All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

Stephen A. Smith Suspended For One Week Over Ray Rice Comments

July 29th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Apparently, ESPN is taking a stronger stance against domestic violence than the NFL. Last week Stephen A. Smith made some pretty flagrant comments about women provoking domestic violence. After defending the comments for a while not only on his show “First Take” but also on Twitter, Smith finally felt the strong arm of the network and eventually apologized. First on Twitter and then on air.

Initially, the network said that they found his apology to be sufficient:

“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”

But they released this updated statement today:

“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.”

I know many of you, our readers, and even some of the MN editors don’t think Smith’s comments were that offensive. That women shouldn’t put their hands on men. I certainly agree with that sentiment. No one should attack anyone else, ever but especially in the context of a relationship. I agree with Smith on that end.

But personally, I think the suspension is warranted. Given Smith’s comments about T.I. and Tiny and their drama and now this one about Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, it’s clear that his sensitivity to women’s issues is a bit off. And I don’t think it’s such a bad idea that he sit on the bench for a minute and think about the gravity of his words. I don’t believe they have a place in this particular discussion. Not only is the notion that Palmer hit Rice all speculation–because there’s no footage of her hitting him– it sends the very dangerous message that a man can somehow be justly provoked to knock a woman unconscious and drag her body around like a piece of trash.

Melyssa Ford Acknowledges The Role She Played In Being Punched In The Face By A Man

July 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

The NFL’s decision to let Ray Rice off the hook with a two-game suspension following a physical altercation involving him and his wife, Janay Palmer, has forced the issue of domestic violence back to the forefront of many conversations. Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith also partook in that conversation and urged women to consider the roles that they can play in escalating violent situations with men. Of course, his words attracted quite a bit of backlash. He later apologized for his comments. Interestingly, a video of reality star and model Melyssa Ford recently surfaced on the web in which she reflects on a time where she was punched in the face by a man. She also expressed that she accepts the role that she played in escalating the situation.

“While I was shaking my hand in his face, I smashed him in the face with the CD Walkman,” she told Charlamagne and Andrew Schulz during a podcast episode of The Brilliant Idiots. “He didn’t even blink and punched me right in my face. Lip exploded. It was like *gasp*. Then I wilded out some more and he was like, ‘Oh my God! I gotta get her out of here,’ because we’re in the car in the street.[...] I’m sure there’s a whole lot going through his head.”

Melyssa went on to say that the man felt terrible about hitting her—even though she hit him first.

“We got back to the house, it’s kind of like a blur but all I know is for the next like, day, every time he looked at my face he burst into tears. He was devastated he had reacted that way because he’s not that kind of guy. I just think that there’s some guys who have problems with beating women. They just do. Then there’s circumstances where he was a human being who was backed into a corner and he reacted without even thinking.”

The “Blood, Sweat And Heels” star added that her companion was not the kind of guy who resorts to violence, and that he simply snapped when she hit him. She also credited the situation with teaching her not to put her hands on men.

“He is not the kind of man that would solve conflict with…or even women. That’s not how we would solve conflict by fighting. If it comes down to it, yeah. He’s going to defend himself. To a certain extent, this was a defense mechanism. It was a mechanism and my behavior activated it. It took me a while to learn to stop putting my hands on men.”

Check out a clip from her interview on the next page. Thoughts?

Janay Palmer Allegedly Asked NFL To Go Easy On Ray Rice, Hence The Light Suspension

July 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: AP

Source: AP

Last week, we told you about the National Football League’s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice for two games behind the Valentine’s Day domestic violence incident involving his wife, Janay Palmer Rice. Naturally, people (including us) were pretty outraged by the little slap-on-the-wrist penalty issued to Ray, despite the troubled athlete being caught on video dragging an unconscious Janay out of a hotel elevator on the night of the incident.

The athletic league, however, is standing by their decision. The league’s Senior Vice President of Labor Policy, Adolpho Birch, called in to ESPN radio yesterday morning and he pretty much defended the two-game suspension.

“Listen, I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that,” he warned.

Adolpho went on to reason that Ray’s suspension sends a solid message that the NFL does not condone violence.

“So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline, we can talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.”

He continued:

“But if it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.”

“The discipline that was taken by the NFL is the only discipline that occurred, with respect to Mr. Rice, in this case. I think that, were he not an NFL player, I don’t know that he would be able to receive any punishment from any other source.”

Finally, Adolpho stated that after reviewing the facts, it was concluded that a two-game suspension was appropriate.

“On balance, we reviewed all the materials, listened to the persons we listened to, took the input of the Players Association. When we looked on balance at all of that, we believe that discipline we issued is appropriate. It is multiple games and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think that’s fair to say that doesn’t reflect that you condone the behavior. I think we can put that to rest.”

