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Stephen A. Smith off air for 1 week

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
ESPN has announced that commentator Stephen A. Smith will not be appearing on ESPN2's "First Take" or on ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return Aug. 6. 

In a statement to employees released Tuesday, ESPN president John Skipper said the following:

"As many of you know, there has been substantial news coverage in the past few days related to comments Stephen A. made last Friday in the wake of the NFL's decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following charges of assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, a few months ago.

"We've said publicly and in this space that those 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. I want to thank all those whose thoughts have contributed along the way."

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Stephen A. Smith issues an apology for comments he made on Friday's "First Take" regarding Ray Rice and domestic violence.
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