Sometimes you hear people say race is the most divisive subject matter in America. In some ways, I think it is hyperbole, but after reading the comments and firestorm over his shirt, I understand that belief more.
Analogies don't always work, and I mentioned a shirt about cancer before, but if Smith wore a shirt about addressing human trafficking, Blue lives matter, domestic violence against women, rape on college campuses, child abuse, world hunger, opioid addiction or a bible verse on his shirt, I honestly do not think the responses would have risen to almost 700 related comments in 2 days. That's how polarizing the subject of race can be.
Not to beat a dead horse, but my opinion of the shirt is the same it would be as if it said "Blue lives matter" or if a female basketball recruit came to a camp with a shirt that was anti female sexual assault or violence, for one reason, obviously football is more popular, but also because of the message.
I also don't think the issue or shirt is that much more political than the other subjects I mentioned. It isn't any more political than finding a cure for cancer, pain pill addiction, world hunger, or domestic violence. It only gets political if you get deeper into the subject matter, such as discussing government spending, how to prosecute criminals, prevention, etc.
Another analogy I could make is if a player came to a camp wearing a Conferderate flag or Nazi emblem on his shirt. 11W would probably do a story on that too if it generated enough buzz to do so, along with other news outlets such as SI or USAToday since OSU is so high profile. Despite the fact that a story like that would have the potential to get political comments also. News is news, and they shouldn't avoid OSU news.
I think 11W handled it the best way possible, it became hot button enough that it was probably time to post an articled about it, and it didn't seem to me they took sides.