Well the football season has finally arrived. Fans everywhere dusted off their jerseys, put their beer on ice, fired up their grills and plopped into their favorite chairs to watch their teams take the field–but unfortunately the much-anticipated season got off to a pretty rocky start. The past week sports shows not only covered the usual stories of the winners, the losers, the stars and the injuries, but another story took the limelight as Baltimore Raven’s star, Ray Rice was indefinitely suspended for domestic violence against his now wife. The NFL is feeling the heat as a video surfaced showing Rice punching his then fiancé right square in her face. Yes, that punch knocked her out and he was seen on video dragging her body out of the elevator of a casino in New Jersey. So who is outraged?
Yes, the media is covering it. It is all over the news in fact. Social media is buzzing and blogs are on fire with the news that Rice has been fired. His wife, the victim has even taken to Instagram, condemning the coverage in a post on her account stating,
“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. — No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted opinions from the public has caused me and my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his a– off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.”
Mrs. Rice even went as far as to apologize for her part in the incident. Everyone is outraged, or so it seems.
The NFL is under pressure as an investigation is under way as to whether the NFL had access to the complete video of the incident. And if they didn’t, why not? Obviously they could have gotten it if they wanted it. Regardless, they almost got by with a mere 2 game suspension for Rice had it not been for TMZ who released the video for all to see.
Personally I found it horrifying to watch her fall and hit her head on the rail after being pounded in her face. Then to see her lifeless body being dragged out of the elevator. As a woman, I was disgusted–but evidently, some women did not find this disturbing enough as even being victims of domestic violence themselves, they thought it appropriate to share their support by wearingtheir Ray Rice jerseys to Thursday nights game versus the Pittsburg Steelers. LaTonya Jones, also a victim of domestic violence, wore her jersey to the game stating that, “We shouldn’t be involved in their personal life. — It’s not right.” As hard as that is to swallow, I am assuming that as a fan, she would much rather turn the other cheek so that her star player can help her team on their quest for victory.
But what about Rice’s team players? Surely they wouldn’t agree after watching the video. They wouldn’t want the embarrassment of supporting their team mate especially after this vicious attack on a woman. Or would they? Apparently they do. After their win on Thursday against the Steelers several of the Ravens players openly showed their support for Rice dedicating their win to him. Quite the contrary to what happened just a short while ago when a team owner was under attack for spewing off some words to his girlfriend that she just happened to record and make public.
Remember Donald Sterling?
Sterling wasn’t as fortunate as Ray Rice in the lion’s den of public opinion. I’m wondering if LaTonya Smith openly supported Sterling; after all, it was their “personal life” and we “shouldn’t be involved.” This story also made national headlines flooding the radio, airwaves and social media playing over and over again, the comments made by Sterling to his girlfriend who just happened to be of black and Latino heritage. Clipper’s fans were outraged as many of them refused to wear their Clipper’s gear to the games. The NBA took a stand and banned Sterling for life. There were protests from the Clipper’s players as in one instance, they gathered at center court before a pre-game warm up and removed their team warm up shirts placing them on the floor and proceeded to warm up with their shirts on inside out as not to display the team logo or the Clipper’s name. They were making a point and taking a stand.
Quite the outrage for a rant with distasteful words, don’t you think? Imagine if you will, had Sterling punched his girlfriend in the face then proceeded to drag her limp body off to a room. Regardless, there are stark differences to the treatment of both Rice and Sterling.
Not all NFL players are supporting Rice or standing silent. In a bold move, Denver Bronco’s defensive tackle, Terrance Knighton, recently took to Twitter posting, “As players we always speak on how we are unfairly treated, well now what?” And in a separate Tweet, “As players we must speak up. Stand up for what’s right. I don’t give a damn who u are or how much money you make.”
Hopefully we’ll hear from more of our NFL players taking a stand and denouncing the actions not only of Ray Rice, but the feeble punishment given to him by the NFL before their hands were forced by the discovery of the TMZ video. Surely they will possess the same venom to the man that smashed his girlfriend in the face, that they did with the man that went off on a private rant in a fight with his girlfriend. Wouldn’t you think?