Michael Gaynor
ESPN owes Stephen A. Smith an apology
By Michael Gaynor
July 31, 2014

Ignorance needs to be corrected, not indulged, and the political correctness mafia need to stop fabricating offenses.

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, who is black, was suspended for a week by ESPN for this comment: "Let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions."

Smith simply recognized that women sometimes provoke domestic violence.

Who thinks that has never happened?

Smith did NOT say that domestic violence against women is ever justified.

ESPN apparently doesn't know the difference between provocation and justification.

Provocation: "an action or occurrence that causes someone to become angry or to begin to do something" (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provocation).

Justification: " an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an action" (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justification).

It's fair to say that Smith provoked ESPN to impose an unjustified suspension upon him.

This unfortunate incident calls to mind the case of David Howard, who used the word niggardly.

As The New York Times reported in 1999 (www.nytimes.com/1999/01/31/opinion/liberties-niggardly-city.html):

"Mayor Anthony Williams accepted the resignation of a top aide, David Howard, after Mr. Howard, who is white, used the word 'niggardly' in a meeting, offending a black staffer.

"'I will have to be niggardly with this fund because it's not going to be a lot of money,' Mr. Howard said.

"Mr. Howard's staffers apparently did not know that the word is a synonym for 'miserly' with no root connection to the similar sounding racial slur. A rumor snaked around that Mr. Howard had used the N-word, and when he offered to resign, the Mayor accepted, lamenting that his friend had used poor judgment."

Fifteen years ago a white man was the victim of a deadly combination of ignorance and political correctness.

Now a black man is the victim.

That's progressivism at work, and it's not a good thing.

Ignorance needs to be corrected, not indulged, and the political correctness mafia need to stop fabricating offenses and taking offense when none was intended.

© Michael Gaynor


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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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