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.