ESPN Twitter: Stephen A. Smith Exchanges Posts With Michelle Beadle Over Domestic Violence

 @GP_IBTimes on July 25 2014 4:47 PM

An on-air rant from sports television pundit Stephen A. Smith on the Friday edition of ESPN's “First Take” has sparked controversy over his viewpoint on domestic violence. The comments also prompted a wave of responses on social media from other ESPN personalities.

Smith specifically addressed the NFL’s much-maligned two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, after he was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend, now wife, earlier this year.

Smith didn’t specifically justify the NFL’s rather weak punishment of Rice, but instead went on a lengthy diatribe that many have interpreted as his way of saying women can “prevent” domestic abuse.

Afterwards, ESPN "Sportsnation" co-host Michelle Beadle took to Twitter, and ripped Smith’s comments.

ESPN does not condone employees using Twitter or other social media outlets to criticize the network. Case in point NBA analyst and Grantland founder Bill Simmons. Last year Simmons actually ripped “First Take” for airing an argument between Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Bayless, and was suspended from using Twitter for three days.

Aware that his comments had caused some serious repercussions, Smith also logged on to Twitter and essentially repeated his argument for those who hadn’t seen it live or on YouTube, and specifically addressed Beadle’s tweet. Smith posted a number of tweets, but not all are included here.

As if that wasn’t enough, two of ESPN’s other high-profile, on-air personalities Samantha Ponder and Desmond Howard got into a Twitter battle with other users over the Rice suspension.

That tweet set off a firestorm, with many suggesting Ponder is a hypocrite and saying the only reason she has her current job is because of her looks.

Howard defended Ponder’s stance but also faced some wrath, specifically from Barstool Sports founder/president David Portnoy.

If you're keeping track, four ESPN hosts have either challenged or supported each other over a controversial topic by one of their colleagues on Twitter.

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