Stephen A Smith

It looks like old habits die hard even when your job is at risk. Stephen A. Smith, host of ESPN2’s First Take was suspended for a week back in July for implying that women have a tendency to “provoke” domestic violence. The comment was made during a discussion about the Ray Rice scandal. As expected he didn’t receive favorable reviews, which ultimately led to his suspension.

But apparently Smith is still sticking to his words and believes that he was unfairly penalized. The Independent Florida Alligator reports that on Wednesday, at a speaking engagement at the University of Florida, Smith, spoke at a forum and defended his stance during a Q&A session. He acknowledged that his choice of words probably needed to be edited. Emphasizing the fact that striking a woman is never justified. – “Under no circumstances should you put your hands on a woman”.

So far so good, but then he detoured into forbidden territory yet again, when he insisted that despite the way his comments were internalized, his message remains the same. Before his suspension, Smith used Twitter as his platform to rant about the idea that “provocation” is still an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Based on his theory women end up paying the price for their actions whether it’s warranted or not.

Of course this does very little to repair his reputation or help improve the issue of domestic violence but Smith is on a mission to expose women as equal culprits and support men who are forced to atone for their actions. He famously vocalized his support for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was ousted for condoning a player’s obvious discretions.

The worst part is that Smith gets paid to spew his brand of ill-conceived notions; Deadspin confirmed that he received about $26,500 for his appearance at the University.


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  • J4L4N

    Good. His views don’t need to change in my opinion. He never said it was right to hit. He said NO ONE should hit because people are people and you can only hit someone so many times or in a certain place that will automatically get a reaction. That’s human nature. If a woman spits in a man’s face and he slaps/punches her I’m not mad at him. Of course he “could just walk away” and she could not spit on him. I mean it’s like some people expect men to not be human and no matter what the situation to react in the perfect way. If that’s the expectation then fine but women should be held to the EXACT SAME standard. Everyone needs to keep their hands/objects/fluids to themselves and watch what you say. Everyone could use some anger management and conflict resolution classes.

    • Objection

      I have to respectfully disagree. I agree that men and women can lose their temper. But the problem is most men are generally stronger than women. For example, assume Ray did nothing to his wife. His wife is just a mean woman (assuming). She’s upset with Ray, and she spits in his face. Ray punches her in the head. She falls to the floor. She develops an Acute Subdural Hematomas (ASH). ASH can cause death. The out come from ASH could be very bad.

      Ray Rice is a very strong man. Great responsibility comes along with strength. Patience has to equal a man’s strength. For every pound of muscle a man adds in the gym, he needs to add a pound of patience. The stronger you are, the greater the patience you’ll need. Martial arts teaches the student patience along with fighting. Martial arts teaches that consequences comes along with actions. Patience needs to be added to every man’s workout.

    • By your logic if a woman who lifts weights is hit by a small much weaker woman she has no right to defend herself because according to you “Great responsibility comes along with strength”. But all together, you’re just making excuses for men not to hit women, but you don’t have issue with women hitting men. But rest assured if a woman hits me I’m going to knock her into next week.

    • Objection

      “Great responsibility comes along with strength.”

      Common sense should have told you this applies to all people. I said men are “generally” stronger than women. I was generally speaking. Let’s try this again.

      Ronda Rousey is 5′ 6″ and a black belt in martial arts. Prince is 5′ 2″. They are dating. They get into an argument. Prince spits in her face. Ronda punches Prince on the side of his head. Prince develops a ASH. My logic still applies. “Great responsibility comes along with strength.”

      “But rest assured if a woman hits me I’m going to knock her into next week.”

      I have no doubt you would do this. I don’t expect much from people with the words “Bang” or “lil” as part of their user name.

    • I don’t care what you expect from me or anyone else. You spoke in generalities because you don’t want to hold women accountable for their behavior.

    • Objection

      You don’t care what I expect from people, but you responded to my comment. I’m a man, but I’m bias against men. Right!

