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

July 28, 2014  |  

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:

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