The big news in the sports world today is Robert Kraft being charged for soliciting prostitution as part of a much larger sex trafficking ring in South Florida. The news broke as many of ESPN’s big programs were already well underway. Stephen A. Smith, for example, had already concluded First Take and was moving on to his radio show when the news broke.
It’s one thing for Stephen A. Smith to be woefully misinformed on something like the Chargers’ depth chart or how Dwayne Haskins plays the quarterback position. It’s another to make comments about domestic violence (which got Smith suspended for a week) or for speaking flippantly about a serious situation involving human sex trafficking involving women from another country.
He started an awful take about Robert Kraft by acknowledging that he should probably shut up. And then he did not take that advice. Now, keep in mind that the investigation into the sex trafficking ring alleges that women had been brought here from China under false auspices, and then required to work in the sex trade. Here’s what Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said about how the women were treated:
“They were cooking on the back steps of the business. These women were sleeping in massage parlors, on the massage tables and had no access to transportation,” said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, who noted the victims were averaging eight clients a day. “If you do the math, that is about 1,500 men a year, with no days off.”
And here you go:
Some lowlights include “Now if you believe that a crime has been committed as it pertains to him dating someone considerably younger than him, then clearly he’s guilty of that.”
“As the evidence flows in, we will be in a position to comment on it …”
“So they are saying that an act was committed, they are acknowledging that it was consensual, so the issue here is solicitation inside of the spa. How do we know it wasn’t somebody he wasn’t with on numerous occasions?”
“You know something ladies and gentlemen, there are things that I want to say, there really is. This is one of those situations where it is strongly advisable for Stephen A. Smith to shut up. … But when you are talking about two consenting adults deciding to engage in dare I say extracurricular activity and somehow, someway that is a crime? [inaudible scream] I need to be quiet … I think I need to shut up about this.”
“According to people that I’ve spoken to in the state of Florida, because you are in a spa, and things transpire, because it was in the spa, that what makes the consenting portion of it illegal. I just don’t know, I’m no lawyer, if there’s a lawyer in Florida who is astute on the legal matters in the state of Florida as it pertains to this incident, I got it, I got it, but I just want to put it in a laymen’s perspective. Please allow me to do that.”
Smith did return after a break, after being told about the sex trafficking aspect of the case, and say, “I’m not here to try to minimize sex trafficking … I didn’t know anything about the sex trafficking … I did not know that.” He did, however, continue to talk about this matter, and the best advice is what he refused to follow. He probably needs to not talk about this topic in any serious way.