Do Women Provoke Abuse? ESPN Suspends Stephen A. Smith for Domestic Violence Remarks

Stephen A. Smith has been suspended from ESPN as of yesterday (July 29th, 2014). He will be suspended for about a week and will return next Wednesday [1]. It all happened due to his commentary about the Ray Rice domestic abuse situation. Stephen A. Smith did note that in no way did he mean to imply that “such incidents are a woman’s fault” [2]. Still, there was too much wildfire in the dry desert to put out the blaze in time.

I guess the damage done by his commentary was overbearing. The problem was that too many people inferred what they wanted to infer and didn’t listen to what he said.


Stephen A. Smith and the Commentary

I hate to beat a dead horse, but Stephen A. Smith made sure to recognize both parties in a situation. On ESPN, he noted that a man “has no business putting his hands on a woman” [3]. He makes sure to repeat this ideology repeated in the matter of a couple of minutes. In contrast, he stated that he employed female members of his family to “make sure they don’t do anything to provoke wrong doing” [4]. In short, Stephen A. Smith took time to recognize both parties in any wrong doing.

And wasn’t that part of the issue with Ray Rice’s suspension situation? Stephen A. Smith quickly noted that Rice should have been suspended for more games than that. However, this situation was about a domestic violence situation in which they both were arrested. And no, we are not making what Ray Rice did okay. What is being said is that Ray Rice and his fiancé-turned-wife played a part in the fiasco.



The Reality of Stephen A. Smith’s Commentary

The sad part about all of this is there has been so much back and forth about comments that aren’t that deep. Many people felt like StephenSmithSuspendedStephen A. Smith was condoning the beating of women. In actuality, they would know that he is totally against men being violent to women in all circumstances. However, he also wanted to point out that there are times when women will do to men what men (should) have been taught not to do to women. In short, his point was that men and women should not touch each other.

Even I have been accused of being abusive by a female that didn’t like what I had to say. And all I did was ask her questions about her thoughts. I guess domestic violence concerns take over people’s objectivity and logic.

Ironically, I was provided with an example of my stance by a woman. Melyssa Ford, former video vixen and reality star, shared a moment in which a man punched her as well:

“While I was shaking my hand in his face, I smashed him in the face with the CD Walkman,” she told radio personality Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz during a podcast episode of The Brilliant Idiots.


“He didn’t even blink and punched me right in my face. Lip exploded. It was like *gasp*. Then I wilded out some more and he was like, ‘Oh my God! I gotta get her out of here,’ because we’re in the car in the street. […] I’m sure there’s a whole lot going through his head.” [5]

Ford also noted that the man she dated was not the violent type and never hit her before. Still, Melyssa Ford understood: “It was a defense mechanism…and my behavior activated it; it took [me] a while to learn to stop putting my hands on men.”[6] Thus, there are situations in which women have a part in the foolishness that men do.



Stephen A. Smith and the End of This Conversation

Stephen A. Smith is not an advocate for abusive men. He is quite the opposite: he hates that men beat on women. However, Stephen A. Smith noted something plenty of other men understood: some women should practice the restrain that men are expected to master. Yet, it takes a woman to acknowledge that these situations happen. To be fair, it should be written down that men and women shouldn’t try to physically hurt each other.

Men shouldn’t hit women and women shouldn’t hit men. And that should be the end of it.