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Sometimes, I feel like sports entertainment – and the associated media -- has turned into nothing more than “anger and stats”. In my opinion, ESPN doesn’t need to talk about domestic violence unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
That kind of thinking might have produced a better result for ESPN’s Steven A. Smith. I consider him an extremely smart, well-spoken broadcaster, but he really went off track on the topic of Ray Rice’s alleged assault of his wife in an elevator. Smith took the obvious stance against domestic violence, but he also suggested that people need to avoid provoking these kinds of physical altercations. It wasn’t hard for most people to reach the conclusion that his advice was aimed at women.
I really don’t think that Steven Smith was trying to be a jerk, but he definitely ended up looking like one. Smith released a very eloquent apology, and has accepted his short-term suspension from ESPN with what appears to be a sincerely penitent attitude.
Whoopi Goldberg also made some similar points on “The View” about provoking physical assault, but she boiled it all down to a basic idea that everyone can agree on:
DON’T HIT PEOPLE.
It’s pretty simple, right? Could it just be that easy to figure out how to deal with our fellow human beings without resorting to violence?