Editor’s Take: The Ray Rice Situation


Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back

Ray Rice

(27) runs with the ball during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Now that this story returned to the public eye, thanks to TMZ, the NFL, …etc., I thought it was time to weigh in on it once again.

You all know the story by now, man hits woman, man arrested, allowed to go to class, and suspended two games. Security video is released of said man, man is suspended indefinitely and loses his job with the Baltimore Ravens. The world goes haywire as man loses endorsements, and woman defends man.

OK, anyone that hasn’t been paying attention is now up to speed. “Man” of course is former Ravens’ RB Ray Rice, and the victim is his wife Janay. I refuse to put the video on this site. For those of you have been reading us for a while now, you know that I intend to keep everything that appears on this site rated “G”. For anyone that saw the video, you know that the video is far from rated “G”. It’s “D” for disgusting, and I will not give it any more hits than it has already received.

Anyway, on to my thoughts. Please read the whole thing, and comment if you like, because I love discussion.

First of all, Adam Schefter put it best when he said that mistakes were made all over the place here. We will start right at the top here. I understand why Roger Goodell made the changes to the penalties. He, in his mind, wanted to make a statement that the league won’t tolerate domestic violence. Ray Rice’s case happens to be the case that set him over the edge. The problem is he did it too late.

Don’t get me wrong. The two game suspension was ridiculous. I shouted against it the moment the ruling came down. I don’t care that Janay dropped the charges, or that Rice got to avoid jail. That was the wrong move, period. Compare that to Josh Gordon getting suspended for a full year for a small amount of drugs in his system and the disproportionate system comes to a head. A two game suspension for Rice basically condones his actions, and that cannot be tolerated.

But, going back on his punishment, and increasing it is wrong too. Again, I am not saying that Rice didn’t deserve a stricter penalty. He absolutely did, and him losing his job, to me is appropriate. But, the way he went about it just doesn’t look right. Thanks to the video coming out, and the obvious public outcry that came with it, Goodell changed his mind. That gives the appearance of making the move, not because he felt it was right, but because the fans demanded it. It makes you wonder, if he had kept the video from the public, would Rice be returning in week 3?

More on the video in a minute.

By the way, and this is unfortunate, if DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA decide to appeal this decision, I don’t see anyway that an arbitrator or a judge uphold the length of the Rice suspension. Sad to say, going back on the decision likely would be found as a violation of his “due process” rights.

Will talk more about the video and its ramifications on the next page.

Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about the video for a minute. Not the content, anyone who has wanted to see it has seen it by now. I only saw it because I didn’t get to the remote in time to change it during halftime of Monday Night Football. It would have been nice of them to warn people about the content, and give you a second to turn away, wouldn’t it? But, god forbid ESPN give up a few viewers for ten seconds with their hard-hitting reporting. But that’s for another day.

Roger Goodell, and the Ravens both said they never saw the video before Monday. I can buy that, when it comes to the Ravens. They are not a police agency by any means, and a single team doesn’t have the reach that an entire league does. So it is very likely to me that the Ravens had not seen the video.

The NFL’s power is unbelievably reaching in its strength. This is the billion dollar industry that prints money every day. Goodell talks, and his staff talks at length, about the detailed investigations they perform when situations come up. Does anyone really believe that the NFL didn’t know about this video? Is Roger Goodell that stupid? I would think not.

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The more likely scenario is that he is willfully blind. And THAT is disgusting.

The TMZ sports department was informed by sources that the NFL NEVER REQUESTED the video. It’s a scenario that is hard to fathom, but not when thinking about Roger Goodell. It is fairly well-documented that he ignored evidence in the “SpyGate” case, what is to stop him from doing the same in the Ray Rice scenario? Nothing, and that is where Roger Goodell falls short.

Goodell figured that he could suspend Rice for two games, he would take the heat, make the changes going forward and all would be forgotten and Rice would return. To think that the video of Rice would not get leaked at SOME point is completely negligent, stupid, and downright irresponsible. We know that the commissioner is actually just a face to represent the owners, but a league that prints money was not going to take a big hit for throwing out a guy that slugged his wife, and doing it immediately.

Pete Rozelle is turning over in his grave right now. This is not the league that he left behind, and Roger Goodell is in good part to blame.

Now, I open for discussion, should you choose. Feel free to sound off below.