Michelle Beadle works at ESPN, but she didn't let that stop her from denouncing inflammatory on-air remarks about domestic violence made by a colleague on the sports media behemoth's "First Take" debate program. Like many, the host of "SportsNation" was outraged by the comments made by panelist Stephen A. Smith on "First Take" on Friday morning in relation to the suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. One day after the NFL announced that Rice would be suspended for two games and fined following his arrest in February for allegedly striking his then-fiancee during an altercation, Smith referenced "the elements of provocation" that victims of domestic violence should be mindful of when dealing with abusers.
Beadle took to Twitter to speak out against victim-blaming and to call out Smith for his statements.
So I was just forced to watch this morning's First Take. A) I'll never feel clean again B) I'm now aware that I can provoke my own beating.
I was in an abusive relationship once. I'm aware that men & women can both be the abuser. To spread a message that we not 'provoke' is wrong
Violence isn't the victim's issue. It's the abuser's. To insinuate otherwise is irresponsible and disgusting. Walk. Away.
A short while later, Smith responded to the outrage sparked by his comments, referencing Beadle's criticism along the way. Long before offering any sort of apology, Smith let his Twitter followers know that he was ANNOYED (emphasis his) and reiterated many of his earlier comments. He seemed to be blaming those who took offense to his comments for misconstruing his words.
This will be a long tweeted message, folks. So please stay with me and let me finish my complete thought before responding...b/c i'm ANNOYED
Upon hearing what I had to say, although admitting I could've been more articulate on the matter, let me be clear: I don't understand how on
earth someone could interpret that I somehow was saying women are to blame for domestic violence. And when I saw @MichelleDBeadle -- a
colleague I have profound respect for -- tweet what she tweeted, enough is enough. Something needs to be said right now.
REPEATEDLY i said:
There is absolutely no excuse to put your hands on a women. REPEATEDLY, I said dudes who do that need to be dealt with. REPEATEDLY, I echoed
when confronted by it in the past -- when someone was stupid enough to touch a loved one of this man, raised by 4 older sisters, a mom and
numerous female relatives and loved ones, that man was dealt with. From that point, I simply asked: now what about the other side.
If a man is pathetic and stupid enough to put his hands on a woman -- which I have NEVER DONE, btw -- of course he needs to pay the price.
In no way was I accusing a women of being wrong. I was simply saying what that preventive measures always need to be addressed because
there's only but so much that can be done after the fact....once the damage is already done. Nothing more.
My apologies to @MichelleDBeadle
And any woman out there who misconstrued what I said. I have always -- and will always -- find violence against a women every bit as
horrific as women, themselves, find it. Always have. Always will, which my personal behavior exemplifies. I'll strive to be more articulate
in the future. But be clear, I wasn't BLAMING women for anything. I was simply saying to take all things into consideration for preventative
While not addressing his comments directly, Beadle reaffirmed her tweets with one message shortly after Smith's rebuttal ended.
In a week in which LGBT & domestic abuse issues have been primarily discussed in one-sided formats, I stand by my words. #communicatebetter