Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

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    Xero

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    Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Xero on Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:56 pm

    ESPN on Tuesday announced a one-week suspension for one of its most controversial commentators, Stephen A. Smith, in the wake of his widely-criticized remarks about domestic abuse that referred to possible "provocation" by victims.
    The move came one day after Smith appeared on his ESPN2 talk show "First Take" and profusely apologized.
    Smith's original remarks were shown on "First Take" last Friday. He was discussing the assault charge against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was indicted in March for striking his then-girlfriend and dragging her out of an elevator, and the leniency shown by the National Football League, which suspended Rice for only two games.
    He said that while men "have no business putting your hands on a woman," he had tried to tell women in his family, "Let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions." He also referred to "elements of provocation" and implied that women should "do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening."
    During his apology on Monday morning, Smith acknowledged that "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," he said. "Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders."
    Following the apology, Smith appeared as usual on Monday and Tuesday's telecasts, suggesting that ESPN would take no disciplinary steps. But on Tuesday afternoon, the network said that he "will not appear on 'First Take' or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday."
    In an internal memorandum, ESPN President John Skipper said, "We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company."
    He specifically credited ESPN's women's employee resource group, saying it had "added to the conversation and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues."
    "Stephen has called what took place 'the most egregious mistake' of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we've collectively experienced," Skipper said in his memo.
    "I'm confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days," Skipper added. "I want to thank all those whose thoughts have contributed along the way."  
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    CapitalTTruth

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by CapitalTTruth on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:28 pm

    I used to like First Take (esp. way back when it was Cold Pizza), but about a year ago I couldn't take Skip or Stephen A.

    None of this is surprising. For a very articulate man, he really lacks nuance sometimes.


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    SBR

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by SBR on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:35 pm

    1. They should cancel that stupid freaking show but they never will.
    2. Just like Ray Rice, a slap on the wrist.


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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by dragondragon on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:49 pm

    Give woody Paige the time slot for fucks sake


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    Swarles
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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Swarles on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:58 pm

    I find myself watching MLB network in summer for news and NFL network in winter since those are the only 2 sports i really care about. At some point ESPN decided every analyst on the network had to be a controversial blow hard, and I cannot stand it.

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Xero on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:59 pm

    My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.
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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by SBR on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:05 pm

    I agree that people get way too offended about anything and everything. But he has a history of saying weird and offensive things, dude should be nowhere near a microphone.


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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by dragondragon on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:11 pm

    They shoul bring in younger guys. Bayless and SAS are just senile to me.


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    CapitalTTruth

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by CapitalTTruth on Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:47 pm

    Xero wrote:My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.

    This is where I disagree. This is capitalism on full display. It has nothing to do with punishing a man for his opinion. ESPN is cultivating their identity by dissidentifying with comments on a public stage. If he were lower profile or no one heard it, it wouldn't matter. This is where I think people get turned around when they get upset with privately owned companies. If we focus what is just for the individual who said something, we miss the motivation. ESPN is just micromanaging its self image. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance. It is all image


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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by TeeBeeKay on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:02 pm

    CapitalTTruth wrote:
    Xero wrote:My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.

    This is where I disagree. This is capitalism on full display. It has nothing to do with punishing a man for his opinion. ESPN is cultivating their identity by dissidentifying with comments on a public stage. If he were lower profile or no one heard it, it wouldn't matter. This is where I think people get turned around when they get upset with privately owned companies. If we focus what is just for the individual who said something, we miss the motivation. ESPN is just micromanaging its self image. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance. It is all image


    Bingo, I actually felt the same way about the Sterling stuff, he's been a racist and a bigot for years but the NBA and the owners didn't do anything about it until it started hurting their image(players talking/protesting) and their wallets(sponsors backing out). And Stephen A Smith probably would have gotten away with this if weren't for Beadle rightfully IMO making a huge issue out of it.
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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Vipes on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:12 am

    The only role Stephen A Smith serves is taking up screen time that would otherwise be used by Skip Bayless to talk incessantly. Now Skip will be a raving blowhard for every possible second they are on the air. Glad I stopped watching that roaring dumpster fire of a show years ago.


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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Xero on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:16 am

    CapitalTTruth wrote:
    Xero wrote:My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.

    This is where I disagree. This is capitalism on full display. It has nothing to do with punishing a man for his opinion. ESPN is cultivating their identity by dissidentifying with comments on a public stage. If he were lower profile or no one heard it, it wouldn't matter. This is where I think people get turned around when they get upset with privately owned companies. If we focus what is just for the individual who said something, we miss the motivation. ESPN is just micromanaging its self image. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance. It is all image

    In a way, you're agreeing with me.  The "war on women" is a hotbutton issue.  Controversial comments related to that are going to generate a ton more heat than if some random television personality makes an off-color remark about Canadians or southern people, because this is the new social crusade.  So yeah, the issue isn't so much what he said but who he offended when saying it, because people get their panties in a bunch just because they're told to by mass media.

