ESPN is taking commentator Stephen A. Smith off the air.
Smith is suspended for the offensive comments he made about women and domestic violence last week Friday. The network says Smith will not appear on his show “First Take” or on ESPN Radio. He will return August 6.
Yesterday on “First Take”, Smith apologized to those that took offense to his inflammatory comments, telling women to make sure they’re not doing anything “to provoke wrong actions.”
In a statement to employees released Tuesday, ESPN president John Skipper said the following:
We’ve said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view or our values. They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.
We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company. Our women’s [employee resource group] has added to the conversation, and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.
Stephen has called what took place ‘the most egregious mistake’ of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced. I’m confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days. I want to thank all those whose thoughts have contributed along the way.
Michelle Beadle, fellow ESPN anchor, was also enraged by Smith’s comment. She’s yet to respond to his suspension.