Skip Bayless Gets Stephen A. Smith To Apologize For His NOW Comments On Air
September 11 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
Yesterday, "First Take" ended with Stephen A. Smith ranting and raving about the National Organization Of Women's call for Roger Goodell to resign. Here's a transcript, via Mediaite:
“I’m sorry, I think this woman is off her rocker,” Smith said, referring to NOW President Terry O’Neill. “I think she’s lost her mind. That’s right, I said it.”
“This is the most ridiculous nonsense I’ve ever heard in my life,” Smith said. “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…What the hell is this? That’s crazy!”
It was typical Stephen A. -- way more dramatic and ostentatious and louder than necessary, and in light of the fact that Goodell may have lied about the Ray Rice tape (or is otherwise in the dark about what goes on in his office), it seems even more misguided. When you make Skip Bayless seem reasonable, you know you have a problem.
Smith backed off those comments, sort of, kind of, earlier in today's program, but reiterated that he didn't think Goodell should be forced to resign merely for mishandling Rice's original suspension (assuming he hadn't seen the video). Terry O'Neill, the president of NOW, isn't just talking about Rice, however -- she's talking about all the cases of domestic violence that have gone unchecked by the league under Goodell's tenure. Both Skip Bayless and Cari Champion came down firmly on O'Neill's side this morning, and it forced a change of heart for Smith. Watch:
This issue has become more complicated with the added angle of the AP report, which makes Goodell seem negligent if not a liar, but the core issue remains: The NFL has a problem with domestic violence, whether it's because it creates men who are comfortable using violence to resolve disputes, or because society as a whole refuses to take this issue seriously.
Goodell may not lose his job expressly because of the dozens of domestic violence cases that have happened under his watch, but as Bayless and Champion proved today, no one who cites that fact should be considered "off her rocker."
(Final note: Of course Smith brought up being from Queens, but his point about how even "criminals" know not to hit a woman -- so, why is it that criminals from the streets of New York have more sense than Goodell, or Ravens fans who applauded Rice, or society as a whole?)