Interestingly, recent reports allege that Janay actually pleaded with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to go easy on her husband. At least that’s what a source told MMQB‘s Peter King. According to the source, Janay pleaded with Roger at a June 16th hearing in New York, stating that the elevator incident was a one-time occurrence and that it was the first and only time there was a physical altercation in their relationship.

Listen to Adolpho’s explanation on the next page.

“I Know I’m Going To Catch A Lot Of Hell, But I Don’t Care”: Whoopi Defends Stephen A. Smith, Says Women Shouldn’t Lay A Hand On Men

July 29th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
WENN

WENN

We told you yesterday that Stephen A. Smith caught some hell late last week for saying that women shouldn’t provoke the domestic violence they receive when speaking about Ray Rice and his infamous violent fight with then-fiancée, Janay Palmer. While his statement wasn’t received well, Smith says that he does stand by his point, but could have expressed it in a more articulate manner.

“On Friday, speaking right here on ‘First Take’ on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career…My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious, to apologize, to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter its proper justice to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”

But one public figure who is coming to Smith’s defense is Whoopi Goldberg. On yesterday’s episode of The View, Goldberg said that in general, no one should put their hands on anyone else, but if you make the choice to, don’t be surprised in this day and age if you are hit back.

“The comment that he made is based on what the young lady said she did. Let me just make that clear to ya’ll. She said, ‘I hit him,’ and I believe that’s what Stephen was pointing out.

I’m sorry, if you hit somebody, you can not be sure that you’re not going to get hit back. If you’re a little boy and you grow up with a little sister and your mother says no, you can never hit her, and she’s hitting you all the time, well you know what…you have to teach women do NOT, do not put your hands on anybody! Let me just finish my point because I know I’m going to catch a lot of hell, and I don’t care. You have to teach women, do not live with this idea that men have this chivalry thing still with them. Don’t assume that that’s still in place. So don’t be surprised if you hit a man and he hits you back. You hit somebody, they hit you back! Don’t be surprised! You have to teach the women not to put their hands up on anybody. That’s not blame the victim, I just said, don’t anybody, hit anybody! Don’t hit anybody! But if you make the choice as a woman who’s 4’3″ and you decide to hit a guy who’s 6’0″ and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised! Let’s not hit anyone.”

This isn’t the first time Goldberg has spoken out about the role she thinks women can play in violent confrontations. After Solange Knowles was taped kicking the hell out of Jay Z in a hotel elevator after the Met Gala, Goldberg said that she was very lucky that he didn’t resort to the same violence she was unleashing on him:

“I think Solange was quite ready for him to do whatever he was gonna do. This is the thing. If anybody hits you, you have the right –I know that many people are raised in a very different way, but if a woman hits you, to me, you have the right to hit her back. If I slap a man, he has every right to slap me back. Every right.”

Check out Goldberg’s thoughts on handling violence below, and let us know if you agree, or if she should “catch a lot of hell” for her comments.

Goldie Taylor Responds To Stephen A. Smith: “My Father Smashed My Mother’s Face”

July 28th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
Share to Twitter Email This

Last week we reported, Ray Rice was suspended for only two games of the upcoming NFL season for the domestic violence dispute against his then fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer. ESPN’s “First Take’s” head reporter, Stephen A. Smith responded to Rice’s consequences stating that women should understand the role they play when they provoke men. His commentary did not sit well with viewers and Smith tried to clarify via Twitter and then more extensively on “First Take”:

“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.”

Although Smith apologized, award-winning journalist Goldie Taylor responded to his original statement via Twitter about her own experience with abuse from a past boyfriend.

Taylor also revealed her mother’s personal experiences of abuse from her husband, Taylor’s father.

Known for her popular Procter & Gamble “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign and contribution to MSNBC, Taylor continues to tell her story of domestic violence for the women whose voices have been silenced because of shame, fear and even death. In 2013, Taylor recounted her tale of abuse in an MSNBC article when news broke of Kassandra “Kasi” Perkins who was fatally killed by boyfriend, Jovan Belcher.

Taylor’s article noted:

It’s been 26 years and I rarely think about the smooth keloid scar in the upper left corner of my back. It’s too easy to forget about the scar above my mother’s eye, a reminder that in a jealous rage my father put her face through a plate glass window. Or the cousin who was chased down and shot in a grocery store parking lot some years ago. Or the friend, pregnant with twins, whose husband tied her up, doused her with gasoline and waved a matchbook under her nose. The number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. The perpetrator is almost always the child’s father. It won’t be long before we forget about the contributions Belcher made on the field. There will come a time when you will need some prompting to remember that he murdered Kasi, if you remember her name at all. I tell my story, hoping that you will not forget. I tell my story so that maybe, just maybe you will not turn your back on that sister, co-worker or friend. I tell my story because Kasi cannot tell hers.

