Sticks and stones may break my bones but Words CAN hurt She

Stephen-A-Smith

For the days that I get an opportunity to DVR my favorite shows such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and of course First Take, I get to fully analyze each episode in its entirety. Well on Friday, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were discussing the NFL ruling on Ray Rice’ suspension which was only 2 games. Quite frankly, I don’t think that is enough time and it show that Roger Goodell is inconsistent with his discipline. You can suspend a coach who is telling the players to hurt opposing players which is the object of the game according to older players for older generations and even giving them some money for a year but a man allegedly knocked a woman out and gets only 2 games. What message does that send to women? What message is the NFL conveying to women by this suspension? I say allegedly because I don’t have any ocular proof that Ray actually hit her. Based off of the surveillance tape, it looks like an unconscious woman stretched out on the ground and a man looking like a deer in headlights as to what his next move should be. My first question is why they didn’t release the tape from the elevator ride to actual show what happened. If they can show Solange going Chun-Li on Hov then why not Ray on Janay. Please don’t tell me Ray has more clout than Jay because I don’t believe that for a second. But this isn’t about the incident itself, this is about the dialogue that transpired about the ruling.

We all know Stephen A. Smith. He’s known for his sharp suits, shape-up, his vocabulary and constant yelling at Skip Bayless’ opinion to certain subjects. When Stephen A speaks, I need a dictionary or I press pause so I can understand what he is actually saying. He’s the Cornel West of the sports world. Stephen A. Smith made some comments regarding how we always discuss the end result of a domestic abuse situation which is the man hitting the woman but we never discuss the whole situation. My dad always told me there are 3 sides to every story: his side, her side and the truth. Sadly, we will never know the truth because all parties have cooperated for the betterment of themselves and not the bigger issue at hand which is domestic violence. He said let’s discuss preventative measures for both parties but ultimately no man should ever put their hands on a woman. Let’s take it a step further nobody should put their hands on nobody. Stephen A. Smith ideals and principles had logic and it made perfect sense but his delivery and wordplay was suspect which is ironic since he is known for his extensive vocabulary. If the Dave Chappelle show was still around this would be a great, “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong”.  I agree with what Stephen A. Smith said but his words made it seem like it’s a woman’s fault that they get hit. In some cases a man and I used that word loosely in this sentence just put their hands on a woman just to flex their strength on them but this is a No Flex Zone area. I think we need to have a discussion on the accountability of all parties because it takes two to tango but in this case I don’t want to be the leader.

Is domestic abuse a one sided affair? Is it always going to be the man’s fault when this occurs? For example, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey is one of the baddest women in the planet. If she beats up her boyfriend is it still domestic abuse or she is lauded as a hero and do women begin to poke their chest out? Does she become the ambassador of what will happen if you mess with a woman? But, if the woman is the aggressor do the same rules apply. If she knocks out someone is she an abuser or was it self-defense or since he’s a man he should always be dominant than a female and overpower her. Let me remind you this woman gets paid handsomely to beat the shit out of an opponent so do we look at her man as an opponent or nah. I know men who got abused by their women but if they report it, they are referred to as a bitch, a sucker, a simp and many condescending names but if they retaliate and put their hands on a woman then they are called the same words so what if anything does a man do in this situation. If the shoe was on the other foot and Janay Palmer knocks out Ray Rice in the elevator are we looking at this case the same way? Are we saying Ray Rice was a victim of domestic abuse or are we making memes and endless jokes about how he can take a hit from a grown ass man but not from a petite female? Would Janay be faced with criminal charges?

