ESPN Host Apologizes For Suggesting Women Provoke Domestic Violence

On Friday, ESPN host Stephen A. Smith angered many when he suggested that women provoke domestic violence during a discussion of the NFL and how it handled a domestic dispute involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

ESPN has said that Smith will not be suspended for the remarks.

After trying to clarify his comments after the show on Twitter with comments that were later deleted, Smith opened Monday’s show with an apology, taking full responsibility for making the suggestion, calling it “the most egregious error of [his] career.”

Here is the full apology:

“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. While elaborating on thoughts concerning the NFL’s ruling versus Ray Rice, following a domestic dispute with his then-fiance, I ventured beyond the scope of our discussion by alluding to a woman’s role in such heinous matters, going so far as to use the word “provoke” in my diatribe. 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 apologise, to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter its proper justice to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologise. As a man raised by the greatest mother in the world, and four older sisters, I’ve religiously spoken out against domestic violence all of my life. I’ve done so repeatedly over 20 years in this business, as well as over these very air waves, right here on “First Take.” My primary reason for doing so is because I have experienced and dealt with the matter within my own family. Unfortunately, I did an incredibly poor job of asserting my point of view this past Friday. For that, again, I am truly, truly sorry. Particularly the victims of domestic abuse, and to my female family members and loved ones I’ve disappointed and know I know better. You all deserved a better profession and quite frankly a better man last Friday, sitting on this very set, in this very chair. My heartfelt apologies to each and every single one of you.”

The question now is whether people will accept that Smith just misspoke, albeit in a horrible fashion, or if people will think that Smith was just trying to save his career at ESPN or even future jobs that he has been linked to.

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