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Whoopi Goldberg Defends Stephen A. Smith’s Controversial Domestic Violence Comments

Whoopi Goldberg has said it once and now she’s said it again.

The View co-host shocked her fellow hosts as she defended ESPN sports analyst Stephen A. Smith after his controversial remarks about domestic violence.

In May, while commenting on the infamous Jay Z and Solange elevator attack, Goldberg said the rapper would have been justified if he had decided to hit his sister-in-law back.

Now “First Take” co-host  Smith is facing backlash after he shared his thoughts on footballer Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for allegedly punching his wife unconscious in June.

Smith said on-air that women shouldn’t do “anything to provoke wrong actions,” although he did add that it’s never OK for a man to hit a woman.

On Monday’s episode of  The View, Goldberg sided with Smith saying, “If you hit somebody, you cannot be sure you are not going to get hit back… You have to teach women; do not live with this idea that men have this chivalry thing still with them.”

She added, “So don’t be surprised if you hit a man and he hits you back.”

Goldberg’s co-hosts were taken aback by the comment, and guest host Sunny Hostin said that Goldberg was trying to “blame the victim.”

“Oh, my God, that is not blame the victim,” Goldberg responded. “I just said, don’t anybody hit anybody. But if you make the choice as a woman who’s 4 foot 3, and you decide to hit a guy who’s 6 feet tall, and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised.”

She never appeared to assert that it was acceptable for a man to ever hit a woman.

In spite of the backlash from social media and her co-hosts, Goldberg is sticking to her stance on the issue.

Smith, on the other hand, has already apologized for the comments, calling it “the most egregious error” he’s made in his career.

“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,” Smith said during the taped segment. “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.”

While not everybody was content with the on-air apology, ESPN made it clear that Smith will not be losing his job over the comment.

“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic,” a public statement from ESPN read. “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.”

What people are saying

5 thoughts on “Whoopi Goldberg Defends Stephen A. Smith’s Controversial Domestic Violence Comments

  1. We are having a COMMUNICATION problem in this country and it arises from the 'divisions' that have been labeled on people. If you think that a woman SHOULD hit a man, both being human beings, you are a fool. If you think that a man or woman should retaliate aggressively to someone striking you, a fellow human being, you are a fool. If you think that every time a person makes a mistake, they should be publicly ridiculed, and that their livelihood (job, means of support) should be taken from them for that mistake, you are a fool. Human beings have lost perspective on forgiveness, tolerance, and most importantly self-control. Because they lack these decencies, they impose their hap-hazard mentality on others (group-think) and barbarically seek to do harm at every turn. Like attempting to build up a ground swell, calling for someone's job to be taken from them for a mistake in judgement. A mistake in judgement that was bred from an ideal that many of the same people calling for his job, believe in in some way or another. The conversation should be, 'No one should strike another human being, not a certain sex'. The retaliation should be by our legal system against violence in totality, not violence against a certain sex (group of humans). Sanity has truly become a rare concept alluding many of us!

  2. Helen MissHiggi Higginbotham says:

    DAMN!!! Did I say that? LOL! Couldn't agree more. Instead of being suspended, Stephen A needs to be commended for opening the door to this national dialogue and quite possibly a re-examination of what DV is and who not only the perpetrator, but also the victim, is/can be… It is not gender specific. The discussion on DV has been one sided and predominated by one voice. One voice, we are seeing that MANY do NOT agree with! Put Stephen back to work and hats off to Whoopi, a FEMALE, for daring to step out too!!!

  3. Helen MissHiggi Higginbotham Thank you for your supportive perspective. It is refreshing to see that a beautiful and educated female like yourself can appreciate my perspective without assuming or falsely reading some 'hidden agenda' to encourage violence. Peace and Love!

  4. Melissa Turner says:

    Couldn't have said it better myself… You get a gold star youngman.

  5. Melissa Turner Thank you, Melissa! I hope that the conversation begins to take a turn for the better, where Stephen A.'s perspective will be considered food for thought, as opposed to salacious banter. Peace and Love!

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