Tom Sorensen

Former Panther Steve Smith still speaking truth to clowns. Here’s hoping they listen.

Wide receiver Steve Smith never backed down in an NFL career that included stops with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. Don’t expect him to stop speaking his mind now.
Wide receiver Steve Smith never backed down in an NFL career that included stops with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. Don’t expect him to stop speaking his mind now. AP

Saw a post on Twitter from Steve Smith Sr., the former Carolina Panther and Baltimore Raven.

He wrote: “The day you raise your hand to a woman, that’s the day you’re officially no longer a man.”

A troll responded by alluding to some of the fights in which Smith was involved as a younger man (each with a man).

Whether you’re a fan of Smith or not, I think his message is too powerful to ignore. He was a player who never backed down, not at practice and not in a game. He was one of the toughest players in a tough-guy league, and he’s 5-9.

The domestic violence cause isn’t new to Smith or his wife, Angie. I went to a function their then new Steve Smith Family Foundation put on at a Charlotte woman’s shelter. Smith didn’t tell anybody in the media. I stumbled upon it.

I don’t know who wrote the words Smith offered on Twitter. I’ve read them before. Who wrote them doesn’t matter.

Here’s what matters: If you’re a guy accustomed to knocking a woman around, and see those words next to Smith’s name, maybe you’ll pause next time. Maybe you’ll realize you have no right to do what you want to.

Maybe you’ll work to become a human being.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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