NFL, Roger Goodell, and Baltimore Ravens Botched Ray Rice Case

Updated: September 11, 2014
By Keith Allison

Everyone knows the headlines and everyone knows what happened. Heck, even law enforcement has moved on with the case as has Ray Rice and his wife. If you don’t know the details of this story, I have no idea how that is even possible. Balitmore Ravens’ running-back Rice punched his then-fiancé in an elevator. Video showed Rice dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. The two fought through the fire and went on to marry while Rice was also able to avoid jail by being granted into a pre-trail intervention program. The NFL went ahead and suspended Rice for 2 games and everyone went on living happily ever . . . Wrong!

A new video surfaced of inside the elevator. Released by TMZ, it showed Rice striking his then-fiance rather violently. Amongst a roar of backlash and ridicule, Roger Goodell immediately suspended the running-back indefinitely and the Ravens followed suit by releasing him. This was followed with a barrage of players saying, tweeting, posting that they don’t condone this type of behavior.

I, as everyone else reporting on the subject, will say the same. I do not condone the acts of Ray Rice or domestic violence. There is no place for it in any type of environment and no one should tolerate it. It is far too common in our society and happens much too often in front of our nation’s youth. Whatever the circumstances, reasons, feelings, or emotions there might be; there is still no place for this type of violence, or any violence for that matter, in our society.

Now, back to the progressing story. Apparently, in some “he said, he said, they said” stuff, law enforcement had given this footage to the NFL. Goodell and the NFL are continuing to deny this and the Ravens are also saying the did not see the footage. Well, well, well, Ladies and Gentlemen; what we have here is a massive F#%$-UP by the NFL and Baltimore on a fundamental and moral level. From a law enforcement stand-point, maybe further punishment should be/have been seeked, but the couple themselves buried the hatchet and still went on to get married. Being the first reported domestic incident from Rice, I’d give say the pre-trial program is far. There isn’t much dirt on him, other than this major incident. Plus, the police, judge, and prosecution had all seen the video evidence.

Whether the sentencing had anything to do with him being a star-football player is another moral and ethical realm that may require multiple parts over thousands of pages, but I have no problem with it because his wife doesn’t. Had this been a multiple occurrence situation, then a harder and swifter hand should have been used.

As for the NFL and Goodell, they are looking at a federal investigation. Fantastic, let’s get the government involved. The most transparent and duty-serving entity in our country. That, folks, was all sarcasm. What is Good Old Uncle Sam going to do? Write a 2,000 page report, waste tax payers money, and fire a few people. What does that get us? Frankly, this isn’t an issue for the federal government to deal with, what I will say is everyone missed the boat on this.

What did you expect the incident or assault to look like? Before this video was made public, did everyone think that Rice was using Sock’em Boppers and the elevator was a bouncy castle? Based on the first publicly released video and the way he was dragging her body out of the elevator, you have to have known that this was pretty ugly and rather violent. When the first “sentencing” was handed out, everyone seemed content with the punishment, especially since they went on to get married! Now this new video is creating an entire hurricane of nonsense and insanity. Everyone from this team, that organization, this corner of the earth, this closet over here and under that rock over there has something to say about the incident and about domestic violence. Why wasn’t this the reaction before? Why did it take this video?

And what is a “federal investigation” going to do? We live in a world full of lies, illusion, fear, and violence. Some of us live under a microscope, where every blink of an eye and breath is examined. Incidents like Rice’s happen everyday all across the world. Some incidents are far worse and more vicious. Does that factory worker who goes home, drinks a 12-pack and beats his wife weekly, lose his job? Does that salesman who takes his frustrations out on his wife lose his career and hard work? No, because in many instances, they go unreported. Not to mention, these women are probably begging, praying for a way out. Rice’s wife stood right by his side and took the oath to stay there for as long as they both live. Now, this man’s career, his hard work, and his livelihood is torched and burned even though the victim, herself, has tried to put the incident behind her. Goodell, the NFL, and Baltimore should be ashamed and appalled by the way they handled this.

However, Rice’s career isn’t over because you have to love the sick and twisted world we live in. There will be another idiot out there to make everyone forget about Rice’s incident. Does the name Michael Vick ring a bell? Does anyone remember what he did? Oh, that’s right! He was involved in a massive dog-fighting ring. He and his accomplices would not only torture dogs, but they would also execute them by electrocution and hanging.  Oh, they also drowned innocent dogs too. What’s that? You ask “Where is Michael Vick now?” Well, he is actually the back-up quarterback for the New York Jets. He did a short sentence, mostly joke time in a half-way house, and returned to the league to make millions. Any “Average-Joe” like you or me would be put away for years and be lucky if we could find a job scrubbing toilets after we got out. That’s just the sick morals of sports and our hypocritical justice system. Whether or not Goodell or anyone gets fired or “resigns”, we need to take a deep look into criminal activities amongst athletes and punishment that comes along with it. In my opinion, Vick should have never been allowed to put on a cleat again. His crimes are far worse than that of Rice’s and he is still on the field playing. To be paid millions to play a sport is like a gift. 10 year-olds run around doing it for fun. Doing it as a professional and for absurd amounts of money should never be taken for granted. Maybe the four major sport organizations (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB) should come together for some type of summit or powwow and discuss these issues in-depth. That’s where we should start. For now, leave the federal government and any government out of it.

Let’s get the four big players together, everyone from the owners and commissioners to the players’ associations and hash out perimeters across all major sports for illegal acts. Whether it is drunk driving, using ecstasy, or assaulting someone; the leagues should all have set guidelines on how to deal with all types of incidents. Why? Because this Ray Rice incident isn’t the first one to get botched and not even the worst. We are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these issues amongst our professional sports leagues. No one is above the law, from the president to that homeless person sleeping in Central Park, we all abide by the same laws.

Yes, there is corruption and yes, money plays a major role in our justice system, but where is there a better place to start? These athletes are put in the national spotlight everyday. They are discussed around hundreds of millions of water-coolers in hundreds of thousand of offices each day. These athletes and sporting leagues not only reach the few hundred million in our country, but reach billions throughout the world. Start by making an example in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. Start by making examples out of players who commit crimes, especially violent ones. Start and make an example for everyone, because the whole world is watching.

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