By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Stephen A. Smith made some controversial comments on Friday regarding the Ray Rice suspension. ESPN’s First Take is known for Smith and Skip Bayless’ sometimes harsh opinions, but what Smith said regarding domestic violence might have crossed the line.
Rice received a two game suspension from the NFL for an apparent assault on his then girlfriend in an Atlantic City elevator. The short suspension has left some feeling like the NFL was too lenient on the Baltimore running back considering the length of suspensions for other offenses.
Smith and Bayless both seemed to share that opinion, but Smith then added some more of his opinion on domestic violence as a whole.
“We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that,” Smith said. He went on to add that as a man who was raised by women, he would not be able to keep his cool if he ever faced someone who put their hands on a member of his family.
However, Smith then went into a rant that insinuated that women in situations of domestic abuse should take preventative steps to try to keep the abuse from happening.
“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.”
WATCH: Stephen A Smith’s Comment on domestic violence:
One of Smith’s ESPN colleagues, Michelle Beadle, was appalled by his remarks and made her opinion clear on Twitter.
One of the perils of doing a live show like First Take is that you often time get into tangents that you can’t back track on. It sounded like Smith went down a path and somewhat lost control of where he was going with his point.
Smith did issue and apology for his remarks.
“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.”
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