Stephen A. Smith has been the source of much attention since he was suspended by ESPN for one week following remarks about domestic violence, specifically as it related to the Ray Rice incident. I spoke with Smith last night at Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia’s Summer Classic Charity Basketball Game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and he clarified his comments.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve said I’ve never hit a woman in my life. I never would hit a woman, and the men who I put my hands on, it’s because those punks had the audacity to hit a woman. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that. Evidently nobody heard me. All they heard was the word provoke.” Smith suggested he may have been better served using a different word, like escalate. “So one word cost me a week of my career, which by the way, the first reprimand I’ve ever received in my 22 year career,” he said.
Smith says he will speak with clarity in the future to ensure that there is no misinterpretation of what he is saying or what he meant. “There will be no fluttering, there will be no stuttering there will be no anything. I’m going to say exactly what the hell I mean exactly the way I mean it upfront so it’s clear.”
The co-host of ESPN 2’s “First Take” also spoke about his move to Sirius XM. “It’s a great opportunity. As much as I’m happy to be a part of the ESPN family, I’m still going to be doing television, but I’m national on television, I’m national on digital, why not be national on radio, why be local?” Smith continued, “I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have a voice that’s been able to resonate nationwide, if not internationally, and Sirius XM gives me an opportunity to further expand on that level and it was an opportunity that I simply could not refuse.” The show will be hitting the airwaves soon. “I debut Sept. 2 from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. every week day, and just buckle up,” Smith said.