Stephen A. Smith Apologizes For Comments Regarding Domestic Violence, Ray Rice Incident
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has apologized for his remarks on domestic violence that sparked backlash on Friday.
Stephen A. Smith Apologizes
On ESPN’s First Take Monday morning, Smith appeared in a pre-taped segment to make a formal 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,” 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.”
“To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement,” Smith added. “To say I was wrong is obvious. To apologize — to say I’m sorry — doesn’t do the matter it’s proper justice, to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”
“You all deserved … a better man last Friday sitting on this very set, in this very chair,” Smith went on after noting he’s reached out to both his mother and sisters to apologize for his remarks.
Last week, after it was revealed that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had received a two-game suspension for the domestic violence incident with his now-wife Janay Palmer, the topic was used for discussion on First Take. Weighing in on the matter Smith opined, among other things, that victims of domestic violence should avoid doing “anything to provoke wrong actions.”
Smith subsequently took to Twitter in an effort to better articulate what he had meant by his comment and to assert that he doesn’t condone domestic violence in any situation.
“I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever,” wrote Smith. “I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society … I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.”
ESPN has also released a statement, distancing the network from Smith’s comments on Friday and expressing confidence in the sincerity of its employee’s apology.
“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic," the statement 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.”
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