    • You’re a woman posing as a man.

    • Objection

      LOL. You really don’t have a problem with my comment. You don’t like my comment because you thought I was a woman. Believe it or not, I’m a man. I would rather be in the bed with my wife on a Saturday morning. But my son gets up with the chickens. Thanks for the laughs Bang.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      Nah, I’ve read enough of his posts to know that Objection really is a man.

    • J4L4N

      Exactly. So according to this person whoever is stronger has to have patience and self control but if you are the weaker you can do whatever. That’s apart of the problem. Everyone should have the same standards and for so many women to feel that the burden is on the man is so hypocritical because women are usually the ones who complain the most about equality and being treated fairly. Can’t have it both ways.

    • Objection

      First, I never suggested the weaker person can do whatever. The stronger person would have the ability to subdue the weaker person. Secondly, the weaker person could be charge with assault; therefore, there is no violation of equality under the law. Lastly, you and I both know your argument is for the birds. Professional boxing and mix martial arts separate fighters by weight class. Why? Because the heavyweights would kill the lightweight.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      But Objection didn’t even bring the subject of women hitting men, let alone condone it.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      Looks like you’re going to be dealing with some DV apologists, now.

    • Objection

      The provocation defense is just scary. One guy argued in court he only stabbed his wife seven times because she refused to give him the remote control. In 13 years, I have never heard a good provocation defense.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      That’s chilling, would it be silly to ask if she survived?. Are you a lawyer?

      By the by, I’m definitely not a woman who thinks that women who abuse men are above reproach. I thought it was horrible when Solange took whatever was burdening her in that dispute and reacted with violence towards Jay-Z. I know that even some guys laughed because she’s a slip of a girl who was no physical match for Jay-Z in the midst of that true blue ‘hold me back’ moment. But the honest truth is that, while women don’t have to right to abuse men and we might not be supportive enough of men who are abused because it’s seen as shameful and weak to have a woman prey upon a partner in that way, BUT, men do abuse women at a far greater rate than the reverse and they do so with a significant size and strength difference in their favour.

      Is it something of a double standard? I guess, but that doesn’t make it invalid.

    • Afropunk

      His comments absolutely do need to change. Women do not have a “tendency” to PROVOKE domestic abuse. That is directly implying that in the MAJORITY of domestic violence situations, the woman is intentionally provoking the assault or the man’s behavior with some kind of physical behavior. That is about as realistic a view as saying that black people have a “tendency” to provoke police brutality. Would you agree with that statement, J4L4N?

    • tigerthelion

      actually, there are enough studies out there that supports this claim. google a study titled ”

      Differences in Frequency of Violence and
      Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal
      Intimate Partner Violence”
      their conclusion: [Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women , but not men . Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury than were women , and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal intimate partner violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

      we can’t begin to properly address domestic violence issue if we make excuses for women to hit men but not okay for men to hit women. i believe it’s unacceptable for grown adults to use violence to resolve their difference. if you’re the weaker party, that’s all the reason not to initiate violence but that’s not what we see. we only seems to talk about it when someone shows up in the hospital or worse.

    • Afropunk

      “enough studies” =/= ONE study that looked at relationships between people 18-28 years old. One ten-year age group. You extrapolate that to people 18-80 years and older and come back to me with that “women were perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.”

      I was in a relationship with a domestically abusive individual. I am a female and he is male. I was 23 and he was 36 at the time. He is a classic narcissist and tried to brainwash and control me. He DID TRY TO PROVOKE ME into attacking him, and I always refrained because 1) I am not a violent person by nature and 2) he was MUCH taller and stronger than I was. I would have to be a moron to attack him in any way. He would be physically imposing in ways that were technically not “beating” or “hitting,” but physical nonetheless – blocking my exits, or physically restraining me from leaving. I have a REALLY hard time believing most intimate partner violence is reciprocal. The type of person who likes to be violent in that way wouldn’t want someone to injure them back. Like I said, my ex was 36 and considered himself “old fashioned.” But we wouldn’t have been considered for that study because, you know… he’s 36. In fact, a LOT – or MOST – “traditionally minded” individuals would’ve been excluded from that study. The kind who think women should just be seen and not heard. Funny, that.

