ESPN handed pundit Stephen A. Smith a one-week suspension Tuesday in relation to comments he made last week regarding victims of domestic violence.
During a discussion on the "First Take" show of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension from the NFL for allegedly hitting his then-fiancee, Smith said that women should be careful not to provoke such attacks.
When criticized for his remarks, Smith initially stood by his statements with a series of Twitter posts, then ultimately removed the tweets and issued a lengthy apology Monday on "First Take."
ESPN announced that Smith would be off its television and radio platforms before returning Aug. 6.
In a statement, ESPN president John Skipper wrote, "We've said publicly and in this space that (Smith's) remarks did not reflect our company's point of view or our values. They certainly don't reflect my personal beliefs.
"We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company. Our women's (employee resource group) has added to the conversation, and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.
"Stephen has called what took place 'the most egregious mistake' of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we've collectively experienced. I'm confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days."
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My apology on @ESPN_FirstTake Monday morning speaks for itself. I accept ESPN's Decision. See you all next Wednesday. God Bless!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) July 30, 2014