On Friday, she went where few ESPN employees are willing to go and publicly criticized First Take for their facepalm-inducing debate/segment/whatever on Ray Rice (which is really bringing out the worst in everybody it seems). Here’s the relevant transcript via Deadspin, including the part where Stephen A. Smith makes it very clear that women need to stop provoking domestic abuse:
But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen. We know they’re wrong. We know they’re criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying. No point of blame.
And Beadle’s reaction, which speaks for a good chunk of rational-minded individuals whose eyebrows were also raised by Smith’s comments:
First Take is one of ESPN’s sacred shows and Bill Simmons was infamously suspended from Twitter for also taking the worst television program in sports to task. ESPN would be incredibly tone deaf (maybe as much as the NFL in their original punishment of Rice) to suspend Beadle here likewise for breaking whatever is left of their very selective social media policy. Kudos to Beadle for speaking up against nonsense coming from in-house when it is deserved.
But the question has to be asked – when will ESPN finally do something about a show that even their most well-known figures are constantly embarrassed by?