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If you can’t finish it, don’t start it: Stephen A. Smith was right!

July 30, 2014 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Stephen A. Smith, ESPN analyst, writer and social critic, recently got into a bunch of hot water while commenting on the most recent domestic abuse eruption between Baltimore Ravens running back Raymell Rice and then girlfriend (now wife) Janay Palmer. At issue was a videotape that was released by the hotel they were staying which showed Rice pulling his unconscious girlfriend out of the elevator after allegedly knocking her out during a domestic dispute.

Smith was extremely critical of Rice’s actions and agreed that the NFL should have punished him. And while many people, especially female fans, were outraged that Rice received only a 2-game suspension after admitting to the incident, Stephen A. Smith went on to say that equal attention should be paid towards women who intentionally provoke these kinds of outbursts.

As eloquently as Stephen A. Smith is, and in this case, as clearly as he distanced himself from condoning Rice’s actions, the overwhelmingly negative outcry that those comments received forced ESPN to suspend him for a week.

The bottom line is that he was right.

The national statistics for domestic violence against women are staggering. Last year domestic violence was the number one cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. In theStephen-a-Smith-Ray-Rice-2014 black community this is a huge problem because this is combined with the reality that more than 70% of all households are single parent homes headed by a woman. Many of these women have been victims of abuse, and they’re now raising children, alone.

Why is this important? There’s a lot of resentment towards men who don’t take care of their responsibilities, and rightfully so. Many women who have been victimized by the crime of neglect and abuse understandably become very cold and resentful towards their victimizers. This resentment and bitterness is often passed onto the children that come from these unions.

While it is not guaranteed that a child who grows up in a single parent household will become an adult who harbors resentment towards their fathers, the chances are that many will. And while the statistics for fatherless homes increases so do instances of domestic abuse. Why? Because most cases of domestic abuse are tied to economics, and it’s no mystery that having more than one income lessens the pressure associated with economic strife. Of course money is not the only antidote for domestic violence, but you rarely hear of these cases coming from a home that is intact and economically sound.

As they grow older a lot of these kids don’t have a healthy idea of what a balanced relationship is because they’ve never seen one. Ultimately when they enter into their own relationships the only emotions they’re familiar with are visceral ones; disgust and abandonment. Neither of these qualities are good for a sustainable relationship.

So now, in many cases, you have a woman who has grown up in a house where no man was present, and most conversations about men were probably negative. Top that off with the fact that a lot of men who did come around were temporary and now you’ve got the ingredients for a woman who doesn’t really like men because she doesn’t know men. So, when she enters into a relationship with a man, guess what happens when they have an argument?


In most instances women know that it is not socially acceptable for a man to hit her back in the presence of other people and they exploit it. It’s an unspoken code among most men that he will not shame himself by physically attacking a woman who is hitting him in public. Again, most women know and exploit this.  

Sometimes women push the envelope because of this unspoken truce that men have to adhere to. Everyone knows that a woman hitting a man in front of her friends is not a fair fight. It’s equivalent to putting her head in the mouth of a trained lion while its trainers are standing next to it. The risk is always there, but she knows, and that lion knows, that should he decide to clamp down on her head that he’ll be taken out back and shot.

Ultimately when the man is attacked he is not simply defending himself against something he may have done to her. In a lot of cases he’s being forced to withstand the physical onslaught that she’s unleashing against EVERY bad relationship she’s ever had with a man, beginning with that of her deadbeat dad.

And it’s not fair, but then again neither is life.

Men have their limits, and that’s what Stephen A. Smith was alluding to regarding the incident between Ray Rice and his girlfriend. While his comments may have seemed conciliatory for something as egregious as domestic violence, they weren’t. He obviously knew something that didn’t come out until a few days later, and that was the fact that she admitted to attacking him when the hotel made it public that they had a security tape of what happened inside the elevator before the doors opened. By virtue of not releasing the security footage from inside the elevator (a la the Jay Z and Solange Knowles beat down tape), they’ve all but confirmed that the events leading to her ultimate demise were, in fact, inflamed by her. Should he have hit her with an upper cut to the chin? I’m thinking he’s probably regretting that.

So, again, while domestic violence has no place in society, especially between a highly trained athlete and his fiancé, we must boldly address the reality that some women back a man into a corner so far that the only way they can get out is to do the unthinkable. 

Staff Writer; Steven Robinson

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6 Responses to “If you can’t finish it, don’t start it: Stephen A. Smith was right!”
  1. Patton says:

    Stephen A Smith is a pure douchebag. Enough said.

