That escalated quickly. Seemingly out of nowhere, Raiders QB Derek Carr tweetd at UFC and Dana White about fighting a couple TV personalities. Something seemingly quite out of character for the usual “Golly gee, you know me” quarterback.
@ufc @danawhite hey how do I challenge a couple of these clowns on tv to a fight? I think we should start a business together. Where pro athletes can challenge some of these people to an octagon fight until they give us an answer.... You don’t know me... stop lying.— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) January 23, 2019
So, what happened to make Carr go off the rails in fury and talking about wanting to fight TV personalities with whom he claims he pays no mind?
This is what happened: Jon Gruden was asked at the Senior Bowl whether he thinks Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray’s height is an issue to which Gruden had this to say:
“I used to think that a lot until I saw Drew Brees twice a year in Tampa. And then I met Russell Wilson coming out of NC State. And now I’m watching this kid Murray at Oklahoma and I am putting away all the prototypes that I once had. I used to have a prototype for hand size, height, arm length, all that stuff. We’re looking for guys that can play and do a lot of different things and they come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.”
Seemed like a pretty generic response that was simply praising fine play by shorter quarterbacks, much like Gruden was known for doing (and often criticized for) during his years on his QB camp show. But Max Kellerman chose to read into that as saying Gruden was going to move on from Carr, in part because Carr “didn’t want it.”
That’s what prompted Derek Carr’s response. He wasn’t done though.
Carr went on to say that Kellerman and co-host Stephen A Smith are just mad because he blocked them on twitter “for talking trash about our team,” adding that he “Would love to actually sit and break down film with these two on tv just to show their viewers how incompetent (lacking qualification) they are about our game.”
Stephen A Smith responded accepting Carr’s challenge. The one about coming on the show, not the one about the fight in the octagon.
Hey @derekcarrqb.....I heard you had a few things to say. Consider this a personal invitation. You are more than welcome to come on @FirstTake or sit down with me for a 1-on-1. I’m here, Bro! Nobody hiding.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 24, 2019
They say any publicity is good publicity. I’m sure the First Take guys are loving the publicity they are getting from being able to get under Derek Carr’s skin. And I’m sure a lot of Raiders fans love Carr’s response.
I don’t think it’s a good look for Derek. He is supposed to be above this kind of nonsense. Getting so mad you make several threatening tweets at TV hot take artists only makes people wonder if they struck a nerve. But at least it’s the offseason. Let’s just hope we’re not still talking about this in August.