Stephen A. Smith will be appearing on First Take – right now! – to apologize and beg for forgiveness following his idiotic remarks about domestic violence last week in the wake of Ray Rice’s weak 2-game suspension by the NFL. ESPN, in a pretty weak twist, refused to comment on Smith saying that women should avoid actions that “provoke” domestic violence. The public relations department directed everyone to watch First Take Monday at 10 am.
Naturally, Smith will grovel and apologize profusely and attempt to clear his name. He thought his twitter apology Friday would suffice – would he even have responded if his colleague, Michelle Beadle, hadn’t said something? – but later that evening he deleted all those tweets, perhaps because he didn’t want to jeopardize larger opportunities. Like national TV commercials.
It’ll be interesting to see if this incident (or the Mayweather comments, or the Ocho Cinco comments) impacts Stephen A. Smith’s next contract – there have been rumblings in Bristol for months that he’s angling for a Fox Sports and Fox News combination platform when his deal at ESPN is up, and until recently, he had a fair amount of leverage considering how well First Take has been doing and the chemistry he has with Skip Bayless. Smith has already gotten off ESPN radio, as the Daily News reported over the weekend, moving to Sirius. That move had been in the works for months, sources say, and had nothing to do with the Rice comments last week.
The saddest part in all this, of course, is that the focus of the lenient 2-game suspension to Rice has shifted from Roger Goodell to Stephen A. Smith and ESPN. But don’t worry, when criticism does slide back to the Commish, he’ll drop the hammer on Colts owner Jim Irsay and all will be forgiven.
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