When I first saw the video of NFL Raven’s player Ray Rice dragging his wife out of an elevator, I assumed it was a woman who was drunk and passed out after a late night of drinking. My husband quickly informed me she was in this condition, not from alcohol, but from a knock-out blow given to her by Rice.
The NFL punished the running back by banning the player for two days. Many people were outraged, citing that if a player were to smoke marijuana just twice he would be banned from the NFL for a year. Other violent crimes against players have also prompted heavier punishments from the NFL.
Now the NFL is using Rice’s wife as their scapegoat. According to NBCsports.com, the victim made plea to NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodall that was was a crucial part of their decision to give him only a two-day ban.
I do understand that this very well could have been a one-time act and that he is seeking professional therapy. Yes, people can redeem themselves from some very dark pasts…but that does not excuse the NFL from fitting the punishment to the crime. Rice is a public figure that needs to properly be held accountable for his actions. And I’m not talking about doing it in this a half-assed way. The NFL continues to market their players as role models, which has an incredible reach with an easily influenced audience (youth). Yet, they continue to perpetuate this idea that women are less… that if you hit a woman so hard that she goes unconscious, then that is less of a crime than giving an injury to your fellow player…
To add insult to injury, the NFL continues to victim blame Rice’s wife as they allow a “source’ to leak that she was the true reason for the light sentence. I’m sorry, she isn’t the NFL Commissioner, and she is not responsible for Rice’s actions or the NFL’s.
Here, Keith Olbermann explains this much better than I ever could: