Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith before game five of the 2014 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen A. Smith Shows The Power of One Word!

Does anyone remember the old saying…”Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never harm me” ? Anyone? Well Pippen Peoples, it’s a bad myth. Just like your little league baseball coach saying that baseball don’t hurt. I could talk about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny but there are little kids out there.

Stephen A. Smith showed us all that was a myth with only one word last  Friday…


Last Friday on ESPN2’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless had  a discussion on the week’s hottest topic which was Ray Rice’s controversial two game  suspension.

Stephen A. Smith tried to say his opinion on the matter.

Smith started off his point with Bayless stating men “have no business putting their hands on a woman.”

If he would have stopped there, this article would not be published. But he didn’t.

“We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that. But  as a man who was raised  by women, see I know what I’m going to do if someone touches a female member of my family I know what I’m going to do. I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I’m going to have to remind myself that I work for the World Wide Leader, I’m going to have to get  law enforcement involved because of what I’m going to be tempted to do.

If he quits here. He stays out of trouble. There are plenty of men out there that feels the same way he does. If my mom, wife or any woman in my family were accosted in any way that would put them in harm’s way, I have plenty of family members starting with a phone call to my father who can help me put you on the late news tonight. I don’t need to be reminded of where I work. That situation will be dealt with…with the quickness.

But here’s where it all goes wrong.

“But what I’ve tried to employ to 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 all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or someone else come, whether it’s law officials, your brothers, or fellas you know, if we come  after somebody has  put their hands on you, it does not negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try and make sure that we  can do our part in making sure that we can do our part in making sure that this  doesn’t happen.”

Ugh! Believe me everyone, I watched the clip over and over again. At this point even Stephen A. Smith knew he was sinking in quicksand. But he made it worse trying to acknowledge Ray Rice’s suspension…

” In Ray Rice’s case he probably deserves more than a two game suspension which we booth acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you’ve 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. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying. No point of blame.”

Look everyone, as a person who has been in the media for 20 years by way of radio, television and this job here at Pippen Ain’t Easy, I can tell you that one word or sentence can change everything.

Today’s word here is “Provoke”.

Here’s my peace on this situation. If anyone REALLY thinks that Stephen A. Smith believes that any woman deserves to be abused in any way whether it be physical, emotional or sexual really needs to take a long look at themselves before they start  throwing bricks.

Did Stephen A. Smith articulate his words on the subject well?


Did Stephen A. Smith stick his foot in his mouth?

No! He stuck both of them in.

Has Stephen A. Smith done this before?

Yep. He broached the subject with the Chad Johnson arrest.

Stephen A. Smith in my opinion after looking at the video (a lot) was talking about education. We as a people need to look at ALL aspects of this subject and talk about it. We have generations behind us that need all the information that we can give them. Abuse is an ugly subject that needs to be addressed…from all sides of the spectrum. No matter how ugly it is. If we just talk about one aspect and ignore the others, then this will never stop.

How do I know?

I work as a Newscast Director in a television station. You would be stunned over how many stories are covered by abuse. Not just women, but children too. Some are found somewhere dead, killed by the “person that they loved.” Some victims ARE NEVER FOUND! These stories make the air so much that you can get desensitized to the subject.

This can never happen.

A few days ago I wrote a column about Los Angeles Clippers small forward Matt Barnes reaching out on social media to help find his aunt’s killer. His aunt was stabbed and left for dead on a Sacramento sidewalk. Another example of physical abuse. This one was tragic.

Stephen A. Smith did apologize on Monday saying his comments was his most egregious error of his career.

Let’s hope that Stephen A. Smith’s colleague at ESPN, Michelle Beadle accepts the apology who took to Twitter to let him know that she did not appreciate the comment. Hopefully she can see that Smith is human and we all make mistakes.

What I sincerely hope is that the real issue does not get lost in the controversy of  one wrongly spoken word.

Ray Rice still allegedly abused his then fiancée, now wife.

There are plenty of men, women and  children that need help being rescued from abuse  that do not have professional athletes in their family. What about them?

Don’t let the real cause get lost.


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Tags: ESPN Michelle Beadle Ray Rice Stephen A. Smith

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