In the wake of accusations that the NFL had seen video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice sucker-punching his then-fiancée in a casino elevator months ago, the National Organization for Women called for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s resignation Tuesday.
And Stephen A. Smith is not happy about it.
Smith went off on Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take” in a rant that made Skip Bayless look as reasonable as Plato himself.
“Absent of us discovering that Roger Goodell saw the video, tried to hide it, acted as if he never saw it and gave Ray Rice a two-game suspension only, absent of those realities — or those discoveries, rather, I’m sorry, I think (NOW president Terry O’Neill) is off her rocker,” Smith said.
“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 went on to say that “Roger Goodell did not hit Janay Palmer-Rice,” and that people are “talking about the NFL as if its some cesspool for domestic violence.”
What Smith fails to recognize is that Goodell’s “mishandling” of the situation isn’t just a simple mistake. As Bayless added, Rice’s initial suspension wasn’t the first time a player received a lenient punishment for domestic violence under Goodell.
In being blind to the gravity of the situation and then reportedly trying to cover it up, Goodell essentially enabled the behavior of his employees. And that’s something the commissioner should be held accountable for whether he resigns or not.
Smith’s rant is made even worse when we remember that this is the same person who was suspended from ESPN for a week in July after stating on “First Take” that women should be sure not to “provoke” abuse from men.
H/t to Deadspin