Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Victim In The War On Women

Stephen A. Smith is a sports commentator on ESPN. I don't like him. IMO he is arrogant, overbearing, condescending, and flat-out obnoxious. But at times I agree with him.

In this case, the topic was the NFL's treatment of Ray Rice. Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was recently handed a two-game suspension after being charged with domestic violence.
Rice allegedly struck (his girlfriend) unconscious on Feb. 15 while in a casino elevator in Atlantic City. Video surfaced online showing Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.
To put this into context, the NFL suspends players caught smoking marijuana for four games.

Smith appropriately condemned Rice for his actions. He went on to, again appropriately, chastise the NFL for its ridiculously lenient punishment of Rice. But it's what he said after that, and how he said it, that caused an uproar.
"But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions...

... In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way...
(Full transcript here.)

Not the most articulate statement, but keep in mind that this was on live TV, and Smith was speaking off the top of his head. To me what he said was common sense. He pointed out that if you are dealing with a volatile person, it just makes sense to refrain from provoking them. He didn't blame women, he didn't say it was their fault, he just said "let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions."

Feminists and other PC types somehow interpreted his remarks as "blame the victim." Their howls of outrage led to Smith's suspension.
(ESPN president John Skipper) explained the decision to suspend Smith until Aug. 6 came as the result of discussions with ESPN's women's employee resource group.
I oppose violence and all other types of abuse and oppression against women. (I suppose that makes me an islamaphobe, but that's a topic for another time.) But I'm evidently not sensitive enough to the plight of womyn, because I fail to comprehend the crime for which Smith has been charged, convicted, and sentenced.

Am I missing something here, or am I really a misogynistic Neanderthal male chauvinist pig...?

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