ESPN Should Permanently Suspend Stephen A. Smith, Cancel First Take

By Andrew Fisher
Stephen A. Smith
USA Today Sports

ESPN has brought the hammer down on Stephen A. Smith. Okay, not really. But he has been suspended from the Worldwide Leader for one week following his controversial comments on domestic abuse last Friday.

Smith may have gotten away with his comments all together if weren’t for Michelle Beadle, who promptly blasted him on Twitter for implying that women play a role in provoking abuse.

Stephen A. chose his words poorly. He’s since admitted that via an apology, and it’s an apology that most have deemed as sincere.

Everybody makes mistakes. But when is enough, enough with this guy? When is enough, enough with First Take? You know it’s only a matter of time before Smith, Skip Bayless or another guest says something else incredibly stupid to offend people.

ESPN obviously sees value in First Take. No matter how many people call the show stupid, it really doesn’t matter. People are still tuning in. If they weren’t, it would already be off the air.

To me, First Take has run its course. The whole concept of ’embracing debate’ is a good one, but it’s something that ESPN rarely does with topics worth debating. They prefer to keep Smith and Bayless talking about hypothetical games of one-on-one involving Michael Jordan. In my mind that hurts the show’s stock, which in turn hurts ESPN’s credibility.

Maybe this latest incident will show the Worldwide Leader that it doesn’t need Stephen A. Smith? Maybe it will show them that they don’t need First Take?

It’s certainly hard to say that putting Smith on permanent vacation would be a bad move. While his firing is unlikely to happen, fans can help make the case by choosing to no longer watch First Take.

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