Everyone who saw “this one” coming please roll your eyes and giggle. Not counting Prince Albert, I see two others NOT rolling your eyes. Ergo the rest of us all saw this coming from the get-go.
ESPN Prez John Skipper is, OF COURSE, a UNCer (late 70s), and “son of a letter-carrier in Lexington NC” per his bio. I say OF COURSE because EVERY Sports Honcho has UNC connections – Swoffy, Delany, Stuart Scott, Balbiz, the BusWeek CEO, et al. ….THEY’RE EVERYWHERE…. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!
Yesterday John Skipper suspended Stephen A. Smith for a week for his recent editorial commentary re: The Controversial Courting Ritual of Ray & Janay Rice. ……
I’m no more surprised by this Pavlovian knee-jerk of paranoid political correctness by ESPN than AgentPierce is that, not one but, TWO candlelight vigils are being held in Chapel Hill from last Wednesday’s tragedy. Lapel ribbons and a possible #hashtag still to follow no doubt. Derm gangbangers are quaking in their Timberlines over the threat of “a #hashtag”. …… Back to ESPN, Prez Skipper and suspended Stephen A.
Stephen A. Smith is employed by ESPN specifically to provide provocative thought-provoking commentary on issues of the day in American Sports. He is an acquired taste or distaste. Me, I’ve always liked the guy (NOTE: I’ve never met him, just know his on-air persona). Stephen A. is controversial because (1) he teams up on-air with Skip Bayless and (2) he uses a lot of big words therefore emoting an “uppity” manner. Being ESPN’s one /only AfAm on-air guy without a shaved head may / may not contribute to his controversial status.
I’ve always liked him because I “get” his exaggerated on-air know-it-all persona. At least 75% of his normal rhetoric is waaaay over the heads of ESPN’s base audience of board monkeys, mouth-breathers, bar flies, and pervs hoping to cop an upskirt off Hannah Storm.
As we first noted in the previous column, Stephen A.’s recent commentary on “The Rices In The Elevator” sent all of Bristol into an en fuego panic not seen in the Connecticut countryside since Rush brazenly noted that “Donovan McNabb is a black QB” back in October 2003.
In his typical Stephen A. diatribe, Stephen A. detailed his own personal experiences with domestic violence and its prevalence in AfAm family units. An impression was given that Stephen A.’s mother may have been a victim and possibly other females in his family….. but NOT at Stephen A.’s hand.
Stephen A. echoed the concern of pretty much everyone NOT associated with the Baltimore Ravens as staff, players or fans, that a mere two-game suspension for Ray Rice was woefully insufficient for the severity of his actions. Stephen A. was EMPHATIC that he considers domestic violence / spousal abuse to be very very serious.
The NFL, via various surrogate stooges, has noted in vain that Rice was never charged with a crime of any sort by any legal agency….. and that his victim (Janey) not only never pressed charges, but promptly married her elevator assailant several weeks after regaining consciousness…. and has appeared quite a lovey-dovey enabler at his side in subsequent press appearances re: the incident.
BUT…. in a 30-second segment of his multi-minute on-air diatribe, Stephen A. noted that there CAN be cases where the girl friend / wife / baby mamma / whatever might, by her words or actions “provoke” her boy friend / husband / baby daddy / whatever into violence. …… KABOOM!
Nothing Stephen A. said prior to or after those 30-second mattered at that point. Prez Skipper was nailing Stephen A.’s sorry disrespectful arse to the SportCenter wall before you could say “Boo-YAA”.
ESPN smart alecky eye-candy bimbo Michelle Beadle (back at Bristol after bombing BIG TIME over at NBC) went ballistic and was afixin’ to tear Stephen A. “a new one”…..
Meanwhile that same Friday out in Norman OK.…. OU 5-star FB recruit Joe Mixon was smashing in the face of a gal in Pickleman’s Gourmet Café. The gal with the bashed-in face is Amelia Rae Molitor. Mixon’s attorney, Kevin Findlay, says he is confident his client will be cleared of all charges BECAUSE…..
“This past Friday morning Joe Mixon found himself in a situation where he was subjected to both verbal and physical attacks from a very intoxicated and troubled young woman. As a result of these physical attacks, Joe instinctually defended himself against further harm.
We are looking forward to a thorough investigation and are very much looking forward to the truth coming out. As we have always maintained, Joe has done nothing wrong.”
Stephen A, Michelle Beadle nor John Skipper would have had no knowledge of Joe and Amelia’s incident out in Norman BUT the coincidental juxtapositioning of the two circumstances is “interesting”.
NOTE…. as a curious follower of “bad boy” incidents involving pro and college athletes, I have noticed that EVERY TIME an athlete is named in an incident involving a physical altercation with a female….. the fan base (and often the Ath Dept or pro organization) immediately play the “Her Word Against His” card….. trumpeting the player’s sterling character including his deep love for his mamma, grandmamma, and/or Beyonce. …… At the same time leaking anonymous reports that the gal is a low-down money-grubbing jock-chasing skank. Uh Oh.
Fan bases of rival teams strongly challenge that strategy UNTIL its one of their players…. at which time they immediately employ the exact same strategy. Uuuummm.
All Stephen A. noted in that 30-seconds was that these increasingly frequent incidents can be more complicated than a casino elevator video reveals. Apparently Stephen A. is correct….. they can be….. but certainly are not always. Is anything in this world “simple” these days? Except, apparently, to John Skipper and Michelle Beadle.
Monday, Ray Rice appeared at Ravens’ practice and was roundly applauded by his teammates and received the loudest cheers by Raven fans in attendance. Ray Rice knocks Janey unconscious in an elevator and becomes a Ravens’ hero.
Yes, that’s the same Ravens whose All-Time Greatest Player – Ray Lewis – was indicted for murder in 2000. OUCH!
Sensing the absurdity in all of this yet ???
Monday AM Stephen A. delivered a lengthy oration of abject apology for “what I said last week”. He stopped just short of flailing himself with razor blades and swallowing thumbtacks.
He described his earlier statements as “egregious” which, as with much of Stephen A.’s verbage, flew completely over the heads of 93% of the ESPN audience.
ESPN Prez John Skipper, not satisfied with Stephen A.’s heartfelt apology, promptly suspended him for a week. That being half of the two-week suspension that Ravens’ hero Ray Rice received from the NFL for knocking Janey unconscious in that elevator.
That John Skipper had spent the entire weekend with his testicles in a vise and with castration looming likely was not noted but was clearly obvious to even those 8,000,000,000 Chinese.
Stephen A. Smith has been suspened by ESPN specifically for providing provocative thought-provoking commentary on issues of the day in American Sports. ????
Skipper’s official announcement noted:
We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company. Our women’s ERG has added to the conversation and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.
Stephen has called what took place ‘the most egregious mistake’ of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced.
…… We’ve said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view, or our values. They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.
“….. my personal beliefs” ?? Huummm…. whatabout your company’s three year-long on-air ridiculing of Tim Tebow’s religious convictions. Yo John…. does THAT reflect your “personal beliefs”.
Nor did he note that ESPN only hires female on-air talent that qualifies as “eye-candy”…. and displays said “eye candy” in “leggy” poses as much as possible.
….. and so it goes in the quiet Connecticut community of Bristol….. DA DA DA….. DA DA DA