Stephen A. Smith
This is off-topic, but reports are that Stephen A. Smith has been suspended by ESPN from ESPN First Take and ESPN Radio for one week due to the comments he made about women not provoking domestic abuse.
This has been a huge topic of conversation at my job and amongst friends. Just wanted to know this site's opinion on the matter. Did you have a problem with what he said? Do you think the suspension is justified? Here is exactly what he said:
What are your thoughts on this?
So he should be suspended. That is disgusting what he said. Women do not need to tippy toe around men and watch what they say or act because a men might be violent. He sounded very sincere, which really shows the level of ignorance he and a lot of me have towards this issue. To think women need to stop provoking men is such an ancient idea. you would think we would have gone past this.
Women and men should not say or do horrible things because it is immoral and the wrong thing to do, and do the right things because it makes you feel like a good person, not because you are scared a men will assault you anyway.
Yeah, that's pretty ignorant. Sounds along the lines of women shouldn't dress so sexy so they aren't inviting guys to rape them. Shame on you Stephen A.
The reports are that Ray Rice's fiancee (wife now) hit him several times before he hit her.
By not provoking, Smith is saying that a woman shouldn't hit or pick fights with a man.
There's nothing wrong with what Stephen A. Smith said.
i would agree with you if....
stephen a. smith was defending someone that didn't knock his girlfriend teh f*ck out and...
if he didn't represent a company owned by disney with female employees.
did he really think that nobody would take his comments the wrong way???
I think he should have been suspended a month or 2 minimum, but preferably fired. I was glad michelle beadle called him out on it. You can't say women in short tight dresses are inviting men to rape them and then try to argue with a female employee how you were right. I think him not realizing the mistake right away is why I thought he should have been fired or at a minimum a month or 2 suspension. If he had came clean right away this would have been more acceptable. It really shows how crappy espn has gotten over the past few years. They will do anything to draw attention to themselves or create stories to get publicity. Now PTI is one of the only shows I can count on, on espn to not be filled with junk like first take is. Then their writers have started to go down hill. Zach Lowe and a few other guys on grantland are carrying their NBA coverage online.
Stephen A. Smith has definitely done a better job throughout his career on First Take with framing his argument, that's for sure. Here he knew he was treading into dangerous waters, and then his emotions kicked in, which only exacerbated the problem. His point just didn't hit home.
But it seemed to me like he was just trying to protect women. I honestly believe that. He started his argument by saying that there is no place for the abuse of women, and that men should be held responsible for their actions by the law. He then tried to say that women should do their best to recognize these violent types of men and stay away from them.
But instead, it blew up in his face. Michelle Beadle (who I used to be in love with until I followed her on twitter and realized she's difficult to say the least #unfollow) seemed to carry the torch, making the twitter comment about how she was thinking about wearing a mini-skirt, but decided against it because she didn't want to be physically abused.
Beadle's comment was pointed and valid, making it clear that women should not have to change their choices to appease the club swinging, abusive troglodytes that make up a portion of the male population. She's absolutely right. And obviously a lot of members of the media echoed her sentiment.
But I don't think Stephen A. was going there at all. Once again, to me, it seemed like he was just looking out for all the women he loves in his life, imploring them to recognize these types of men and to stay away from them. His sentiment isn't "don't wear a mini-skirt" it's "don't wear a mini-skirt after midnight in a strange place."
He's like a concerned Dad who wants to interrogate the boyfriend before the date.
Maybe it's not his place in the context of modern society to be that guy, but I do believe that his heart was in the right place, and he wasn't coming from a place of sexism, but of one of care and concern.
It's never the woman's fault for getting violated, but we do live in a crazy world full of chaos, and women need to be careful with their choices, because not every guy is a gentleman. Women should feel safe. Everyone should feel safe. But the world is not always so comfortable.
After watching the video these were my exct same thoughts.
Bottom line. Males dont associate yourself with aggressive females. Females dont associate yourself with aggressive males.
Stephen A. has always done a great job. Difficult topic to discuss especially without anything scripted. He may have strayed a bit but i heard him loud and clear.
"By not provoking, Smith is saying that a woman shouldn't hit or pick fights with a man."
Smith did not say that a man has a right to defend himself against a woman hitting him. Maybe that's what he meant, but it's not what he said. Not sure if he's since made any attempt to clarify how exactly he defines "provoking", but it was at the very least a stupid choice of words.
What defines "picking a fight with a man"? Being annoying? Being hostile? Being disobedient? Being violent? You leave something like that open, and people may take it in a different way than you do.