  2. Adrienne says:

    I don’t think Mr. Smith should have been suspended but he should have expressed himself better not to sound like he was suggesting women provoked domestic violence. He never condoned Ray Rice’s actions made that point. Whether Mrs. Rice was entirely blameless or not(and I’m sure she wasn’t) that doesn’t change the fact Ray Rice is male trained athlete who is more than capable of restraining a woman he could physically overpower in self-defense if he needed to. Knocking her unconscious was overkill and possibly dangerous.

    I agree if Jay Z, a big man himself can subdue a petite woman without having to hit her so can Ray Rice. As for women backing a man into a corner that he does the unthinkable, unless the situation is extreme where his life is in danger or causing him serious grievous harm than he doesn’t need to do the unthinkable whether in public or in private. Both Ray Rice and his wife have apologized and admitted they both played a part in this altercation and trying to move on from it with counseling and a pray for them both. Also, unfortunately plenty of women do marry their abusers and remain with them no matter how we can’t understand it.

  3. toomanygrandkids says:

    When this incident happened, Ray was engaged to this woman. For her to marry him makes me think that she recognized that she was at fault. No woman in her right mind stays engaged then marries a man who abuses her. Whether in public or private, abuse is abuse. She could also very well be the type of woman who married this guy for money. Females will feel as though marrying a man with money and living in a lap of luxury is worth experiencing abuse of any kind.

    As for Steven A. Smith: From what I read online about what he said, it didn’t seem as though he was disrespecting anyone. Maybe he upset some people by speaking the truth. We all know lots of people can’t handle the truth mainly because his comments (unknowingly) pertained to them.

    The suspensions of both of these guys is really no big deal. The way I see it is they damn sure are not gonna go broke and become homeless and go hungry. At least they really didn’t lose their jobs. I also read that Steven was offered another gig. All is not lost.

    Any woman who feels as though she can get away with pushing a man’s buttons should be prepared to throw down and/or get thrown down.

  4. Papacool says:

    In order to save face, ESPN had no choice but to suspend Mr. Smith. By doing so, they garner the fans that spoke out of the subject and are openly displaying their intent to be on the side of public opinion.Like the shutdown of the government, Mr. Smith may be paid later for his time off and for going along with the program. Too many of us are in situations where we depend on the old paycheck and the job. So we find ourselves going along just to get along. Bullshit, where is Django when he is needed? Every time a brother with a brain states the facts, he faces a certain demise. In this case, it was a suspension instead of a rope or bullet. I would hope that Mr. Smith does not lose his swagger and that his co-workers will have the courage and moxie to stand up for him. People enjoy controversy as long as they are the ones controlling it. Unless we own it, we will never control it or have a say in it. The actions of Mr. Rice are not acceptable when one looks at the video clip that has been used to display what his final result was after the elevator ride. Only God and his now wife, along with himself, know the truth of the entire matter. Alcohol and arguments are not ever a good match. Decisions and actions taken in the blink of an eye, can have severe consequences. But in the end, it is all a matter of choice. If Jay Z can refrain from jap-slapping someone when attacked, surely Mr. Rice could have done the same thing. As far as his 2 game suspension, let him thank God that he did not get a death penalty verdict which would have banned him from playing for the rest of his career. In closing, two wrongs never make a right, but we have to get real and know that things like this are going to happen regardless of how matter mistakes we witness others doing. Let us pray. Peace out, Papacool.

  5. Valerie Jugenson says:

    i am sooo glad whom ever you are,that you wrote this article!
    I cant say im a fan or that ive ever watched this mans program,
    Im just learning this whole story. I was in TOTAL disbelief that
    this man was suspended for voicing HIS opion and or out look
    on the situation, I was taugt that opions were like ass hole’s and every
    one has one! personally i think his first amendment rite’s were
    Violated by his suspensison. I agree with this article where it say’s
    That alot of woman take advantage of that man code. You are absulutly
    Right. However im not sure about the absent father thing really being part
    Of the issue, my father was absent. And i admit, im bitter, but he didnt cause it. Lol
    That’d be life and reality. I was told by my dad that, a Man, should NEVER hit a
    LADY! Less she STOP ACTING LIKE A LADY! Then, you may need to give her an attitude
    Ajustment. 🙂 thank you again for speaking My Mind!
    Also incase it matters im white

  6. Realman2 says:

    Basically is was right, but I still can’t stand the Sambo.

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