    Given the statements Bayless and Smith have made over the years, ESPN has built that show around stirring up controversy.  In my mind, the fact that he said this is neither entirely shocking nor surprising, and anyone watching should feel the same way.  

    Of course ESPN is interested in maintaining self image.  I don't feel like that was ever in question.  I understand why they did it, but I don't agree with it, and my comment about society at large is pretty much the reason why ESPN feels compelled to take action.

    Or is it? I feel like whether or not this is truly an issue or a knee-jerk reaction is a debate for another time.
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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by Xero on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:20 am

    TeeBeeKay wrote:
    CapitalTTruth wrote:
    Xero wrote:My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.

    This is where I disagree. This is capitalism on full display. It has nothing to do with punishing a man for his opinion. ESPN is cultivating their identity by dissidentifying with comments on a public stage. If he were lower profile or no one heard it, it wouldn't matter. This is where I think people get turned around when they get upset with privately owned companies. If we focus what is just for the individual who said something, we miss the motivation. ESPN is just micromanaging its self image. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance. It is all image


    Bingo, I actually felt the same way about the Sterling stuff, he's been a racist and a bigot for years but the NBA and the owners didn't do anything about it until it started hurting their image(players talking/protesting) and their wallets(sponsors backing out). And Stephen A Smith probably would have gotten away with this if weren't for Beadle rightfully IMO making a huge issue out of it.

    Yeah but unlike CapitalTTruth, are you saying he deserves the punishment because of what he said?  If this is not the case, what did he get away from, if no one made an issue out of it?
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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by TeeBeeKay on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:58 am

    To answer the second question he would have gotten away with being an idiot and a misogynist.

    In a vacuum I don't think he deserves punishment because of the statement, people are allowed to idiots and misogynists, however when you work for a private entity with an image to maintain they have the right to discipline you if they see fit.
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    JustSkiff

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by JustSkiff on Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:27 am

    Swarles wrote:I find myself watching MLB network in summer for news and NFL network in winter since those are the only 2 sports i really care about. At some point ESPN decided every analyst on the network had to be a controversial blow hard, and I cannot stand it.

    You don't watch those midday Sports Centers with Coach and Grisham?
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    CapitalTTruth

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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

    Post by CapitalTTruth on Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:49 am

    Xero wrote:
    CapitalTTruth wrote:
    Xero wrote:My take is that people have probably said more offensive things on national television -- only about subjects that aren't as sensitive.  Even if I don't agree with what he's saying, I'm not sure I agree with suspending the man for stating his opinion on show where his job is to do just that.

    As a society, we have a real intolerance for hearing things that conflict with our personal belief system.

    This is where I disagree. This is capitalism on full display. It has nothing to do with punishing a man for his opinion. ESPN is cultivating their identity by dissidentifying with comments on a public stage. If he were lower profile or no one heard it, it wouldn't matter. This is where I think people get turned around when they get upset with privately owned companies. If we focus what is just for the individual who said something, we miss the motivation. ESPN is just micromanaging its self image. This has nothing to do with tolerance or intolerance. It is all image

    In a way, you're agreeing with me.  The "war on women" is a hotbutton issue.  Controversial comments related to that are going to generate a ton more heat than if some random television personality makes an off-color remark about Canadians or southern people, because this is the new social crusade.  So yeah, the issue isn't so much what he said but who he offended when saying it, because people get their panties in a bunch just because they're told to by mass media.

    Given the statements Bayless and Smith have made over the years, ESPN has built that show around stirring up controversy.  In my mind, the fact that he said this is neither entirely shocking nor surprising, and anyone watching should feel the same way.  

    Of course ESPN is interested in maintaining self image.  I don't feel like that was ever in question.  I understand why they did it, but I don't agree with it, and my comment about society at large is pretty much the reason why ESPN feels compelled to take action.

    Or is it? I feel like whether or not this is truly an issue or a knee-jerk reaction is a debate for another time.

    Fair, I guess we aren't disagreeing, so that was worded poorly from the beginning on my part. It just doesn't bother me. I will save everyone from my soapbox about capitalism and just say, I am not an outright and die hard defender of it as political imperative. However, this is just how it works, so it doesn't bother me that he is getting punished. I do wish there was some consistency, but "free speech" in the media is regulated by image, which is constructed around dollars.

    I don't think he necessarily "deserves" a punishment, but that is just never the issue. Since these are private companies, it will never really be an issue of "deserving" punishment. So, for me, his suspension is a completely differently conversation than the one about hot button issues and what should be said.

    We aren't on different pages, we are just maybe looking at them from different sides of the desk. You are absolutely right, he said the wrong thing at the wrong time and it made for a relatively benign and poorly articulated comment to be put front and center over the countless things said on TV that are far more blatantly offensive.


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    Re: Stephen A Smith Suspended From ESPN

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