We knew something was missing. We knew there was more. There had to be, and that truth has now been revealed.
The sheer egregiousness of the actions of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on the night of February 15 have finally been brought to the light of day as video released from TMZ is now circumnavigating the digital realm. Though the NFL likely wished it happened a million years ago, it was only seven months ago when the choir boy football image of Ray Rice came into question. Back then, there was only video that was ever released to the public in the aftermath of the altercation that led to Rice dragging the limp frame of then-fiancée Jenay Palmer off of an elevator at Revel Casino in Atlantic City. Speculative theories ran the gamut of human reasoning as the public tried to conceive what to most of us was inconceivable.
What could possibly have happened that made an adult woman lay unconscious on a hotel floor? Rice’s subsequent press conference seems more contrived than contrite now that we’ve had a chance to see this video. We have provided links to the source material within this article. However, we will not be posting the video because it is against our editorial policy to post such content. There’s a strong chance many of our readers have already seen this video. The issue of domestic violence in the NFL has been a problem that seems to rear its ugly head every year. Last year it was Greg Hardy who is currently caught up in charges of domestic violence. This year it is Ray Rice and Ray McDonald. Players have been punished in the past for issues of domestic violence, but there had never been any instances that were videotaped.
Now with the release of this new video, we see Ray Rice and his wife engage in a quarrel that spills into the elevator. Rice strikes her with his hand. She approaches to strike him back and he then punches her so hard that her head is bounced off a metal railing before she falls unconscious. As a human being, born of a woman, brother of a sister, uncle to several nieces, it is a sickening shock to the system. During the press conference orchestrated by Ray Rice and Roger Goodell, Mrs. Rice said that she took full responsibility for HER role in the altercation.
The only role that she played, however, is that she was within striking distance of her now-husband Ray Rice. The psychological mindset of a woman saying that she is at fault for being pummeled by a man who is twice her size notwithstanding, Rice’s aversion to discussing the details of the circumstances now seem all the more damning. Prior to the more recent revelations, there were some journalists, writers and bloggers who went on record stating that we all should “not rush to judgment.” What say you all now? Clearly, she is no match for him. Obviously, he did not need to strike her to protect himself. The farcical manner that the Baltimore Ravens franchise rallied around Ray Rice, and the sad little two-game suspension administered by commissioner Roger Goodell, make it hard for the sensible man to even lay eyes on the NFL logo, lest visions of that disgusting pugilism come flashing back too vividly.
The already suspiciously light two-game suspension that was initially levied against Rice now looks even more suspect. A veritable nightmare for the NFL but it’s a PR nightmare that they created. The league has since created a new domestic violence policy that mandates a six game suspension for first time offenders, lifetime suspension for second time offenders. A far more suitable punishment than the two-games Rice got, but the NFL would go a long way toward making this right by retroactively applying this policy to him.
Additionally, the NFL released the following quote via spokesperson "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today." While that seems hard to believe, we will have to wait to see if that holds true. But isn't it ironic that the Revel Casino closed last week and suddenly this tape emerged in the hands of TMZ? Coincidence? I think not. Sounds like someone got a huge payday to replace the paycheck they lost with the closing of Revel.
Despite that, it is a certainty that Rice was grilled by the NFL and by the ACPD, yet these slaps on the wrist do not do the brutal magnitude of this crime justice.
Lastly, what role does the Atlantic City Police Department play in this unilateral travesty of justice? Well Rice was originally charged with third-degree-assault and was accepted into a pretrial diversion program that will allow for the charges to be dropped if he completes the program. This may be the most dastardly part of the entire situation. With all that has occurred this summer between the African American community and police brutality, we find a circumstance in which the wrong brother was given a pass because of his status as a professional football player.
This has been beyond egregious to the point of being criminally negligent. Ray Rice’s role in this situation is apparent. However, the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic City Prosecutor’s office, the New Jersey superior court judge and Roger Goodell are all negligent. I don’t want to hear anything about giving Ray Rice additional punishment being tantamount to double-jeopardy, right is right and Rice was dead wrong. At press time, Ray Rice has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens football team and the National Football League has banned him indefinitely as the media firestorm became too much to overcome. Yet those of us with common sense already knew the severity of Ray Rice's actions, what really had to have happened in the elevator for his fiance to be sprawled out on the floor unconscious, and the pathetic response of both the NFL Commissioner and the Baltimore Ravens.
At this moment, the efforts being made by the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens are appreciated, but should not be applauded. These actions are indicative of a league that is severely struggling with its culture of protectionism and failing in its stance on domestic violence.