You may remember Stephen A Smith’s thoughts on domestic violence and Ray Rice a few days ago. While he’s already issued an explanation on Twitter, he took to “First Take” yesterday to issue yet another explanation/apology.
“On Friday, speaking right here on “First Take” on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career,” Smith said in the taped segment that began the program on Monday morning. “While elaborating on thoughts concerning the NFL’s ruling versus Ray Rice following a domestic dispute with his then-fiancee, I ventured beyond the scope of our discussion by alluding to a woman’s role in such heinous matters, going so far as to use the word “provoke” in my diatribe. My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I’m trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious. To apologize to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter it’s proper justice, to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”
For his misuse of words and failure to articulate, ESPN has suspended Smith from “First Take” and from ESPN Radio until next Wednesday.
As I said before, although I understood where Smith was going, his path to getting there was ALL wrong and thus, it definitely came off as blaming a victim. While there are indeed some instances where women cross the line, this is not the case for all or even MOST domestic violence cases. Spending 2 seconds telling men it’s unacceptable to hit women and 5 minutes telling women not to “provoke”, is the equivalent (to me) as saying “No shade but….” then following with shade. The 2 seconds you took were nothing but a quick CYA disclaimer before saying how you really feel. Far too many women are getting beat on and already thinking it’s there fault without ever having to have lifted a finger towards a man. He should have considered staying off the topic.
As far as ESPN’s thoughts on his comments, they issued a statement saying We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view.” The network continued, “As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”
Watch Smith’s apology below: