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July 29, 2014
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ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is under scrutiny after saying on air, "Ben Roethlisberger, to me, has never come across as a bad guy." The comment was concerning given that Roethlisberger is an NFL player who received a suspension and notoriety in 2010 after numerous sexual assault allegations came to light, and especially concerning since Smith had just apologized for a comment indicating that women should take some responsibility for "provoking" sexual assaults. To put things in perspective, here is a compilation of some other athletes Smith has defended.

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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is under scrutiny after saying on air, “Ben Roethlisberger, to me, has never come across as a bad guy.” The comment was concerning given that Roethlisberger is an NFL player who received a suspension and notoriety in 2010 after numerous sexual assault allegations came to light, and especially concerning since Smith had just apologized for a comment indicating that women should take some responsibility for “provoking” sexual assaults. To put things in perspective, here is a compilation of some other athletes Smith has defended.


  • “OJ Simpson wouldn’t hurt a fly”
  • “Listen, I’m a family man. Loyal to my wife. Just like Tiger Woods and Magic Johnson pre-1992.”
  • “The Patriots have only ever had great guys play for their team.”
  • “Bill Belichick, to me, is a coach who has always respected the privacy of other teams.”
  • “The only thing unreal about Mark McGwire is how charming he is.”
  • “Lance Armstrong was the most honest athlete of all time.”
  • “Alex Rodriguez, I think, has only enhanced his performance by showing up to practice on time and doing baseball drills with his teammates.”
  • “Pete Rose has never struck me as someone who would gamble on a team he played for and then managed in order to make money, later rendering him permanently ineligible to be involved in the sport he once loved and excelled at.”
  • “From where I’m sitting, Lebron James wouldn’t leave Cleveland and then go back there in a few years.”
  • “To me, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wouldn’t issue only a two game suspension to Ray Rice for domestic abuse, unless of course the lady had done something to provoke the guy, in which case, you know, that should be taken into account too.”
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