Jul 24, 2014; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball during practice at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell Fumbles the Ray Rice Situation

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As the Jets begin their first workout for the month of August, I had to take a moment to speak on the Ray Rice situation. Specifically, the gross mishandling of the situation by Roger Goodell and company.

I don’t typically go off on a team other than the Jets, as most of you know, but this issue really gets to me. Is there anything more despicable than a man hitting a woman? I don’t think so. It’s not evidence of a man, it’s evidence of a coward. No matter WHAT is going on, there is no situation that would make it appropriate for a man to hit a woman, EVER! Period.

A football player, hitting someone who is likely half his size, if that much? I guess that makes you tough, right Ray? Absolutely not. It is terrible, and is not something to be tolerated in any walk of life, not just athletics.

No apology read in public is going to make it OK. First of all, apologizing doesn’t make it go away. It still happened, and it doesn’t get erased. To his credit, Ray Rice did acknowledge that when he talked about how he has to live with what he did.

Secondly, these players are looked at as heroes. Young children look up to these players. You might say that the parents can filter these situations so the children aren’t influenced, but the fact is that kids are influenced by what athletes do. In this day and age, there is no way to sequester kids from what is going on. You cannot tell me that there aren’t young children out there, wearing a Ray Rice jersey, that don’t think they can do what they want, as long as they apologize afterwards.

It’s very sad.

And the NFL was no help. A two game suspension is almost meaningless. It says to the world that if you can run fast, or catch a football, throw one…etc., that you can do whatever you like. The message being sent is that sports are more important than treating people well. More than that, it says that hitting a woman is acceptable.

Great message, Commissioner Goodell. I hope you and the league are proud of yourselves.

In a league where there is a sliding scale for punishments when drugs are involved, and players are suspended for taking substances to perform better on the field, the Ray Rice punishment is weak. It sets a precedent that hitting a woman is not that bad, and THAT is inappropriate. It is the wrong message to convey to the world, and it is wrong to convey to OUR CHILDREN.

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Not good commissioner. I expected more from you, and I pray we don’t here that Ray Rice ever does this again.

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