Trigger warning: domestic abuse.
I don’t really follow sports, but Lauren brought my attention to the topic of Ray Rice’s suspension for beating his then-fiancée. And that Stephen A. Smith commented on ESPN about women’s responsibility not to provoke men into abusing them. He threw in caveats that it is never OK to lay a hand on a woman, but “let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions.”
This is victim-blaming and is absolutely unacceptable.
Smith reiterated in a series of tweets that he was not blaming women. If so, his use of “provoke” was atrocious, because it very clearly implies blame and negates any caveats about abuse never being OK — no matter how many times they are said.
We need to strongly speak out against this type of thinking.
To reiterate: Ray Rice knocked out his fiance & got a two-game suspension & Stephen A. Smith says she's obligated to work to not get hit. ∞
At first I didn't want to get swept into the Ray Rice situation. I didn't want to have to face it. But now? Now I am fucking pissed. ∞
I have been a fan of this sport, of this league, of these men, since I was a child. Have been? Had been? ∞
FUCK ALL OF THAT. ∞
To see so many men treat this so cavalierly? Oh, you went easy bc of a private meeting? Sure, that's okay. Oh, it's the woman's fault? Sure. ∞
I'm a football fan. I'm a woman who's been beaten by a man. This is all so thoroughly disappointing. ∞
Update 1: I mistakenly wrote “wife” instead of “then-fiancée.” They are now married.