Welcome to what will be my weekly segment on the National Football League. Today I would’ve given you my take on how abysmal my Dallas Cowboys are and how the home town Falcon’s aka “Dirty Birds,” pulled out an impressive win over the rival Saints. I wish I could do that, but given what has happened with Ray Rice, Roger Goodell, (NFL commissioner) and the county and state prosecutors in New Jersey it would be irresponsible to not discuss the matter that has people calling for every body’s jobs.
On 15, February 2014 in the Revel Casino, hotel elevator doors open and Ray Rice formerly of the Baltimore Ravens can been seen dragging an unconscious Janay Palmer off the elevator and into the hallway. Only one assumption could be made and only one conclusion drawn: Ray Rice had hit his fiancé and she was unconscious.
If that had been the end of the story we’d be talking about football today. Roger “The Hammer” Goodell suspended Ray Rice for 2 NFL games for beating his then fiancé (she has since married Rice) siting after speaking with both parties he was satisfied that the Rices were on their way to recovery. Apparently, Ray stated that Janay attacked him first and that he struck her mostly out of self defense. Rice was eventually arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. In the plea deal Rice had to complete anger management classes and his record would be expunged. Controversy ensued when Goodell only suspended Rice for two games and then turned around and suspended Josh Gordon for an entire year for substance abuse. That sent the message that one could smack a woman around, but your right to earn a living will be taken away if you smoke weed.
Goodell comes out later and says that he got the Rice suspension wrong and that going forward a first offender would be suspended six (6) games and any subsequent offenses would result in a lifetime ban. Too little, too late for some who wanted Rice to be suspended for more than two games. (It should be noted Rice made around $200,000.00 a game) In the meantime, another player was accused of domestic violence and we all waited for that to play out.
Thursday 4, September the season opened with the Superbowl champion Seattle Seahawks trouncing the Green Bay Packers and all was right in the world… Until Monday morning. TMZ released this:
We finally saw what actually happened in the elevator and all hell broke lose. Ray Rice was cut (fired) by the Ravens and both the NFL and Ravens claimed that this is the first they’re seeing of the full video. I may be cynical, but I’m not buying that one. TMZ is reporting that the NFL in fact had been given the video. Now, it’s a battle of who knew what, and when? Heads are going to roll on this one.
The NFL is now hiding behind counsel, the Ravens have severed all ties, and the outrage continues. How can TMZ get a hold of something that the NFL couldn’t? Why did the prosecutor let Rice off with a slap of the wrist? Surely, the prosecutors saw this video and yet this is about to disappear from his criminal record. What’s most disturbing about the second leaked video is Rice’s behavior after knocking Janay unconscious. It’s as if this is a normal occurrence in the Rice household.
Rice did not seek medical attention for Janay, when security arrived no one came to Janay Palmer’s aid. What’s worse, she went along with the lie that she attacked him and that she was sorry. The video clearly shows that Rice was the aggressor and who ended up hurt. This woman went along with a lie to protect her abuser, and maintain support for child. That is where the outrage should be. Ray Rice called a press conference to address what happened during training camp. Rice wanted no part of going back, all he wanted to do is say he was sorry and that Janay did nothing wrong. At least the latter part of that statement was true.
Eventually, Rice will appear and be contrite and he may even play football again. Michael Vick killed dogs, and while I am in no way equating the two, Americans always want to forgive you and give you a second chance. It will be a long road back if he gets a second chance and that really isn’t what’s important here. This is:
If you are in a relationship and you are afraid Catholic Charities has safe houses for victims of domestic violence. You have the unalienable right to be safe no matter what the circumstances. Chances are, he wont change unless he gets help. Janay Rice could’ve easily lost her life in that elevator, then this would be a manslaughter charge instead of a third degree assault charge and the idiots in the Atlantic county prosecutor’s office wouldn’t have people calling for their heads on a plate.
Photo Credit: Rob Carr Getty Images
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”