ESPN’s resident hothead Stephen A. Smith has been suspended from ESPN’s First Take for a week, after making comments Friday about women’s responsibility not to “provoke” domestic violence, while discussing the NFL’s two-game suspension of Ray Rice.
“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on ‘First Take’ or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz told media outlets in a statement.
ESPN did not term Smith’s time off a suspension, but regardless, he won’t be heard from over the next week.
Smith apologized on Monday for his comments and appeared normally on Tuesday morning before the announcement was made.
Here’s the thing, was SAS ‘suspended’ because of his comments or was SAS suspended because SportsNation host Michelle Beadle, a white woman, was the first to speak out about his comments?
So I was just forced to watch this morning’s First Take. A) I’ll never feel clean again B) I’m now aware that I can provoke my own beating.
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 25, 2014
There have been many times before were comments SAS made should have warranted a suspension, but no one even batted an eye about them. SAS and his co-host, Bayless, are constantly pushing the envelope with their commentary. So it should be no surprise that SAS “went there” with his comments.
Also, ESPN didn’t even use the word “suspended” in their statement and seems like they’re just trying to cover their asses so they won’t feel any more of the backlash.
Maybe Rice and Smith can sit down over a cold one and discuss why their actions and words are detrimental. Although some people feel that Smith’s words were truth, in reality, the percentage of domestic violence victims who may have ‘provoked’ someone into hitting them, by hitting first, is actually quite low.
It may behoove Smith to attend a domestic abuse survivor group, just so he can hear the stories of those men and women who did nothing to provoke someone’s actions.