      There are certainly personality types that thrive and feed on drama. These are the kinds of relationships that I think comprise these “reciprocally abusive” relationships. I’ll never argue either party should hit the other, but I’m also not going to sit here and believe that women are physically provoking and attacking their partners a MAJORITY OF THE TIME. I mean for fucks’ sake, just look at the stats of women who are KILLED by their partners. Pushed off cliffs, beaten to death… this situation is NOT the way people are trying to spin it! Our society at large condones violence against women with rape culture, victim-blaming, and all that other b.s. This mindset CLEARLY crosses over into interpersonal relationships and there are enough coffins to prove it.

      This whole false equivalency b.s. just further works to minimize the proven disparate impact intimate partner violence has on women so we can continue not having to address it in any meaningful manner, with the added bonus of engaging in the same victim-blaming behavior our society already approves against women.

      And you know what, it should go without saying but for fucks’ sake PLEASE think of the example Stephen Smith was referring to. A women beaten senselessly ON CAMERA WITH NO PHYSICAL PROVOCATION WHATSOEVER.

      Ugh. I give up.

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      Don’t give up, that was an amazing post!

    • Afropunk

      Thank yo Jo!

    • tigerthelion

      Steve Smith wasn’t talking about Ray Rice and Janay’s case but domestic violence in general. No one is denying that men commit senseless violence towards their spouse but what is being left out of the discussion and what Steve Smith said, and what i responded to was regarding the fact that women also do initiate violence. you can reject the study because your anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise, but this is a trend that can’t be ignored. if we want to address issue of domestic violence we must change the discussion from “it’s never ok for a man to hit a women” to “it’s never okay to hit anybody”. i sighted one study but it doesn’t mean that’s the only source out there. eg. mothers are twice as likely to be involved in the abuse of their children than the father but that’s not the story you’ll see being told. there are plenty of studies that supports this claim so just because i didn’t cite doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. we must change the discussion from women are victim and men are perpetrators and recognize all victims children/women/men equally.

    • Afropunk

      Come on now, you are splitting semantic hairs. This was during a discussion about that SPECIFIC case. You have a speciifc axe to grind clearly so I’m not going to engage further with you. Even if he wasn’t specifically stating that SHE did this, why bring it up at all then? That’s like discussing a rape case where a woman is abducted off the streets and raped, and during a “round table discussion” some guy wants to talk about how women dress that “provokes” their assualt. Both are just diversions from the REAL issue at hand, which is UNPROVOKED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

      If you want to believe that women are equally to blame for this, or commit it just as often, then there’s really nothing else to discuss.

    • tigerthelion

      a victim of any crime is never to be blamed for that crime. we’re discussing domestic violence and it’s being told as something men do to women and the evidence suggest otherwise: both men and women can be abusers and victims. we can go around in circles but until we begin to tell the whole story and recognize that domestic violence is not ok, no matter how little or who is doing it.

    • joe

      I remember the post about the elevator incident involving Jay-Z and Solange. There were quite a few women on this site laughing at how Solange slapped him in the face, kicked and spat on him. Had Jay knocked her out the moment she spat on him, these same women would have called him a cowardly thug who deserves to be locked up for lfe. He showed enormous restraint so they said he must have been afraid of her. SMH.

  • More power to you Stephen A Smith, keep up the honest good work so they my eventually see the light.

    • princessdi81


    • “so that y’all may some day see the light” some day light might click on in y’all head and instead of shouting good and well intended people down we can have a honest and fair discussion for the betterment of all and perhaps put a end to domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assaults etc., THAT’S WHAT!

    • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

      Don’t bother, it’s Chinatown.