Didn't this asshole learn his lesson last July?
Last July, when the NFL handed down its joke of a punishment to Ray Rice, suspending him for two games, Stephen A. Smith, one of the co-hosts of ESPN's First Take, famously went on a rant about how we don't know what really happened in the elevator, how women have an obligation not to provoke men into hitting them, and about the "elements of provocation." All the while, co-host Skip Bayless sat there with an expression that said, "Looks like I get the day off from getting all the hate mail." You may recall Smith got suspended for that little escapade.
So now that the elevator footage has turned up, you'd think that Smith would remember what happened the last time he opened his fool mouth and would watch what he says. Nope. Yesterday's First Take featured a report from the day before about how the National Organization for Women was calling for Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, to vacate his post immediately, as the NFL clearly has a problem with players who are domestic abusers. NOW said basically what Keith Olberman said when this broke, that Goodell is an enabler of domestic abusers. Bayless said maaaaaaaaybe Goodell should go (I say he should. If you can explain all these actions as anything other than a cover-up without sounding like you're nuts, I'm keen to listen).
"I'm sorry, I think this woman is off her rocker. I think she's lost her mind. That's right, I said it."
Generally, if you are going to finish a statement with, "That's right, I said it," you want to make it something you can actually defend with rational arguments. Mr. Smith? You're on.
"This is the most ridiculous nonsense I've ever heard in my life. Roger Goodell deserves to lose his job? Why are you acting like he's Ray Rice? Roger Goodell didn't hit Janay Palmer Rice. He hasn't hit any women. And by the way, the last time I checked, Skip, why are we talking about the NFL as if it's some cesspool for domestic violence? There's a few cases. It's being dealt with."
Co-host Cari Champion tried to get things in a less volitile area, but Smith was having none of it. He continued to run for about a minute and a half more before they cut to a commercial.
Let me educate Mr. Smith here. The NFL has, in its bylaws, a provision for "the best interests of the league." It enables the commissioner to take any action he wants to promote the image of the league as ethical and upstanding.
Which means Goodell has an obligation to do the right thing whether he wants to or not.
He has failed.
The fact is, Goodell handed out stiffer punishments for marijuana than for DA. Not only that, but if there was nothing wrong with his initial punishment, why did he change it to a lifetime ban when the footage from the elevator came out?
Goodell should be fired. He tried to hide the severity of the crime. That's conspiracy.
Do try to get these things right, will you?