Men must show restraint in these situations but women y’all must realize your actions as well. Is it possible that there are some women out there that have a mentality where they think nothing can happen to them because they are women but then when it gets real and something does happen, it’s a reality check that they can’t cash? I think we should be able to create a dialogue where opinions can get expressed without any conflict. Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable but abuse isn’t. Men we are in a losing situation when in conflict with a woman. From first-hand experience, I had a woman throw a drink on me because she thought I called her a bitch. I didn’t call her a bitch it was another dude that tried to spit game and got rejected and that was his response. Now that I think about it how drunk was she for her not to know which nigga was hitting on her. Nevertheless, I didn’t call her a bitch but I just got caught in the crossfire. After the drink hit my face, I was shocked, caught off guard and furious at the same damn time. Some things people should never do to each other: spit on them, throw drinks on them and throw sucker punches. Can’t lie I wanted to pop her like Mike Epps did women on How High but I know that was a movie and secondly I didn’t have any powder(Mike Epps was a pimp in that movie, I don’t know if that makes it any better but I just wanted the facts to be out in the open). So instead of throwing the haymaker from Hell, I began to restrain her but of course me being 6 feet tall and almost 300 pounds it looks like I was beating her. Now to some people I was dead ass wrong saying I should know better, some think I was too soft and should of beat the dog shit out of her and others say, Sonny you were in a lose-lose situation so damned if you do damned if you don’t. In this instance could we discuss the woman’s actions or nah. See I feel she had no right to throw a drink on me, if she was upset she could have expressed herself in a different manner but with her being a woman all the accountability was throw on me and none was thrown at her. Now if I balled my fist up and hit like a grown man, I deserve whatever repercussion that was coming my way but I just restrain her. For the record it was never an ego thing where I had to flex on her and show her who the biggest boss is because I know I am a big ass dude and that’s not a good look on me so hitting her was never an option. The lesson I learned from that was to keep myself out of areas where situations like this could happen because alcohol was flowing, emotions were running high and somebody was going to learn today-Kevin Hart voice.

Like I said earlier, I agree with what Stephen A. Smith said regarding the discussion of preventative measures because accountability needs to be shared for all the parties. But, what upsets me the most is that he says repeatedly, ‘under no circumstance should a man hit a woman’ and yet he’s getting in trouble. I think the real issue is the arena that he chose to express himself which was primetime daytime TV on one of the biggest channels in the world which is ESPN. Millions of people watch First Take every day so of course his thoughts were going to go viral. I know he didn’t have any malice in his comments but those comments would have been more appropriate in a different setting like a barber shop, poker night maybe even a family barbecue or someplace else just not on ESPN. This wasn’t the place to express himself and because of that ESPN had to make an example out of him.

Based upon his comments, Stephen A. Smith has been suspended until next Wednesday from ESPN First Take and any other ESPN affiliated shows. This suspension is about a week long which is half the suspension Ray Rice received and he actually committed the crime. Oh the irony in that shit. I wonder if Michelle Beadle, a colleague of ESPN didn’t make any comments would this suspension even happen. Even though he was bashed for his comments some people defended him most notably Whoopi Goldberg. So does she get suspended as well because they are owned by the same network? Does she get any backlash for defending Stephen A. Smith or was her delivery and word choice more tasteful and her reasoning could be understood better than what Stephen A Smith was trying to convey in his diatribe. I think Stephen A went wrong when he used the word ‘provoke’. The word ‘provoke’ came off as a trigger word which would imply that it’s a woman’s fault if she gets hit by a man and that’s not the case at all.  Like Drake said, let’s take a negative and turn it into a positive picture by talking about this issue and the impact that it has on society. Let’s start a dialogue on what can be done to prevent such a heinous crime. Let’s begin to pontificate our opinions and not denigrate someone’s experience and use words that would create such an egregious mistake (for the record that was my best Stephen A. Smith attempt if you watch the show then you know what I mean). Here’s a comment based off of the ruling by ESPN: “Stephen A Smith said nothing wrong and the suspension is outright ridiculous! The man simply expressed how women need to take more precautionary measures as it relates to domestic violence. And while doing this, he repeatedly stated that in no way, shape or form does he condone men hitting women. We keep talking about the men but we as people have to understand that women are not 100% blameless in every single domestic violence situation. DV goes both ways and I believe Stephen A just offered a bit of wisdom to women who find themselves in escalating situation. The media has taken his commentary and portrayed it as if he said it with harmful intent and I am outraged that it has gone this far. “

What are your thoughts about the above comment? What are your thoughts about this subject or ruling? Do you think Stephen A. Smith should have been suspended? Have you been victims of domestic abuse, if so were they preventative measures that could have been used to prevent this situation from escalating? Have you abused someone and if so why did you do it? Let me know your thoughts and for the record.

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