We salute Taylor for her brave and honest heart.

The tweets above are just a portion of the story Taylor shared today on Twitter, you can read the rest of what she shared here.

Editor’s Note: If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, please share the National Abuse Hotline phone number: 1-800-799-7233

“I Do Sincerely Apologize”: Stephen A. Smith Sorry For Telling Women Not To “Provoke” Domestic Violence

July 28th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

We told you last week that some people were up in arms about the fact that despite getting into a physical fight with his girlfriend at a casino in Atlantic City and later being seen on camera dragging her limp body out of an elevator and even kicking it like she was a dummy doll, Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice was only suspended for the first two games of the upcoming NFL season. That’s it. One person who decided to give his two cents on the situation was ESPN First Take‘s “talking head,” Stephen A. Smith. While he said that Rice’s actions were deplorable, he also said that women need to understand the role they could play in escalating such violent situations…

“We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that. But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I’m going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I’m going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I’m going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I’m going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I’m going to be tempted to do. But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody that has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.”

Such statements didn’t sit well with many, and Smith wound up not only apologizing on Twitter this weekend, but this morning on ESPN’s First Take as some were calling for him to be suspended. He at first shot off a few Tweets saying he was annoyed that people were misconstruing his words, but after having a change of heart and deleting those messages, he said this on Twitter:

“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.”

He reiterated this sentiment this morning:

“On Friday, speaking right here on First Take on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career…My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious, to apologize, to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter its proper justice to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”

ESPN has said that they will not suspend Smith since he has apologized, but let it be known that his views do not represent their network:

“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”

But this isn’t the first time Smith’s statements have been given a side-eye. He put Tiny on blast back in May for not having T.I.’s back after his scuffle with Floyd Mayweather.

Smith’s apology was actually quite long, and you can check it out in full below:

The NFL Doesn’t Care About Black Women, Suspends Ray Rice 2 Games For Assault Against Janay Palmer

July 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
AP

AP

Apparently, the NFL doesn’t take issues of documented domestic violence too seriously. Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, the running back who dragged his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer, out of an elevator unconscious in Atlantic City, will only be suspended for two games.

The punishment is a result of Rice violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

In a statement, released by the Ravens, Rice said:

It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault. As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously. My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”

Ravens general manager, Ozzie Newsome called the ruling “fair” and added,

That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.” 

Rice is currently enrolled in a program for first-time offenders that includes family counseling and will also clear his record of criminal charges if he meets all the conditions.

Can we agree that this “punishment,” if you can even call it that, is completely unacceptable and sends a terrible message on behalf of the NFL?

As USA Today Maggie Hendricks noted, far lesser offenses receive stronger punishments. Repeat offenders who violate a drug policy will be suspended for four games. A violent tackle will get you kicked out of one game. And if you haven’t quite made it to the NFL yet, selling your autograph while in college will get you “sat down” for five games.

But apparently, proof of you beating your fiancee and the mother of your child unconscious and then dragging her out of a public elevator like she’s a piece of trash is only worth two games.

This is not even just about Ray Rice anymore. When 1 in 3 women will be abused throughout the course of her lifetime, often by a member of her own family, it’s a problem not unique to Rice. We’ve seen it play out far too many times just in recent months with other celebrities beating their girlfriends, wives or fiancees. I believe in redemption and all that and the counseling might actually be working for him. But a part of learning the lesson is being adequately punished. And a two game suspension is more or less an extended time out. It’s not good enough for Rice, it’s not good enough for the other women who suffered like Janay but didn’t have their abuse recorded and broadcast and it’s not good enough for the young boys who will grow up thinking this wasn’t “that big of a deal.”

With this puny suspension, the NFL proves that they don’t really take violence against women seriously. I know you’ve heard the comparisons drawn thousands of times by now, but Michael Vick was practically stoned in the town square for allowing his friends to use his property for dog fights. I love dogs and dog fighting is wrong but I value the lives of women far more than dogs. Sorry, not sorry.

The only message this punishment sends is that violence against women can be forgiven with a press conference, pathetic statement and a two game suspension.

As Hendricks writes to the NFL: “Don’t tell me you care about women’s health come October. Don’t pink wash the whole league and pay lip service to how much you care about women. Don’t trot out breast cancer survivors as symbols of the NFL’s close relationship with women and then give a man who threatened a woman’s health–ON TAPE– a two game suspension.” 

Amen.

