Earlier today, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith went on television and suggested that women should make sure not to provoke men into beating them. This was not well-received, so he took to Twitter and basically repeated what he'd initially said. This went poorly. So, he tried to issue something resembling an apology—in just one tweet, this time.
The link might not work for some of you, so here's the full text:
My series of tweets a short time ago is not an adequate way to capture my thoughts so I am using a single tweet via Twitlonger to more appropriately and effectively clarify my remarks from earlier today about the Ray Rice situation. I completely recognize the sensitivity of the issues and the confusion and disgust that my comments caused. First off, as I said earlier and I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever. I understand why that important point was lost in my other comments, which did not come out as I intended. I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn't trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life. I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.
OK, that's something of an apology. But it's probably bullshit. After all, this is far from the first time Smith has expressed similar opinions.
Back in 2012, then-Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson was accused of headbutting his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada. Smith and Bayless embraced debate on the topic over several episodes of First Take. See if Smith's thoughts, as captured in the compilation below, don't sound familiar:
The whole thing is, in its way, worth watching, but the gist of Smith's argument is captured in the following riff, from Aug. 15, 2012:
There are plenty of instances where provocation comes into consideration, instigation comes into consideration, and I will be on the record right here on national television and say that I am sick and tired of men constantly being vilified and accused of things and we stop there. I'm saying, "Can we go a step further?" Since we want to dig all deeper into Chad Johnson, can we dig in deep to her?
ESPN has repeatedly declined requests for comment.