NFL’s hand forced to deliver Ray Rice Knockout
In a stunning reversal, the NFL is forced to reconsider their discipline by TMZ’s release of the video of what happened inside the elevator the night Ray Rice punched his then fiancée knocking her unconscious. The video of what actually happened in the elevator in the Ray Rice domestic violence incident was finally obtained and released by the celebrity news website TMZ. This new information was released, possibly as a result of wide spread disappointment with the 2 game suspension imposed by the NFL. Previously, only the video of the incidents aftermath was available. That previous video only showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée along the floor outside of the elevator.
This new video from inside the elevator has no audio but the couple can be seen obviously involved in a heated argument on the evening of the incident. Rice’s fiancée at the time appears to be yelling at him from one side of the elevator. She closes the distance between them. Ray Rice, weighing in at 220lbs of domestic fury, delivers an apparent left hook to her face which sends her reeling. Her head strikes the elevator handrail and then she hits floor head first where she visibly goes limp.
Last month NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell, taking a supposed “hardline” stance against domestic violence imposed a suspension of 2 whole games. Many commentators observed that the NFL penalty for smoking marijuana is a half season suspension. The difference in proportionality between the punishment for smoking marijuana and violence against women amounted to a disturbing statement about apparent non-importance of Domestic Violence. The downplaying continued. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh later came out in defense of Rice saying “He’s a great guy”. Apparently, Baltimore is a town where there is very little tolerance for taking any lip from women. In Rice’s first appearance after the incident, the stadium of 64 thousand fans incredibly gave him a standing ovation. After many members of the professional sports community and football fans expressed a groundswell of condemnation for the light penalty, the NFL was said to be considering other consequences to quite the concerns of the masses.
Among the additional penalties that NFL was rumored to be considering were: Suspension from the locker room towel service, Revocation of complementary car detailing, No access to team stadium lounge, Revocation of complementary escort service account, Cancellation of Rice’s subscription to “Wifebeater Magazine” (it’s about the fashion and lifestyle, not the act), Discontinuing the MMA (Marital Martial Arts) classes that Rice was teaching at team workouts and No more post game massages.
All of this radically changed with TMZ’s release of the video from inside the elevator. With lightning speed before the excoriation of the NFL and the Ravens could get into full swing, they finally decided that acting responsibly would be better for the bottom line. Apparently, violence against women is ok as long as you don’t see it. Commissioner Rodger Goodell now has decided to suspend Ray Rice from the NFL indefinitely. Goodell said that he had not seen the video from inside the elevator before he handed down the previous 2 game suspension. That means that he made a far reaching decision affecting the public relations of the sport without having all the information. Maybe Commissioner Goodell can give us another great speech about leadership and professionalism while he’s at it. Not to be left off the bandwagon, the Raven’s cut Ray Rice from the team. Is this whole case just another example of financial concerns trumping moral values?
In big picture terms, TMZ acted as the agent of a civilized public that is repulsed by violence against women. Thank goodness for their unwavering pursuit of presenting all the facts and obtaining the video in this case. If not for the release of the video, the implication by the NFL that violence against women by a top tier professional athlete isn’t even as serious as smoking a joint would stand. If that had been allowed, all our work to advance toward a modern and civilized society would’ve been diminished. The NFL is definitely deserving of pointed Ridicule in this case to their betterment, and I’m sure there is more to come.