On Friday, during ESPN's First Take, Smith discussed Ray Rice's two-game suspension in the wake of an alleged domestic abuse incident, noting that Rice's then-fiancée Janay Palmer could've prevented the attack.
"What I've tried to employ [with] the female members of my family — some of who you all met and talked to and what have you — is that... let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come — or somebody else comes, whether it's law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know — if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you," he said.
After facing backlash for his comments, Smith apologized on the air Monday. "On Friday, speaking right here on First Take on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career," Smith said. "My words came across that it is somehow a woman's fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say."
But the apology wasn't enough, and Smith has been suspended until Aug. 6. "We've said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company's point of view, or our values," said ESPN President John Skipper. "They certainly don't reflect my personal beliefs."
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