Rice's fiancee acknowledged hitting him several times before he hit her. Smith's comment was in direct response to that information.
There's nothing in his original statement (or at least the video you posted) that suggests this at all. Context is vital, and he should be aware of that. If he did know the circumstances surrounding the attack, than failing to mention them in his rant was beyond stupid.
Of course, the video may just have edited it out. I didn't watch the entire segment.
I think a man beating a woman is one of the most detestable things. I also agree with nick 5354 that women should not have to tip-toe around abusive boyfriends/husbands. There is a lot of abuse out there right now, and much of it is unprovoked, childish, angry boys in men's bodies who need to feel big and the only way they can assert their dominance is by beating up on women or children. That is sick and sadistic.
All of that being said, I think Smith's comments are being misinterpreted. He was not saying that abuse is the victim's fault. I think what he was trying to get at, in a very awkward and non-pc way, was more about common sense. I think he was saying that he encourages the women in his life to have common sense in the men they choose and how they handle them. Just like it would be stupid for me to make friends with rage-filled idiots and then get in fights with them, women shouldn't date rage-filled idiots (at all), and they especially shouldn't expect verbal fights with rage-filled idiots to end well.
The abuse is still 100% the fault of the abuser. Abusers should be punished, by both the law and any man who hears about it.
That being said, a woman should also have common sense to keep herself out of danger. I know that is easier said than done, with all of the psychological effects that abusers have on their victims. But that is where men in that woman's life need to tell her the truth, protect her the best they can, and get her out of trouble. I think that is what Smith was trying to say that he tried to do to the women in his life.
In the politically correct culture in which we live, if certain words or ideas are thrown around, anger forms while ideas and sound bytes are out taken out of context. A mob starts to throw together a very shaky straw man of an argument, which they claim the politically-correct-law-breaker made, and then they burn it to the ground before any explanation can be given. Punishments are dealt out based on how it hurts the reputation of a company or organization, rather than based on a moral or ethical code.
Don't get me wrong, I think Stephen A. Smith is an idiot. I almost always disagree with him and the way he makes arguments drives me crazy. But this situation is as much of a commentary on our politically correct culture as it is on Smith's viewpoints.
I mean, seriously, we get all up in arms about a freaking commentator who gets paid to talk about sports, but there is not nearly as much rage as there should be towards Ray Rice, or fear for his now-wife, or dissappointment that Goodell only gave him two games. Goodell dished out season-ban for pot, which is now legal in two states in which there are NFL teams! Goodell gave him a punishment porportionate to the media outrage, but you cannot build an ethical code on consequences, or else injustice like this happens.
Anyway, enough rant. Sorry if you read all of it.
The bottom line is...by saying you shouldn't provoke, he is saying the women has some kind of responsibility to uphold to if they don't want to be beat.
I truly believe he didn't mean that its ok to hit women, but when this topic comes up his response was based around why women need to understand how to not provoke a man? Even if this women hit Rice repeatedly, he's a 220 pound + NFL running back. The fact he can't defend himself without knocking the women out is completely far fetched to me, he can easily defuse the situation as opposed to retaliating.
A few more thoughts on this...
The way the Ravens are defending Rice's every move, "He's a great guy" and all that bs, posting stuff on their website about how great he is, etc, is absolutely disgusting. Beyond the fact he was awful last year, and cutting him outright wouldn't have hindered the team in my opinion, the way they have been so adiment this is a "one time thing" and he's the greatest thing ever is really sad. Maybe his wife should apologize a few more times.
Equally disgusting, is the twitter hate Michelle Beadle is getting for speaking her mind APPROPRIATELY. Stephen A completely deserved what Beadle said, and what she said is not controversial what so ever, but all of the illiterate fools who bow down to Smith's opinions apparently have been downright nasty to her, and its really sad this is how far off society still is.
And finally, this really comes back to how stupid First Take is. These manufactured debates, screaming and shouting of ridiculous things, LeBron sucks but Tebow is great, I mean it is awful for any sensible sports fans and at this point has become unwatchable. Bayless' constant will to harp on the same tired topics about LeBron riding a bike and choosing to wear 23 again and all this symbolic bullsh*t he says is just awful. And Stephen A is not innocent at all for what he said, but the childish atmosphere that show creates definitely had something to do with how it got to this point.
I am all for protecting women, but you gotta be careful because what you are saying is like a terrorist saying we hit the US first, but they hit us harder so its their fault...
No, that's not what I'm saying at all, and your analogy to war is completely ridiculous.
