My neighbor co-hosts a sports talk show on ESPN”s Mid-Missouri 107.3 FM on Mondays, from 5:00-7:00 pm, Central time. He and his co-host began their time discussing the latest fracas to come out of the Ray Rice issue and the NFL. My neighbor was asking for women fans of football to call in and give their opinions. I was too busy at that moment slaving away in the kitchen making my family’s supper but decided for today’s blog, I would chime in with my two cents about this whole issue.
If you recall or even if you don’t, here’s a recap of all the furor that has erupted. February 2014, a video was released by celebrity news website TMZ, and then the national news media, that showed Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, dragging his unconscious fiancee out of a casino’s elevator. That video released a deluge of uproar. Rice was suspended from playing for 2 games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Rice, and the former fiancee Janay Palmer, now his wife, entered into counseling, and Rice did court-ordered Community Service projects for the city of Baltimore. All was quiet, Rice apologized for what he did, the team was behind him, the coach was behind him, and even at some of this summer’s public practices, many fans attended who were behind Rice and his return to the Ravens.
This past weekend, TMZ released a video that showed Rice punching his fiancee inside of that casino’s elevator, her being knocked off of her feet, hitting the back of her head on a handrail, and hitting the floor, unconscious. With that now out in the public to view, the NFL Commissioner announced that Ray Rice would be on an indefinite suspension and the Baltimore Ravens cut him from the team.
I don’t support domestic violence, whether it be physical and/or mental cruelty; men beating their wives or wives beating their husbands. (Hey-that does happen unfortunately. Check out the 1993 made for tv movie if you don’t believe me!) My brother was raised that you don’t hit girls. My husband was raised with that standard, too, and we’ve raised our own 4 sons with that rule.
What Ray Rice did was wrong. He knows that and so does his wife. They’ve gone through counseling, and I pray that their marriage can heal despite this incident receiving new attention thanks to TMZ and their need to drag an offense out into the public spotlight.
The NFL, in the past, would issue 1 or 2 game suspensions for players who were proved to have committed domestic violence acts upon their spouses. If the charges were reduced or dropped, then penalties were reduced or dropped, accordingly. In August, a new policy was announced by Commissioner Goodell: a 6 game ban, unpaid, for first time offenders. For second-time offenders, possibly a life-time ban from the NFL.
The NFL saw that first video clip. What did they think happened in the elevator to result in an unconscious woman being dragged out of it? One of my son’s, when we discussed it, did say that maybe she had been drunk and passed out and maybe that’s why the NFL gave only a 2 game suspension to Rice. If she had passed out due to over drinking, surmise it to say that perhaps the video would have shown Rice tenderly carrying his fiancee out of that elevator instead of the dragging method that he used.
I think that the indefinite suspension of Rice is harsh. If the NFL has this new 6 game ban for first time offenders, than that is the punishment that should have been meted out to Rice. With what has been now issued to him not only punishes him for perpetuity, it also punishes his family. Hasn’t his wife been punished enough? Now the income for her family has been dropped to nil.
People make mistakes and Ray Rice crossed a behavioral line that was a huge mistake. He committed a crime against a woman that promised to join him in marriage, and has since married. He lives with that regret daily, especially with this new video release. I think Commissioner Goodell should announce the indefinite suspension be for 6 games, and that any team in the NFL who is struggling this early in the season should hire Rice. Janay Palmer Rice has publicly stated that she has forgiven her husband. Why can’t the NFL?
Research acknowledgement for today’s blog: Michael Martinez and Priscilla Riojas, CNN, Wed., 9/10/14