ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Off Air For One Week Following Controversial Comments
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Outspoken TV and radio host Stephen A. Smith won’t be on ESPN’s air for one week following controversial comments he made last week, the company announced on Tuesday.
“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement.
The news comes one day after Smith delivered a taped apology on ESPN’s “First Take” for comments he made on the show last Friday when discussing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s domestic incident with then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer.
Many, including ESPN colleague Michelle Beadle, interpreted Smith’s opinion as a suggestion that female victims of domestic violence bring it upon themselves.
Compounding the issue was a series of blog posts that showed Smith had articulated similar opinions on the issue before.
It’s unclear whether this qualifies as a suspension for Smith, who co-hosts “First Take” on ESPN 2 and a radio show on ESPN New York, 98.7 FM.