ESPN's Stephen A. Smith benched for domestic violence comments


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ESPN's Stephen A. Smith benched for domestic violence comments

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Jul 30, 2014

Outspoken ESPN sportscaster Stephen A. Smith has been benched for a week.

The suspension is in response to Smith's comments last week that seemed to suggest that victims of domestic abuse sometimes share responsibility for the physical assault, according to the New York Daily News.

The suspension went into effect on Tuesday. Smith will not appear on "First Take" or ESPN radio for one week. According to Yahoo Sports, ESPN's network chief John Skipper told network staff that the action was taken after a "thoughtful discussion" about appropriate actions with the men and women at ESPN.

Smith has apologized several times for the comments he made during a debate on "First Take." Smith and co-host Skip Balyess were discussing the suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for a video that showed him dragging his unconscious, soon-to-be bride out of an elevator.

Smith said: "Let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions. 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. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.”

Some interpreted that comment that in a way Smith later said he didn't intend, and people began calling the sportscaster out on Twitter. Smith first tried to calm the storm on Twitter. Next, he issued a statement and finally he made an on-air apology on Monday morning.

There have been others that don't think that Smith said anything wrong though, and they have also shown their support on Twitter. Even Whoopi Goldberg, a host on ABC's "The View," came to his defense.

MSNBC pundit Goldie Taylor isn't letting Smith off the hook. She also tweeted about the suspension and explained why she believed Smith's comments were so dangerous.


This isn't the first time Smith has made such comments. He also suggested that Evelyn Lozada was exaggerating an incident with NFL receiver Chad Johnson in 2012. At that time he said that he was "sick and tired of men constantly being vilified and accused of things."


Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

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Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to