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Is It Official ESPN Policy to Allow Employees to Blame Women for the Domestic Violence Athletes Commit Against Them?

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Color me shocked that a conversation between Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s loathsome First Take would lead Smith to blame women for domestic violence.

First Take panelists Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless continued to discuss the Ray Rice suspension on this morning’s episode, and Smith seized on the opportunity to say some deeply stupid things about the responsibility women have to not provoke men into violently attacking them.

This is just a train wreck, and Stephen A. doesn’t seem to realize just how dumb his monologue is until it’s way too late. His central point here, to which he keeps returning after throwing out caveats about how domestic violence is not OK, is that if you are a woman who doesn’t want to be beaten by men, you should make sure to do your part by not giving them a reason to do so.

“We also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can,” Smith says, “about elements of provocation.”

The context of course is the NFL’s depressingly small 2 game suspension for Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice knocking out his girlfriend (now wife) in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino. For comparison, a third offense for smoking marijuana is a 4 game suspension.

At least someone can see the employment opportunities here for people of a certain point of view:

Of course the entire NFL is a joke when it comes to domestic violence. The Onion doesn’t even have to try here.

Stephen A. Smith is now very angry that people are mad at him and in defending himself basically makes the same argument he made on the show.

Obviously Smith should be fired. So should Bayless, but that’s more for his whole awful career than anything that happened today per se. But it won’t happen because people are talking about First Take, which is all ESPN cares about.

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