussard’s invidious pontificating drew a cascade of polemic responses from people across the sports community, specifically Canadians. Many of them point out how Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world.
Broussard has since clarified his comments, stating that Black people are not treated worse in Toronto. He also highlighted that the city is “just 8% Black.”
However, the 53-year-old’s explanation fell on deaf ears. Instead of mollifying his detractors, people were quick to point out that Phoenix, the odds-on favorite to land Durant and the former MVP’s reported preferred destination, has a smaller Black demographic than Toronto. San Francisco, the team Durant won two titles with, also has a smaller Black population.
The Raptors currently have the third-best odds to have Durant on their roster come the start of next season.
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