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Stephen A. Smith Suspended By ESPN; Taking Radio Job on SiriusXM

steph-a-smithStephen A. Smith, perhaps the most provocative voice on ESPN, was suspended for a week from appearing on the network for comments deemed insensitive following Baltimore Raven Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for knocking his now-wife unconscious during a confrontation on an elevator on Valentine’s Day.

Meanwhile, it was reported by the New York Daily News that Smith had already planned to leave the ESPN radio job he had for his own show on SiriusXM. Presumably, Smith will return to First Take and other responsibilities on ESPN next week.

Smith said, among other things on the air last week: “What I’ve tried to employ [with]  the female members of my family — some of who you all met and talked to and what have you — is that … 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 has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you.”

His comments, even though he vehemently denounced a man hitting a woman, started a deluge of outrage that eventually ESPN succumbed to with this suspension–which came after Smith made countless attempts on Twitter to explain himself and offered an on-air apology for his remarks.

Smith tweeted, among other things: “But what about addressing women on how they can help prevent the obvious wrong being done upon them? In no way was I accusing women of being wrong. I was simply saying what that preventive measures always need to be addressed because there’s only but so much that can be done after the fact … once the damage is already done.”

He apologized on television: “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. “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.”

ESPN released a statement from its president, John Skipper, who said the suspension came as a result of speaking to the women employees resource group at his network: “As many of you know, there has been substantial news coverage in the past few days related to comments Stephen A. made last Friday in the wake of the NFL’s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following charges of assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, a few months ago.

“We’ve said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view, or our values. They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.”

The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg, among others, agreed with Smith’s take, and many have considered ESPN’s suspension a sad indictment on the NFL and its perceived insensitivity toward women. To wit: Rice knocked out the woman in his life and received just a two-game suspension; Smith did not abuse anyone and received a seven-day ban.

Smith, the Daily News reported, will soon leave ESPN-98.7 FM and join SXM’s Mad Dog Radio, where he will host his own show. Smith currently co-hosts a 1p.m. to 3p.m. program with Ryan Ruocco that airs in New York.

What people are saying

7 thoughts on “Stephen A. Smith Suspended By ESPN; Taking Radio Job on SiriusXM

  1. Overreaction! Stephen A. should not have made the statement, but if an apology is not suffice to quench the collective offended, then we have become bloodthirsty cannibals, only seeking to emotionally castrate anyone whom makes a honest mistake or error in judgment. Be well, Stephen A.

  2. Michael Prather says:

    He spoke what he believe. I agree women should not provoke a man and especially throw a punch at him. Men should hit women but it goes both ways. Too politcally corrct these days. Stephen A doesn't condone men hitting women he just made a valid point!

  3. Stephen spoke the truth! Proud of him and I support him. Espn's loss!

  4. This is a travesty, when someone can speak on a subject like domestic violence and get a 7 day suspension, and Ray Rice get 2 games for the actual act of domestic violence. Wow.

  5. James Richmond says:

    Good move ESPN was once a network that didn't care about being politically correct but now their just parrots all saying whatever they feel the "majority" feels comfortable with. Stephen A was the only unique voice on the show. After all I would rather you tell me the truth than lie to my face just
    to keep me happy!!

  6. John Davis says:

    Only in America, where women want to be treated equal across the board yet they get treated like untouchable items when they cross the line! We as people have the right to defend our selves regardless the gender/race! Why is a person punished for having an opinion not supported by the masses? Only in America….your 1st Amendment is attacked because he/you spoke against a Woman!

  7. Edens' Evolution says:

    Black men insist on learning that without honoring ur role as leaders and protectors you will be shot down suspended, fired AND disrespected. A mistake??? Do u know the high numbers of black women getting beat, disrespected, being compared to white women as non preferred, called whores and bitches publicly and NOT protected, cherished, respected and honored??? Expected to ride or die for men when they get abused but suddenly fragile when in an unhealthy relationships. Honor your women, save your life. You will not survive without us. Either u'll mix races til there is no definitive black race and/or u will be rendered near extinct via trimming of colored populations and collateral damaged goods. You're not going to white women in bad times you're coming to black women. We are ur stabilizing force. Can u say the same?? You can't be loving and ready to strike in the same breath nor blame another for ur choice to strike rather than create distance. Do the work to get healthy mentally and emotionally on both sides.

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