ESPN is yanking Stephen A. Smith off the air -- suspending him for the inflammatory comments he made about women and domestic violence last week.
The network says Smith will not appear on his show "First Take" or on ESPN Radio until next Wednesday. During a discussion about Ray Rice's suspension, Stephen A. said he would tell women to make sure they're not doing anything "to provoke wrong actions" ... in addition to telling men what NOT to do.
This morning on "First Take" Smith apologized -- and ESPN released a statement, saying ... “We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view."
The network continued ... "As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”
Smith's comments also infuriated fellow ESPN anchor Michelle Beadle. She's yet to react to his suspension.