ESPN’s resident hothead Stephen A. Smith has been suspended from ESPN’s First Take for a week, after making comments Friday about  women’s responsibility not to “provoke” domestic violence, while discussing the NFL’s two-game suspension of Ray Rice.

“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on ‘First Take’ or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz told media outlets in a statement.

ESPN did not term Smith’s time off a suspension, but regardless, he won’t be heard from over the next week.

Smith apologized on Monday for his comments and appeared normally on Tuesday morning before the announcement was made.

Here’s the thing, was SAS ‘suspended’ because of his comments or was SAS suspended because SportsNation host Michelle Beadle, a white woman, was the first to speak out about his comments?

There have been many times before were comments SAS made should have warranted a suspension, but no one even batted an eye about them.  SAS and his co-host, Bayless, are constantly pushing the envelope with their commentary.  So it should be no surprise that SAS “went there” with his comments.

Also, ESPN didn’t even use the word “suspended” in their statement and seems like they’re just trying to cover their asses so they won’t feel any more of the backlash.

Maybe Rice and Smith can sit down over a cold one and discuss why their actions and words are detrimental.  Although some people feel that Smith’s words were truth, in reality, the percentage of domestic violence victims who may have ‘provoked’ someone into hitting them, by hitting first, is actually quite low.

It may behoove Smith to attend a domestic abuse survivor group, just so he can hear the stories of those men and women who did nothing to provoke someone’s actions.

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  • Provocation is a word that is more commonly used. When I think about that word, I think about a recent twitter statement from Sister Goldie Taylor. I read her story about experiencing domestic violence. Her story was emotional, real, and inspiring. Her strength and courage to publicly show her story is truly an inspiration. There should be no mention of “but” after condemning domestic violence. Domestic violence is wrong period. Also, some people will abuse people randomly without any provocation. Provocation means different things for different people. Provocation is subjective based on personal interpretation. Domestic violence regularly occurs not because of provocation, but it occurs because a person voluntary choose to harm another human being. Even if someone is provoked, that doesn’t give someone the justification to use domestic violence. That doesn’t minimize the pain of the abused. That doesn’t ignore the evil of the abuser. That should never be used to manipulate the meaning of the crime. Injustice should be opposed. Provocation should cause a person to walk away or be wise not criminal. Personal responsibility comes into play. The same ones that lecture black people on personal responsibility try to minimize domestic violence or seek to complicate the immorality of abuse. People among both genders should never abuse each other.

    The fact is that abusers don’t need provocation. They just enact their evil crimes regardless.

  • temple

    Right. Provoking could mean anything from asking a question to throwing a chair. The phrase “she provoked me” or “she asked for it” are staples of domestic abusers.
    Another thing, people are making the Ray Rice incident about him being provoked, but there is no evidence of that in the video.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      They were both arrested for domestic battery. I think that’s a fair implication of assault on her behalf as well (not provocation).

    • temple

      I see. But that still doesn’t disprove Movie girl’s original comment that tbe word “provoke” is subjective, nor does it take away from the point that abusers often use the excuse of being provoked to rationalize their violent behavior.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    If we’re getting technical, we didn’t see him knock her out either. All we saw was the end result. The public has not seen any hitting at all.
    I’m not saying Ray didn’t take things too far. Let me make that clear. But to use someone’s overreaction as a means to ignore the equally wrong actions of another is not okay…even if you think his reaction was more wrong/happens more often, etc., that doesn’t change who threw the first lick/kick/smack, etc…and the fact that the first hit is what turns a argument/disagreement into violence. If Ray was in fact hit first as it’s been alleged, Jenay is also wrong, violent, abusive, etc. as well…and it would also make her the initiator.
    You don’t need a PhD to recognize that.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    I agree that the word provoke shouldn’t be used. The better word to use is assault. If the woman violently assualted the man first, say that…don’t say she provoked (which can be subjective) him. I def agree with that.

  • Jay

    I have never/will never hit a man nor will I even speak the words”I’m gonna hit
    your ass” to a man, It is unnecessary and abusive( and vice versa). BUT I will speak my mind and
    if he happens to be an abuser(God I hope not!) who gets “provoked” by me
    speaking my mind or not allowing him to have control over me then I will happily
    pull the trigger and “provoke” a bullet into his ass. I don’t give a