Can we talk?
I want to start this article by giving you a warning. Most of you who read this will not like or agree with my opinion.
Now since that is out of the way, let me say this: The conviction and sentencing of Ray Rice by social media, TMZ and ESPN was one of the most gruesome, horrifying debacles I have ever seen in my lifetime.
But you know what was worse? The excruciating pain that Janay Rice was forced to feel as she re-lived a low point in her relationship with the man she loves over and over and over again. It was a demoralizing, dreadful and despicable ordeal which we should all be ashamed of.
Obviously, without question, what Rice did inside of a casino elevator on that fateful February night was wrong. President Obama said it best when he said, “hitting a woman is not something a real man does.”
But since when did it become the public’s job to determine how a man and a woman’s private problems should be solved? Why do you think you have a right to be involved in Ray and Janay Rice’s marriage?
Many observers of the situation are furious with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell because he only dished out a 2-game suspension. While I agree that the suspension could’ve been longer, based on the facts at hand, a 2-game suspension was the only thing that made sense.
The NFL had previously never set a precedent for how long a player was supposed to be suspended after being involved with a domestic violence dispute (Since then, the league has instituted a 6-game ban for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second offense).
The prosecutor in Rice’s case accepted him into an intervention program which would require him to seek counseling and clear him of his charges in six months. And to top it all off according to SI’s Peter King, Janay Rice pleaded with the commissioner in a “moving and apparently convincing case” that this was a “one-time event.”
If Rice’s prosecutor and his wife were satisfied that he understood how detrimental his actions were, isn’t that all that matters?
The public’s outrage towards Ray Rice reached its tipping point on Monday when video of Ray Rice knocking out his wife was released by TMZ. On Sunday September 7th before the video was leaked, Ray Rice knocked out his wife in an elevator just as on Monday September 8th after the video leaked, Ray Rice knocked out his wife in an elevator. None of the facts in the situation changed.
The only difference is that for the first time we saw what actually happened. My question to everyone who is outraged is if you’re so passionate about Ray Rice, who avoided trial and settled his differences with his wife; where is your passion about Greg Hardy, a Panthers defensive end who was FOUND GUILTY of assaulting his former girlfriend and threatened to KILL HER.
Where is your passion about Ray McDonald, a 49ers defensive lineman who was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence after allegedly beating up his pregnant fiancé? By the way, in McDonald’s case, this is the second time police have been involved in a domestic dispute between him and his fiancé.
But since we don’t have video of either incident, I guess they can stay in the league and continue to play without consequence. None of the analysts on television will call for them to be banned from the league because it’s not the trendy thing to do. How hypocritical and pathetic.
The most important question here though is as the public made Ray Rice a scapegoat for domestic violence, how many people thought of Janay Rice?
How many people thought that by continuously bringing up this subject you’re hurting Janay more than you’re helping? How many people realized that taking away Ray Rice’s income changes their financial situation, their ability to help and support their family and the dynamics of their marriage?
It’s sad that the public chose to ruin a man’s career because they were thinking with their hearts and not with their brains.
Of course what Ray Rice did was wrong and pathetic. Of course as a father, a brother or a son; you should be moved in some way after seeing that video because you would never want something like that to happen to a woman you love.
But the beauty of the United States of America is that everyone is treated fairly and given their due process. Once a punishment has been served, no matter what evidence is presented afterwards, that individual gets a second chance at proving that they are indeed a worthy and valuable citizen of society.
Instead, everyone from social media to TMZ to ESPN etc. has demonized Ray Rice to the point that they’ve built a demon. Rice may have avoided jail but the public has trapped him in a prison of guilt which could forever result in a lifetime of bitterness and unhappiness. If you don’t believe me, just look at Chris Brown.
Once again I’ll ask, why do you think you have a right to be involved in Ray and Janay Rice’s marriage?
Photos courtesy of Google Images