ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his rather egregious comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
Smith made the comment during a discussion on ESPN2's "First Take" last Friday about the NFL's two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice following charges he assaulted his now wife in infamous elevator footage that went viral. The remarks attracted widespread attention, including a stinging criticism online from a fellow ESPN personality.
Smith issued an on-air apology Monday, saying it was the most egregious mistake of his career.
A day later, ESPN took action. The network's chief executive, John Skipper, told ESPN's staff in a memo that a decision was made after a "thoughtful discussion" about appropriate actions with men and women in his company.
"I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we've collectively experienced," Skipper said.
Smith will not appear on "First Take" or ESPN radio until Aug. 6, the network said.
During the Rice discussion, Smith alluded to women in abuse cases when he said, "Let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong action ... we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Shortly after Smith's remarks, colleague Michelle Beadle responded on Twitter that "I was just forced to watch this morning's First Take, and in a rather dramatic declaration Beadle said, "I'll never feel clean again. I'm not aware that I can provoke my own beating."
Beadle, host of ESPN2's "SportsNation," continued with a series of tweets. She said that "Violence isn't the victim's issue. It's the abuser's. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting."
Smith, during his apology, said it wasn't his intention to say that women could be responsible for their own abuse. "It was not what I was trying to say," he said. "Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulder."
Smith didn't explain the point that he was trying to make.
ESPN frowns upon its personalities attacking each other on social media or other forums. But it did not announce any punishment for Beadle.
I have a son, two daughters, and five nephews. I tell my son and my nephews to never hit a woman under any circumstances, and I tell my daughter not to ever push a man too far. Each and everyone of us has a limit, and it is impossible to ascertain what might happen once we reach it. I have seen the most docile women, and some of the most patient men pushed to the brink of insanity. As human being's we all deserve a modicum of respect. But respect is taught through lesson's learned one household at a time. With that being said, keep in mind ladies, not every parent teaches their son not to hit a woman under any circumstances. Men take note, a man takes control of his circumstances, but he does not let his circumstances control him. Violence is not taking control it is being controled.