July 28, 2014

Stephen A. Smith Clears Up Statements on Domestic Violence and Apologizes

Stephen A. Smith, Ray Rice, and ESPN host Michelle Beadle
Stephen A. Smith offered the following taped apology on ESPN's First Take regarding statements he made concerning domestic violence in light of the suspension of NFL running back Ray Rice.

This is part of what he said, “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 a taped segment at the top of the show in which he suggested that women provoke men into domestic violence.

“My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault,” he said. “This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders.”





Below is our original post and how the situation has gotten to this point:

Oh boy! He dug himself a hole that maybe he can't get out of... Stephen A. Smith found himself in a bit of hot water today following his comments on ESPN's 'First Take' and a series of tweets on Twitter. The issue was the NFL's two game suspension handed down to Baltimore Raven's running back Ray Rice. A video surfaced earlier this year showing Rice dragging his then-fiance now wife out of an elevator unconscious.

Smith found it necessary to go to the social media website TwitLonger because quite frankly, Twitter's 140 characters simply weren't long enough. People in the Twitterverse are questioning whether Smith should keep his job following his statement on First Take. See [VIDEO] below. Will all of this blow over by the weekend? Probably not. Expect an apology on Monday's show.


[Transcript] of Smith's diatribe on First Take at the bottom of the page:
Meanwhile Skip Bayless shakes his head during Stephen A.'s entire rant.


Smith tweeted and then deleted the following after his appearance on First Take: "In no way was I accusing a women of being wrong. I was simply saying that preventive measures always need to be addressed because there's only but so much that can be done after the fact....once the damage is already done. Nothing more. My apologies to Michelle Beadle" (Beadle hosts SportsNation on ESPN.)





Here is Smith's longer tweet:


My series of tweets a short time ago is not an adequate way to capture my thoughts so I am using a single tweet via Twitlonger to more appropriately and effectively clarify my remarks from earlier today about the Ray Rice situation. I completely recognize the sensitivity of the issues and the confusion and disgust that my comments caused. First off, as I said earlier and I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever. I understand why that important point was lost in my other comments, which did not come out as I intended. I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn’t trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life. I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.





Beadle also received hate for her statements:




Transcript:

It's not about him, then. It's about you, and here's what I mean by that. We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don't know how many times I got to reiterate that. But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I'm going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I'm going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I'm going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I'm going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I'm going to be tempted to do. But what I've tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I've done this all my life, let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it's law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let's try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn't happen. Now you got some dudes that are just horrible and they're going to do it anyway, and there's never an excuse to put your hands on a woman. But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn't do, 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. We know they're wrong. We know they're criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice's case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying. No point of blame.

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