Besides, the fighting in Gaza, it seems like people on the internet, on the radio and on television have been consumed with Stephen A. Smith and what he said on ESPN about domestic violence.
That statement and the word ‘provoked’ stirred up a hornet’s nest.
Social media went crazy.
Smith’s co-workers, many of them women, were outraged.
He tried to clear it up on twitter.
It didn’t work.
Then a few days later he went back on ESPN and apologized.
A few days later ESPN announced that Stephen A. was suspended for a week.
In Stephen A’s apology he is correct on one point.
He did not clearly articulate his message.
I’ve watched and read his comments and I’m still not quite sure of what he was getting at.
But, his unartful words did serve to bring light to a very important issue that has been largely overlooked since his appearance on ESPN, and that is the subject of domestic violence and what we can do to try to prevent it.
We must keep in mind though that domestic violence isn’t a one way street.
Men don’t just hit or abuse women.
Women do abuse men.
Dr. Judy Ho, a clinical and forensic psychologist, told me on CNN last night that women very often are the ones who start the altercation by hitting first, not in all instances, but in many – again that’s according to the doctor.
Also last night on CNN, Phillip W. Cook, author of the book, ‘Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence’, the incidence of domestic violence committed by men against women are pretty close to the number of incidence where women abuse men.
However, he and Dr. Ho both say there is never an excuse for a man hitting a woman.
They also say there is never an excuse for a woman hitting a man.
The bottom line here is, saying someone provoked their own beating or abuse, is just ludicrous.
Everybody should keep their hands to themselves.
If Stephen A. and others had simply said that, and Ray Rice had practiced it, there would be no need for uproar, misunderstandings, suspensions and apologies.
I’ll say it again, everyone just keep your hands to yourselves.