Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ray Rice

Ray Rice is a star football player for the Baltimore Ravens, positioned as their running back. I’m sorry, he was. That’s because he’s been indefinitely suspended by the National Football League and his contract with the Ravens has been terminated after the release of a video revealing his assault on his fiancé at the time, now his wife. The video shows the couple arguing in an elevator and over what it’s not clear yet. The climax is when Rice’s fiancé apparently comes forward and Rice punches her in the face which results in her falling and smacking her head on the railing of the elevator. Then Rice would kick her side to see if she was knocked out.

Like her being motionless on the floor isn’t enough of a clue. Just when you thought you see the worst of it, when the door opens, he proceeds to pick her up and drag her outside. He then drops her on the floor like a bag of trash and that’s what led us here. The only thing that was more disgusting than the assault itself was the response by the NFL whom acted under the belief that Rice was defending himself, believing that the woman was charging and Rice acted under self-defense. Since Rice is well over 200 pounds and is solid muscle, they believed he could’ve done other things to prevent the incident so he only got a 2 game suspension but when the video was released, everything changed.

Being embarrassed by the way the NFL handled the situation, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell altered the ruling and modified the NFL’s policy on domestic abuse. While some people still stand by Rice, everyone shouldn’t doubt that the NFL punched themselves in the face with the way they handled the situation. With people asking how they could condone this kind of abuse and allow people like Ray Rice to make millions of dollars and be a role model to children, the NFL backed themselves into a corner. It’s been reported that the NFL did request all surveillance and statements from the incident but when the video was released, their response was basically, “Where did this come from?”

To be real honest, I’m not surprise because this directly impacts two key components to the NFL’s success. The first being Ray Rice is a superstar and he brings in revenue to a League that generates billions of dollars every year so it’s only logical they would try to protect that revenue. The second component is the image that the NFL shares, that they hire constant professionals and everyone is in fact, a role model for children to look up to. The big boys on top aren’t protecting Ray Rice, they’re protecting their image and that’s what this is all about and understandable. To them they’re probably thinking, “Why should we care what goes on in players private lives?”

A lot goes on inside the locker room that the public doesn’t know about and the NFL sweeps under the rug because “it’s none of their business” as long as it keeps sales rolling in. Last year there was a controversy with the Miami Dolphins involving two players of different races when Richie Incognito dropped the N-bomb on fellow player Jonathon Martin. When investigated, the general response is that the “N” word is thrown around a lot but in a joking sense. When Jonathon Martin didn’t take it as a joke, he had to leak it out to the press and that’s when the NFL had to take action or lose their image. Same situation here with Ray Rice, the video is out so now the NFL must act in order to keep the revenue coming and the imaged saved.

Some people believe the NFL is doing everything they can and they just messed up but others believe that they didn’t really care about the situation and tried to sweep it under the rug. It doesn’t matter at this point because the damage is already done. When you say you investigated a situation and gave a penalty that doesn’t fit the crime and then come out saying that you didn’t see a vital piece of information, you throw yourself under the bus. Ray Rice’s future is uncertain and some people think that he made a mistake but I’ve got to throw in my two cents right here. I was raised never to hit anyone, not just a woman, but anyone weaker than me because that makes me a coward. I don’t care what caused that altercation in the elevator, she’s just an average person and he’s a professional athlete. He should’ve known better.  

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