Sports commentator and “First Take” host Stephen A. Smith was suspended from the ESPN airwaves for one week for some remarks he made about the Ray Rice domestic violence incident that happened earlier this year. Smith suggested that women can play a role in provoking domestic violence. After another ESPN host, Michele Beadle, took offense and called him out on the comments, he began apologizing and went to Twitter to explain just what he meant. Then he went on First Take and apologized again. Then, ESPN still opted to discipline him.
The comments, while egregious when you really think about it in a certain context, are bad, but I don’t know if that really warrants a suspension. That’s basically what he’s paid to do. Commentators like Smith and other news network talking heads are paid to give provocative and edgy opinions on the topics of the day. To suspend him for a vague comment like that is pointless. Then, they complicate the situation by only suspending him for a week like he’s in grade school. Suspending him won’t solve the issue or teach him a lesson, especially after he has apologized as many times as he has.
The problem is with the 24 hour news cycle culture. People’s lust for instant gratification, in today’s society, fuels the current news cycle. We have commentators who immediately give their knee-jerk reactions to hot button topics in the world. When people do this, of course there is no time to think about what is said or fully go over the consequences of having said it. Outlets like ESPN and CNN want those knee-jerk, provocative reactions to issues for ratings, but when something is said or taken the wrong way, they have to cover it up and appease the people that get offended (overreact). Take responsibly news networks. You created and continue to help foster this monster called the 24 hour news cycle.