Turns out that Stephen A. Smith’s apology for comments made about domestic violence and how women needed to make sure they don’t “provoke” an attack was not enough to prevent ESPN from handing out its own discipline.
Late Tuesday evening, it was announced that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” would be suspending Smith for a week, meaning that the commentator will not appear on the network’s television or radio spots until Aug. 6, the Associated Press reports.
The suspension comes after Smith made his controversial comments on ESPN2’s First Take during a discussion about Ray Rice’s two-game suspension for reportedly knocking his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay, unconscious. Smith condemned domestic violence but added that women need to make sure they aren’t “provoking” an attack.
The remarks spread on social media, and Smith even joined the fray to clear up any miscommunication. That didn’t go as planned, since many saw Smith’s Twitter rant as a defense of his earlier statement. Smith’s colleague Michelle Beadle, for example, tweeted, “Violence isn’t the victim’s issue. It’s the abuser’s. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting. Walk. Away.”
On Monday Smith issued an on-air apology, stating that it was the “most egregious mistake of his career.”
AP notes that on Tuesday ESPN’s chief executive, John Skipper, issued a memo to staff informing them that Smith had been suspended. “I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced,” Skipper said in the memo, AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.