ESPN has issued a one week suspension to the always opinionated and outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith following his controversial remarks on domestic abuse this past Friday.
While the internet has been divided with many, including his fellow sportscaster and former victim of abuse, Michelle Beadle, claiming his use of the word “provoke” (when stating that women shouldn’t provoke men in order to assist in deterring domestic violence) was unwarranted and placed the blame on the victim, many others, including co-host of The View, Whoopi Goldberg, felt as if his overall message was accurate.
While I completely empathize with those who may have felt belittled or attacked by his word choice, I wholeheartedly agree with Smith. Under NO circumstances ever should a man put his hands on a woman and any man that does so should be punished and is a waste of space. Yet, at the same time, some women need to let go of this false impression that men are robots conditioned to never have reflexes or temporary lapses in judgement. Yes, men should be taught to never put their hands on a woman, but at the same time, as a woman, you should not take advantage of that fact and taunt and ridicule and even hit or challenge a man under the false sense of security that he will never wrongly react.
At the end of the day, we are all human beings made up of good intentions and sometimes bad decisions. Domestic violence should never be condoned, but as a society we should each do our personal best to ensure we do not contribute in any way to the matter.
Understandably, as a public figure Smith should be more careful with his choice of words and articulations, yet his overall point had much validity that was overlooked due to one wrong word.