Monday, August 04, 2014

ESPN Host Apologizes for Implying Women Provoke Domestic Abuse

 ESPN host Stephen A. Smith apologized Monday for comments he made on Friday’s edition of “First Take” which seemed to blame the victim in cases of domestic violence.

Smith was commenting on the subject of domestic violence after the NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice two games following a Feb. 15 domestic dispute in Atlantic City with his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer. Rice pleaded not guilty to third-degree aggravated assault for the incident, during which Rice allegedly struck Palmer and was caught on video dragging her from a casino elevator.

Rice avoided trial by being accepted into a pre-trial intervention program in May. He married his fiancée one day after he was indicted.

“As a man raised by the greatest mother in the world and four older sisters, I’ve religiously spoken out against domestic violence all of my life. I’ve done so repeatedly over 20 years in this business as well as over these very airwaves – right here on First Take,” Smith said Monday.

On Friday’s “First Take,” Smith said, “We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman.”

Then he addressed women, saying, “Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” because contacting law enforcement afterwards “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,” he said.

“We know they’re wrong. We know they’re criminal. We know they probably deserve to be in jail,” Smith said, adding that in Rice’s case, “he probably deserves more than the two-game suspension.”

“But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation – not that there’s real provocation – but the elements of provocation,” Smith said.


There's no doubt that some women are aggresive and oppressive towards men and some men do hit back over that -- so I think his comments were moderate.  I have personally encountered women who wanted to be beaten  -- though I refused to go along with it


Anonymous said...

Welcome to today's world where you can't say anything that implies that a 'victim' group should take any responsibility at all for what happens to them

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever considers the poor husband who gets beaten by his wife. It does happen, perhaps in numbers small enough that the cynics dismiss it, but I still happens.

Anonymous said...

Battered husbands/boyfriends are probably not in small numbers as most men would be too embarrassed to report or admit it as it questions their "manhood".

Stan B said...

Whoopi Goldberg took a lot of flack on the view for saying "You hit a guy, you can't expect him not to hit you back." She was adamant that she didn't think it was right, or an appropriate response, but that it should not surprise anyone.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 15% of Domestic Violence Victims are MEN.

Since we have to allow Abortion in cases of rape and incest, regardless of the low percentage of actual rape or incest induced pregnancies, then we must acknowledge that Domestic Abuse is not a "woman" issue.

Use the Name, Luke said...

If a man (or less often, a woman) chooses to commit a rape, they are responsible for their crime.

The issue here is people refusing to acknowledge the difference between the responsibility for causing the crime, and responsibility for minimizing the odds of being victimized. We can all do things to make ourselves less attractive to human predators. Let's face it, someone wandering around a dark alley in a crime ridden city is far more likely to be victimized than someone walking down the street of a low crime area in the middle of the day.

In this case, it should be obvious that a woman dressed in sexually provocative clothing at a dive is more likely to attract the attention of a rapist than a modestly dressed woman at a fine restaurant. How we dress sends a message to those around us. For women, it should not be surprising that dressing provocatively will tend to provoke a response. Sending a message of sexual availability through dress and behavior is simply more likely to provoke a sexually oriented response, even if the person and manner of that response is not what the woman was hoping for.

Simply put, the rapist is responsible for their crime. Potential victims are responsible for avoiding the rapist's attention if reasonably possible, not because it's "criminal" to invite their attention or it somehow reduces the rapist's responsibility, but because this is the real world. There is human trash out there and it is foolish to invite their attention.

Anonymous said...

Modest attire doesn't deter many rapists, especially when they are not strangers to the victim, which is often the case. Likewise the location need not be a "risky" one but often in familiar surroundings.

Anonymous said...

here's my take. if a woman gets abused and won't press charges ok she scared. if the guy does it again and agin and again, and she STILL refuse to leave or press charges then she deserves it!

If you refuse to look after your own life and well being we can't force you so deal with the abuse.

Personally I would love to see a group formed that when a women is hit and she is too scared to leave the group goes in and beats the crap out of the guy, see how he likes it!

Use the Name, Luke said...

1:56, you are correct. Some crimes are committed in spite of legitimate efforts to avoid becoming a victim. My point is that the odds of becoming a victim are far lower (unfortunately, not zero) if appropriate precautions are taken than if they are not.

Bird of Paradise said...

Like all the poppycock they claim that Super Bowl time is when more women are abused which is of course a big fat lie