ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith issued an apology Monday for his remarks about domestic violence and called what he said on Friday’s show “the most egregious error” of his career.
In his apology, which was taped ahead of the show, Smith referred only briefly to the initial error that spiked controversy online and even caused ESPN colleague Michelle Beadle to criticize him on Twitter.
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On Friday, in talking about the NFL's decision to suspend Ray Rice for two games for an altercation with his now-wife, Smith implied that women should change their behavior so as not to provoke domestic violence.
Smith said he mangled what he was trying to get across.
"My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This is not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say,” Smith said
. “Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulder. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious. To apologize — to say I’m sorry — doesn’t do the matter its proper justice, to be quite honest.”
Smith said he has spoken out against domestic violence his entire life, and extended his apologies to his mother and four older sisters and said he had dealt with domestic violence issues in his own life.
“Particularly the victims of domestic abuse and to my female family members and loved ones I’ve disappointed and who know I know better, you all deserved ... quite frankly, a better man last Friday sitting on this very set, in this very chair,” Smith said.
The apology didn’t satisfy some people, who went online to say so. USA Today examined the nature of Smith’s apology
— pointing out that it was taped and should have been delivered live like his original comments — but called it the “right apology,” though it felt rehearsed.
“He also never truly said what he was apologizing for, other than casually mentioning his use of ‘provoke,’” USA Today said. “He mentioned that he was trying to articulate something different with his comments, but never attempted to explain what that was. The more specific the apology, the better.”
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