In wake of the shocking video release that depicts Ray Rice’s domestic abuse, public uproar has been palpable. Following the video’s release by TMZ Sports, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely. And while this response is certainly too little too late, more people besides Rice must be held accountable for their actions.
From the very beginning, the Rice case has been handled with negligence. On February 15th, Rice viciously beat his then fiancée-and now wife, Janay Palmer, in a casino elevator in New Jersey. Just two days later, TMZ releases a video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator. The response to these transgressions was shocking to say the least. In the court of law, Rice ended up only having to participate in anger management counseling instead of a 3-5 year jail sentence. And five months after the actual incident, the NFL commissioner hands down a meager two-game suspension for Rice, causing public uproar. Just one week ago, the actual brutal footage was released to the public, creating even more of a controversy.
While Ray Rice’s football career is likely over, or at the least largely crippled, the other perpetrators remain at large. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s weak, initial punishment (Repeat pot smoker Josh Gordon received eight times the suspension length) of these crimes has caused more than just public ridicule. It has shown the NFL’s tolerance of domestic violence and has made every future violator feel a little bit better about getting away with his or her crimes.
Rice was not the only person who abused Palmer. The NFL abused her when they didn’t suspend Rice immediately. The Baltimore Ravens abused her by letting Rice use their facilities and standing by him during their own press conferences. And law enforcement set the precedent for all of this, by not persecuting Rice to the full capacity of the law and instead letting him get off scot-free.
Goodell should be fired for his negligence, the Ravens organization be disciplined, and all other violators within the league should be punished. Ray McDonald of the 49ers and Greg Hardy of the Panthers are also currently being persecuted for domestic abuse and have trial dates set for their actions. But last week, both players were in NFL uniforms, playing for their respective teams. In addition, Hardy is getting paid his 13.1 million dollar contract.
If these two players are allowed to continue playing, this will clearly show Goodell’s lack of respect towards the issue of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a real issue, and the NFL is making it worse.
Written by Tristan Rhee’17