Listen up, ladies, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has a message for you, and it’s basically: Stop provoking men into beating you so Smith and his “fellas” don’t have to get your back.
Smith’s point—and it’s a bad one—goes something like this: Men should never hit women, but it’s really on women to make sure they don’t do anything that would trigger a violent response.
Like ride in an elevator with your husband. That’s what caused Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice to beat his wife unconscious, leading to his paltry two-game suspension handed down this week.
Smith was discussing Rice’s shamefully short NFL suspension with co-host Skip Bayless and others during Friday morning’s “First Take” on ESPN when he mansplained domestic violence to the victims of domestic violence.
It’s as though Smith has no control of his own mouth, vomiting out the ridiculous and then trying to backpedal while restating his thesis. And Skip Bayless just sat there and nodded, not unlike a woman trying to avoid provoking an unpredictable and unreasonable boyfriend.
Luckily, ESPN’s female staff appears not to have received the corporate memo on the benefits of being seen and not heard. Smith’s colleague Michelle Beadle fired off a series of tweets:
But hey, maybe Smith was just trying to prove his own point.
And, you know, provoke his listening audience. Mission accomplished.
UPDATE: It looks like Michelle Beadle provoked Stephen A. Smith to anger. He launched a multi-tweet response (since deleted) against anyone who thought he said what he actually said:
Smith posted a second explanation (“apology” doesn’t seem to define it) later Friday afternoon via TwitLonger:
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.