While it’s understood that most people don’t condone domestic violence – whether it be a man against a woman or vice versa – it is wrong for someone to assert that it’s OK for a woman to frame her words differently so violence against her doesn’t happen. It's also understood that when attacked, a person is within their rights to defend themselves.
For some males who are involved in, report on and watch sports, there is no fear in freely expressing and being himself. (Case in point, the Miami Dolphins bullying incident.) But some believe this social freedom does not extend to women. On Friday, Smith said on ESPN2's First Take that he tells the women in his family to watch what they say and do so that they don't provoke the men around them. The full quote reads:
But what I've tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I've done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn't happen.
Even through his ramblings, Smith condones never putting his hands on a woman, but the air of Smith’s reproach gave the discussion of domestic violence in sports the feeling that the opinions and treatment of women do not matter, and they should modify their behavior, not the men who are doing the hitting. He even did so in front of the show's female moderator, Cari Champion. It's also not the first time Smith has made such comments.
A Twitter rant, a public statement and a taped apology later, Smith was “suspended” by ESPN on Wednesday until Aug. 6. But his actions are on par with the NFL’s inaction in explaining the suspension.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, another man above reproach, can’t even publicly answer why his discipline is sufficient, so he sent another man, NFL Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs Adolpho Birch to explain it publicly.
When asked why the punishment wasn't as steep as previous punishments, Birch said that the league was “bound in large part by precedent in prior cases,” but then contradicted himself, saying that prior cases couldn't be compared to Rice’s. Birch also said, as Keith Olbermann pointed out on Monday, how the suspension reflects “the values of the league.”
It's not clear which is worse: the fact that Smith got suspended longer by his employer than Rice did from his, or the idea that Janay Palmer-Rice, the alleged victim and now wife of Rice, allegedly addressed the NFL commissioner, the owners of the Baltimore Ravens and Rice, pleading for leniency in her husband's case? The NFL allowed Jonathan Martin, bullied former Dolphins offensive lineman, to address the commissioner without Richie Incognito being present - could she not get the same respect?
Even though Rice, in a press conference on Thursday, said he through his "inexcusable" actions in February and desires to become an ambassador against domestic violence, his public image will probably clear up. The NFL's however, with Goodell at the helm, might not be so lucky.
Pop culture-y Tweet of the Week: Paramount Pictures needs to think before it tweets
I am not completely sure what Paramount Pictures was thinking when they tweeted a poster of the Australian release of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, out Sept. 11, of the heroes in a half-shell (turtle power!) jumping out of a building on fire.
The movie poster was seen on all of the movie studio's Australian social media accounts on Tuesday. Maybe they didn't think it invoked the images of 9/11, but it’s set in New York, right?
The poster naturally made its way around the world, and people did not like it. The U.S. release date is Aug. 8.Paramount Pictures did remove the tweet, and later apologized in a statement to BuzzFeed.
“We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia. Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use,” the statement said.
A little something from YouTube: Frank Caliendo’s impression of Morgan Freeman is his best yet
Frank Caliendo has been one of the brightest spots on ESPN programming since he joined the sports TV giant a few years back. When he’s not honing his craft as Jon Gruden, Chris Berman and the network’s other cavalcade of personalities, he’s been practicing his Morgan Freeman impersonation.
Even Freeman himself was impressed, telling Jimmy Fallon “he’s arrived” after seeing the impersonation. Also, check out Caliendo’s impersonation of Chris Berman from high school (click here and start at 9:30 mark) it’s wonderful.
Music: New Janelle Monae track here to take over the rest of summer
Finally, a song that can shut down Fancy, from the current princess of funky neo-soul, Janelle Monae. The most recent release from her most recent album The Electric Lady, and is a video filled with star cameos.
Movies: ‘Lucy’ overpowers ‘Hercules’ in debut weekends
Scarlett Johannson: 1, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: 0.
That’s the score after films starring the two debuted in the top two spots over the weekend. Johannson’s Lucy raked in more than $43 million, crushing yet another Hercules movie.
Here are last weekend's Top 5, according to Box Office Mojo (listed next to previous week's ranking and weekend gross):
Lucy (NR) $43,899,340
Hercules (NR) $29,800,263
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (1) $16,767,260
The Purge: Anarchy (2) $10,482,760
Planes: Fire & Rescue (3)
In theaters: August 1
Guardians of the Galaxy– The latest film from the Marvel comic’s universe finds an American pilot as the object of a galactic manhunt after he steals from a cosmic villain. Comic book movies = blockbusters. This one should do well. Check out the trailer here. The movie starts Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista (the wrestler who won the Royal Rumble just to promote a movie, it seems like), Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou.
Calvary– A humble priest’s life is threatened during a confessional. While trying to figure out who in the world would threaten a priest, he examines his life and the evils around it. The film starts Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd and Kelly Reilly. Check out the trailer here.