The NFL is about money. And they know the majority of their revenue is tied to public perception of their image. Sadly, the league got the message that men, their target audience and demographic, wouldn’t care one way or another what happened to Palmer, a Black woman, that night. And they subsequently didn’t care about the consequences Rice, the perpetrator of the violence, faced as a result.

Yes, the NFL dropped the ball. But really, their decision is just a clear indicator of just how much the whole country (and various parts of the world) really value women and their well-being. If you didn’t get the message, ladies, your life and well-being are worth two football games.

Joe Talks New Album “Bridges” Domestic Violence Rumors & R Kelly Trying To Sabotage Him

June 27th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

 

Joe’s voice is practically a national treasure. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing him in concert, you know he sounds just like the records he recorded in the early nineties. A career over twenty years is bound to attract some controversy. And so we asked Joe about the domestic violence Kiely Williams (formerly of 3LW) lodged against the singer, saying he beat her mother, Joe’s former manager, when they were in a relationship, and the rumors that fellow R&B singer R Kelly was trying to sabotage his career.

And most importantly, he spoke about the music. This is what he said fans can expect from the new album.

What they’re going to get from this record is just pure, pure R&B at its core. We kinda got to go back a little bit to move R&B forward. Take some pages from the old school, like the Marvin Gayes, the Stevie Wonders, the Michael Jackson’s, which was R&B music. That’s the essence of it, going back a little bit.

The-Dream Comments On Domestic Violence Allegations: ‘You Get This Much Money, Just Know Someone Is Always Going To Want It’

June 17th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

 

A couple of months ago, news broke that The-Dream had been accused of attacking his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Lydia Nam. She also alleged that the mega producer threatened to kill her like “like O.J. Simpson killed Nicole Brown.”  Lydia supported those allegations by releasing photos of herself with bruises around her neck, wrist and arms. Last month, the “Throw It In The Bag” singer turned himself in to the New York Police Department and was charged with assault, strangulation, harassment and reckless endangerment behind the incident. He was later released on $20,000 bail and continues to proclaim his innocence.

Of course, folks are wondering what the mother of his child’s would gain by falsely accusing him of beating her if nothing ever actually happened. But according to The-Dream, money is the motive. Over the weekend, TMZ caught up with the 36-year-old musician dining at Mr. Chows and he spoke briefly about the case.

“Of course they are,” he said in response to questions about whether or not Lydia’s allegations are false. “I’m such a lovely person.”

“They always telling me, you get this much money just know someone is always going to want it,” he continued.

This, however, is only one of the theories we hear are coming from The-Dream’s camp. As we previously reported, it’s also being alleged that Lydia pressed charges in an attempt to stay in the United States, as she’s a citizen of Canada. According to reports, Lydia’s visa is set to expire soon and she learned that special visas are given to immigrants if they are victims of a crime and are needed by prosecutors to move forward with the case. Lydia has yet to publicly comment on the allegations being made against her.

Watch The-Dream’s interview below.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Memphis Man Sentenced To Death For Murdering Girlfriend And Her Parents

June 16th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Sources: Commercial Appeal, WREG

Sources: Commercial Appeal, WREG

 

A 12-person jury sentenced 31-year-old Sedrick Clayton to death for the murder of his girlfriend, Pashea Fisher, 23, and her parents, Arithio and Patricia Fisher, the AP reports. The incident occurred at the Fishers’ home on January 12, 2012 after the couple argued about Pashea’s possible infidelity.

From there, the dispute apparently escalated and Pashea’s parents got involved. Sedrick later shot Patricia and Arithio in their bedroom as Pashea begged him not to. Her hearbtreaking plea was heard by the jury in audio obtained from her frantic 911 call. Sedrick then turned around and shot Pashea in the head at close range near the front door of the home. Sedrick fired 12 shots in total, hitting his victims 9 times. Sadly, Pashea and Sedrick’s then 4-year-old daughter, Joydin, was in the home at the time of the murders. Sedrick left the home with the toddler before turning himself in to police. Joydin, now 6, was a key witness in the trial and told prosecutors that her father shot her mother and grandparents.

Sedrick confessed to the murders by submitting a typed statement to police the same day he turned himself in. He claims he fired the shots out of fear after Arithio kicked him in his chest as he argued with Pashea. Clayton initially offered to plead guilty to the murders in exchange for three consecutive life sentences without parole, but Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich did not accept the offer. Prosecutor Jennifer Nichols expressed that Sedrick deserved the death penalty due to the brutal nature of the mass murder.

“Three wonderful people lost their life in a single morning for absolutely no reason,” said Jennifer. “He could have left (the house) at any time. He chose not to.”

At least 20 of Pashea’s family members and friends gathered at the court every day of the trial. According to reports, they were cordial and even shared food with Sedrick’s family as they waited during jury deliberations.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise