Stephen A. Smith said Tuesday what everyone else was thinking.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott landed in some hot water Monday after TMZ Sports released footage of him pulling down a woman’s shirt and exposing her bare breast during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dallas. Obviously, this wasn’t a smart move by Elliott, who is coming off a stellar rookie season in Big D, but it’s especially dumb when you consider the NFL already is investigating the 21-year-old for domestic violence allegations made against him back in July.
“My reaction was Ezekiel Elliott was an idiot, plain and simple,” Smith said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take,” according to 247sports.com. “Now, I’m not calling him an idiot in terms of character assassination and that’s what he is totally. I’m saying in this particular sequence, he’s an absolute idiot.
“If the woman hung out with him or whatever and she wasn’t offended by it, that’s totally irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that is something that is inappropriate to do. You’re not a child; you’re an adult. You might be a young adult, but you’re still an adult.”
A representative for Elliott told TMZ Sports the incident was all in good fun and that the woman involved wasn’t upset. In fact, he claims the woman hung out with Elliott and some others after the parade.
That said, she covers up rather quickly in the video. And pulling down a woman’s shirt in public never is a good idea, even if she seemingly played to the crowd before Elliott reached in.
“The reason I use the word ‘idiot,’ and maybe I should add ‘flaming idiot’ to the equation — ‘flaming’ — is because this is the same Ezekiel Elliott that complained the day after the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs that the investigation of whether or not he assaulted a woman was continuing to go on,” Smith said, via 247sports.com.
“He was complaining about it. He was saying that it needed to end — a conclusion needed to be drawn. He talked about how the police had probed intensively and they found absolutely nothing. He proclaimed that there was absolutely nothing to find and proclaimed his innocence along the way. He essentially alluded to himself as being victimized by this investigation being ongoing.
“I sided with that view. If the police probe intensely and they found absolutely nothing, and then the NFL investigated the matter and they were willing to shove it aside. But then to turn around and revisit it, I thought it was a bit excessive.
“And then lo and behold, he goes out and he does something like this. And the two incidences (the allegation that he assaulted a woman and the incident where he exposed a woman’s breast) have nothing to do with each other. They are two separate incidences — as it pertains to the court of law. But in the court of public opinion, when you see him do something like that, you take a moment and you pause and you say, ‘Excuse me, are you that stupid? Are you that idiotic? You’re that insensitive? You’re that irresponsible? And if you can do something like that in public, what the hell are you doing in private?’ That’s the kind of world we are living in and those are the types of questions people are going to ask.”
Elliott was cleared by police in September following the domestic violence allegations made against him, and as Smith notes, these are two totally separate situations. The optics sure aren’t great, though.
Maybe Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and/or NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should pull Zeke aside, like Smith suggested Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images