I'm saying the answer to being hit by a women isn't hit the women back. Again, didn't know this was a controversial opinion to have.
My point is simply that the person who provokes the incident with force cannot be held blameless. I agree he shouldnt have hit her, but it appears there is plenty of blame to go around.
When the person who provokes the incident gets knocked out cold and dragged out of an elevator, and that person is a women, I choose to not blame them.
I choose to blame the NFL player who can't defend himself without KNOCKING HER OUT.
But you can continue to blame the girl, and maybe Michelle Beadle while you're at it.
Lol. Your logic is entertaining. You are saying the size of the person throwing the punch determines if they should be held accountable for their actions...you should go to law school and see how that works out.
No, moron. I am saying the GENDER of the person throwing the punch should determine if they should be accountable in a situation where a WOMEN hits a MAN and gets KNOCKED OUT.
The only reason I was bringing up Rice's size is because it is not as though this women hitting Rice was putting him in danger physically.
This has nothing to do with law school, nothing to do with war with the middle east.
A WOMEN hitting a MAN does not constitute the man hitting her back. The fact you don't get this is mindboggling.
You are seriously from the Stephen A school of stupid. You should "debate" Skip this week.
So it is ok for women to display violence against men. Got it....
It's not ok for a woman to hit a man unless he is attacking her. It is never ok for a man to beat the &$#%#&@! out of a woman like Ray Rice did under any circumstance. If Ray Rice or any man beat a woman like that in front of me he would be in the hospital the next day.
I don't like this argument. Both genders should be set to the same standards; and that's regardless of how you feel about the "eye for an eye" or "stand your ground" philosophies.
see this is when we should just listen to our neighborhood friendly spider-man. with great power comes great responsibility. when you're over 200 pounds of muscle and have great physical power and strength, it comes with a responsibility.
- Solange Knowles vs Shawn Carter
- Ray Rice vs Janay Palmer
I'll wait on a response...
Elaborate a little more on what you're saying lol
- Fred Lane
- Steve McNair
Are you saying there's a double standard?
By all means, no woman should be hit at all. At the same time, no man should have to go through death to find out about his closed in battles.
My 18 year old brother at the time, was struck 3 times in the face by a 17 year old girl back in High School on the bus, before he even retaliated to defend himself. Not too long after he was tried as an adult, and she walked away charge free. He's no celeb either.
If he is referring to just things she said, then he is on crack. If he is referring to her punching or hitting, then he has a slight point. Still doesnt excuse punching her, but that was probably a one hit KO. It is always a bad idea to hit or attack someone who can knock you out in one punch. The whole short dress to rape arguement holds water if we are talking about words. If she hit him first, then it is more like she was laying in his bed naked than simply wearing a short skirt...
I have no issue with him being suspended. He certainly didn't clarify what he meant by "don't provoke". It leaves a gray area where some, such as beadle, can interpret it as the women is partly at fault for being beat. He didn't refer exactly to not hitting the guy or not dating certain guys. He just said don't provoke guys into beating them. Now I don't hold any grudge against smith over it. I'm sure he meant well. Just didn't clarify himself well enough.
It's called implied context. Stephen a Smith is referring to Ray Rice defending himself from a woman that provoked him by ASSAULTING him.
Should Smith have to word for word clarify what he means when it's obviously in the context of Ray Rice defending himself? It p-i-s-s-e-s me off when people need absolutely everything explained for them to understand such an easy point. Smith should not have been suspended. It's some B-S
Again, if you think the answer to a women "assaulting" you is assaulting them back, then you are as stupid as Stephen A.
ive watched the entire clip and in no way shape or form does he make it obvious he is reffering to self defense situations.
This might be the best summary of everything. What a lot of people are doing is taking what he said and applying it to every domestic violence situation. They are basically boiling it down to him saying "a woman should not provoke a man" and then applying it to every situation and running with it. When as we know that has a context to it and is not just some random blanket statement or some misogynistic view saying that women need to know their place. I think their are some people that want everything explained to them and there are other people that want to take something they hear to use it as a misguided attempt to stand up for something that isn't taking place.
He should have said there's a double standard and mentioned women hitting men and not having any consequences. There are so many women who hit men and approach a man as if there another man ready to fist fight and soon as the man reacts he is an abuser. While I do not agree with hitting women at all because I feel he could have just pinned her down and ended it, it is annoying that solange hits on jazz and it's a joke and Ray rice responds after being hit a couple times and he is an abuser. If you push someone's buttons for to long your gonna snap that is why when I meet a girl who initiates drama I break up with them way when they make me angry to the point were hitting them crosses my mind.
