I guess ESPN feels like his apology alone wouldn’t suffice.
After the controversial statements made last week by Stephen A. Smith regarding the Ray Rice suspension and a woman’s role in her own domestic abuse, ESPN has decided to suspend Stephen A. Smith for a week.
From ESPN PR: “ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week."
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 29, 2014
I for one am shocked that ESPN actually decided to suspend Smith, who is one of their most famous talents. I definitely feel like they did the right thing. Smith gets paid a lot of money to write and speak about the things these athletes do both on and off the field. It is his job to convey his message in a way that will not be misunderstood or misconstrued by anybody.
He failed to do that when speaking on Ray Rice which resulted in a lot of backlash. When speaking about intimate crimes like domestic violence or sexual assault you have to be VERY careful how you say things. Do I think Smith meant that women cause their own beatings? No. But I see why people would become outraged by his use of the word “provoke” and I believe that is why he deserves this one week suspension.
The timing of the suspension is troubling, because they promoted Smith’s apology on 1st Take and allowed him to do a full show as if the issue was over.
ESPN would have sent a strong message if the suspension was handed down immediately. Their inconsistencies in their punishment of employees is something that is well documented . For those who want to defend Smith, that is a strong leg to stand on.