ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith weighed in on Ray Rice’s two-game suspension from the NFL for knowingly causing significant bodily injury to the mother of his child, and it didn’t go too well. Smith presented the following monologue on ESPN’s First Take (via Deadspin):
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.
If you read the above monologue and you got the impression that Smith is saying that victims of domestic violence are to blame, that’s because that’s what he said. Stephen A. Smith, a trained wordsmith, used the word “provocation” three times.
Fellow ESPN host Michelle Beadle called Smith out on Twitter:
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
Smith then responded in a long series of incoherent tweets that he has since deleted. You can still read them over at Deadspin.
On a sidenote, I love it when someone tweets something stupid, other people embed the tweet, and then the author of said stupid tweet deletes it from Twitter, somehow believing that the deletion from Twitter will somehow make it all go away. It doesn’t. Deleted tweets live on in embedded form. Because they look different than a normal embedded tweet, when you see one, you know the author realized what they tweeted was stupid and they wish it would just go away. Anytime I see is, I have to laugh.
Back to the issue of Ray Rice and Smith’s assertion of provocation. This is what happens when a prosecutor fails to do their job and vigorously prosecute those who commit violence on a women. Idiots like Stephen A. Smith look at that and take away that the woman somehow deserved it. My guess is that Smith is the type of man who doesn’t need a whole lot of help in coming to that conclusion.
Stephen A. Smith is an idiot and a misogynist. That’s a bad combination. A smart misogynist would know better than to spew his blame-the-victim opinions on ESPN.