I expected this to be a really big, bold outrageous statement. It wasn't.
To be clear, I am not a fan of Steven A. Smith. I think he and Flip are both of middling intelligence and are more in the business of shock than analysis and/or reporting. In general, I find both of these guys to be annoying and rarely worth my time. However, I think what he's saying here is getting seriously overblown.
To be clear: Only a moron would say that a woman is responsible for a beating because she provoked a man. We can all agree with that. That is an idiotic misplacement of responsibility that is similar to the absurd concept that a woman is asking to be raped when she dresses sexy, as TarHeelRaven said above. However, that is not what Smith is saying here. He said any abuser is 100% responsible for his actions and is a felon. He also said we--more reasonable types--should all focus on trying not to provoke people that may have a tendency to get violent. How is that a bad thing to say? Certainly, we should be aware that unstable people exist and that provoking them could result in a bad outcome for me/you/them. I think Smith is getting credited with more offensive ideas than I just heard.
Unrelated Story: I was at the grocery store picking up ice cream at 1 am Sunday morning (I live in Vegas). As I walked out of the store I heard tires screech and I saw a guy (driver) reach across and open the passenger side door of his truck, shove a woman out the door and speed forward about 10 meters. She fell on the asphalt and started screaming. I think he may have ran over her foot or leg, but I was about 100 meters away when it happened and couldn't see that clearly. I immediately started sprinting toward the girl to help her, dialing 9-11 as I ran.
In my younger days I would have simply rushed the guy and attacked him since he stopped and started convincing her to get back in the truck. (In fact, I did exactly that on one occassion at 20.)However, this time I thought about the fact that I had kids and a wife at home that needed me to get home alive and that for all I knew, the guy had a weapon and was itching to use it. Instead of attacking the guy, I directed my attention at the girl to help and took a defensive posture. I tried to convince the girl to not go with him, but attempted to avoid provoking additional violence.
In the end, the girl got back in the car with the abuser and they drove away. I reported it to the police. They said they'd track him down. I doubt they did/will.
Please opine: Am I a coward or did I make the right call?
You did what you could and felt you were able to do. I think when we are younger it is easier for us to get into certain things because a lot of us think we are invinceable. You thought clearly, you did try to get her some form of help, but more importantly what shaped your decision was your family. I don't think you can be faulted for that.
Even with all the craziness she got back in the car. Who knows what the situation is. Obviously it wasn't good. It is possible you could have stepped in and did more and if you did anything to hurt or injure him that as soon as somone arrived she would have been pointing the finger at you and blaming you. Some people will not take your help even if they need it. No one knows, but you are not a coward. I applaud you for doing the right thing because there are a lot of times similiar things happen and everyone around pretends like they don't see or hear anything.
I don't think Smith had any ill intent with where he was going. Anyone that has heard him long enough should be able to tell that. I think he prefaced everything well enough that you don't have to re-interpret everything he laid out. He basically said guys keep your hands off women and women don't go provoking men. This can be reversed, but the same thinking applies. I have actually seen a decent amount of women that won't say or do anything to another woman, but they will go after guys just because they don't think they will get hit. Kind of similiar to how a lot of bullies attack the kids that they know won't fight or challenge them. It has nothing to do with gender and all to do with common sense and respect towards others. It is nothing different if I see one of you. If I start hitting you, spit on you, call you names and then should I not expect you to do anything regardless of gender? Most people know about keeping your hands to yourself. Kind of a basic rule of life for most of us.
Everyone should relax and not overreact. I think simple advice that applies to everyone is that you should not provoke anyone. Let's be real. Nothing good ever comes out of provoking. I don't care if you are talking about provoking another person, country,animal, etc. There are consequences to your actions. So if you do something don't be surprised of the results whether just or unjust.
Let's also not forget Stephen A's history of tweeting about women. He defended Floyd Mayweather for a domestic complaint against him.
Again, I don't think what he said in this case was that extreme, but I think also painting it as he was totally misunderstood and this is in no way his opinion on the topic is also not right.
Personally, I don't think anybody should be putting their hands on anybody. Period. Whether you're a man or a woman, you don't have the right to be putting your hands on someone. I mean, we learn as early as kindergarten to use "nice feet and hands", "use your words" and to "treat people like you want to be treated". A woman who abuses or assaults a man should be held accountable the same way a man would if he were to do it.
