"As men, as little boys we're taught - don't put your hands on women."
Those, the words of Earl K. Sneed, the now-former Mavs.com beat writer, fired last week after a bombshell Sports Illustrated report detailed a pair of domestic violence allegations against him, from 2011 and 2014. The first incident, Sneed maintains was a response to abuse he was receiving.
"A couple weeks before that, she had punched me in my eye, given me a black eye," Sneed said. "I had gone to work with scratches on my neck."
Sneed told local ESPN Radio, 103.3 FM that he couldn't deal with it any longer.
"You put up with it for a certain amount of time," he explained. "You get to a point where you're like I gotta do something. I have to do something to protect myself, at the same time."
Sneed admits to hitting the woman.
"I did open-hand slap her. To get her off of me. I've got pictures of the assault on me, from that day."
The "to get her off me" excuse will draw the ire of some, as will the fact that this was not an isolated incident. Sneed was accused again in 2014, though he wasn't arrested that time. He answered for that as well.
"I'm the common denominator, so I have to look at myself and how I handled myself in both situations," he said. "So I'm not sitting here saying that what I did was right, or what I did couldn't have been avoided, because it could have."
Sneed says he's been going to counseling, every other week, for the last four years. And he says he's a different man now than he was in 2014.
"You don't see the four years of growth since the last incident, and how I've used the counseling and everything that I've gone through, and learned from those situations to be a better man, now."