ESPN’s First Take loves to push the envelope, but it’s gone too far this time.

The show consists of multiple people sitting at a table and yelling at each other for hours. I don’t watch it, and you shouldn’t either.

Nonetheless, the ESPN2 show made huge news Monday morning when panelist Stephen A. Smith said something that should never, never, never, NEVER be said, much less believed.

While discussing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice being suspended two games following a domestic violence incident that occurred earlier this year, Smith rambled on and ultimately said that women share some blame in these matters because they often provoke the actions.

Hang on, it gets worse.

By Monday afternoon Smith had released a statement, but there was no apology, only backtracking.

Since then, the only person that’s gone in harder on Smith than Deadspin’s writers is ESPN’s own Michelle Beadle.

Beadle tweeted several things, including one that said:

“So I was just forced to watch this morning’s First Take. A) I’ll never feel clean again B) I’m now aware that I can provoke my own beating.”


ESPN will have to respond in some way. The only question is if the “worldwide leader in sports” will handle things accordingly. My vote says it doesn’t.

Today’s society is already overly sensitive, but Smith’s comments were well beyond that. Something must be done to another talking head, and the sooner the better.

Ball’s in your court, ESPN.

Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.