A woman should not hit its wrong. A man cannot hit a woman under any circumstance. There is disporportionate level of strength and aggression between men and women. If a woman attacked me attempting to kill me I am reasonably certain I could fight her off. If the average man attacks a woman with the intent to kill her he would almost certainly be able to do so. Look up the crime statistics of male violence toward females and vice versa. The statistics are overwhelmingly higher for men Murdering, Raping and committing Domestic Violence. You need a serious introspection of what you are saying it is very offensive to people who have grown up in homes with Domestic Violence.
Thank you for your input on the topic, but I think I have plenty of introspective and I just thought this topic would be great to discuss. I didn't think anything I said was offensive, but if it offended you or someone else, that's my bad.
I understand that in most cases, men will have more strength than women. I don't think a man should ever just hit a woman. However, I don't feel a woman should be allowed to kick, hit, bite, scratch, smack or throw things at men and then people look at that like it's okay. That is also abuse.
I know a lot of of men who are abused by women, but they stay because society doesn't really view women as being able to abuse a man. I have a friend who's insecure wife felt the need to smack him on his bare back in public at the pool because she thought he was looking at another woman. That's not right.
I think you and apparently many on this site are promoting a culture of violence towards women. I hope you and many others may see the light one day. Either way I can't support this ideology, which I consider to be evil. Peace out NBAdraft.
I consider myself a feminist, and even got halfway to a Sociology degree before changing majors. That doesn't make me an expert by any means, but this is something that I've had the opportunity to study and reflect on quite a bit.
Most people in this topic are not promoting a culture of violence towards women. I think that a lot of people here are arguing that there is a clear imbalance in the law (or at least socitey) when it comes to domestic violence. Men can be victims as well, and though most men are physically stronger than women, it doesn't mean they should be punching bags. Hell, I've read that men actually have a lower pain tolorence than women do. If we're striving for equality, then it means eliminating any double standards. Nobody deserves to be abused or assaulted; even if provoked. The stigma should not be against attacking women, as much as it should be about attacking someone significantly weaker than you (most of the time, that would include women and children).
By the way, I think people in this topic are arguing about different things without being aware of it.
As I posted above, I apologize if anything that was posted in this thread offended you. It's a hot topic, but thought I'd get the opinions of the .net community.
I will post this again... Domestic violence is a very serious issue regardless of gender and there are numerous studies that show this. I've seen it with my own two eyes. It's not okay for anybody to put their hands on someone else. I'm promoting a culture of non violence not just towards women, but towards children and men as well. There's no point to play political football... Domestic violence is wrong PERIOD and it goes on a lot more than what people realize.
Personally, I think Stephen A. Smith is annoying and not well-spoken and tries to make a living off of hype and is only a slight improvement over SKip Bayless in general. And that, I believe, is something most of us can agree on.
Stephen A is a turd and a clown. I do wonder at times how the man has a job. What he said was ridiculous and he is being punished for it. I couldn't stand him before he said what he said on Friday. I actually like Skip more than Smith...not saying I like skip...just the lesser of two ridiculous evils.
I do however agree with the poster who said he didn't think Smith really believed what he was saying. I think he was trying to say something completely different and ended up effing up big time.
On an semi related note...how does Smith not forget what he's talking about sometimes, he goes on and on, sometimes I wouldn't be surprised if he talked for so long about something that he actually forgot what he was talking about in the first place. He would be great for a governmental filibuster.
I think Stephen had the best intentions, he just did not relay them very well. The way he said it was very broad and leaves the mind to wonder, naturally humans will fill in that broad spectrum with their own ideas and *assume* what they think he meant.
As a woman you have to always be on your guard, unfortunately. It is necessary to watch what you wear, and how you act in certain circumstances. It's always wise, if not recommended, to travel with friends. Walking down the street by yourself at 2AM is not a good idea. Attending a party/club in extremely provocative attire and getting drunk off your arse is also not a good idea. I think these are some of the examples he was trying to convey.
A man should never hit a woman, but a woman should never hit a man either. Everyone has a right to defend themselves regardless of gender, so I'm not against a man defending himself against a female attacker, however at the same time the man should realize he's probably 3x stronger than she is and not get carried away.
It's all grey area stuff. Everyone has their own opinions. The sad reality of the world is that women do need to be on their guard at all times, it shouldn't be that way but it is. Harassment is the main issue that we face on literally a daily basis; whether online, at work, in public, etc. Obviously rape is on a whole other level, but that chance is always there, there are a lot of bad people and it's best to at least try and avoid bad people if possible. Again, I think this was what he was trying to get across, to watch your surroundings and adapt to them.