ESPN host apologizes for domestic-violence gaffe

Stephen A. Smith issues mea culpa ‘making the most egregious error’ of his career. Were the tone and wording sufficient?

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ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith went on TV and admitted Monday to “making the most egregious error” of his career during a broadcast on Friday.

He’s talking, of course, about comments he made regarding domestic violence. He indicated that in some instances women somehow “provoke” domestic violence.

His apology kicked off “First Take” on Monday:

Here are a few lessons we can take from Smith’s very public apology.

Own it.

In this apology, Smith takes his time getting there, but he finally owns it.

He starts: “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. Yet, the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders.”

One could argue that he apologizes here for the fact that his words were misinterpreted. He doesn’t say, “I said something that I believed at the time, but after some soul searching and education, I now know my view was wrong and dangerous.”

He essentially apologizes for the audience’s misinterpretation.

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