Stephen A. Smith Calls Domestic Violence Comments ‘Most Egregious Error’ Of His Career

Stephen A. Smith invoked the wrath of women and domestic abuse victims with his comments on ESPN’s First Take Friday (July 25).

After NFL star Ray Rice was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy following abuse allegations, Smith weighed in and began by saying men “have no business putting [their] hands on a woman.” He then ventured into hot water when he implied that women are sometimes to blame for getting abused by “provoking” their abusers.

While Smith issued an apology on Twitter, he kicked off Monday’s show with a sincere apology, calling the comments “the most egregious error of my career.”

“On Friday, speaking right here on “First Take” on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career,” he said. “While elaborating on thoughts concerning the NFL’s ruling versus Ray Rice following a domestic dispute with his then-fiancee, I ventured beyond the scope of our discussion by alluding to a woman’s role in such heinous matters, going so far as to use the word “provoke” in my diatribe. My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I’m trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious. To apologize to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter it’s proper justice, to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”

Watch the full apology below.