So, let’s get something straight on this whole Ray Rice thing.
A video was initially released showing Rice dragging his unconscious wife to the car. Charges were filed, plea deals struck, apologies offered. (Ravens GM) Ozzie Newsome told reporters, “He never lied.” Meaning, the NFL met with Ray Rice and he said, “Yes, I punched my wife in the face.”
He was suspended for two games.
The suspension for a positive marijuana test? Four games.
Suddenly, a new video appeared, showing the actual elevator surveillance footage of Rice hitting his wife. Only after that video was released (by TMZ Sports, no less) did you finally backpedal and suspend Rice indefinitely.
So, here’s the beef: that video that you claimed to have had such a visceral reaction to told you WHAT YOU ALREADY KNEW. This was not the “Let’s sit back and wait for the facts to come out” defense. You had a man admit that he hit his wife so hard she was knocked unconscious, and then the other video showing him dragging her to the car. You had full knowledge he had an issue with domestic violence, and you decided you would rather keep an abuser in the NFL longer than a stoner.
Until that other video.
So, NFL, we could pretend you’re the stupid type that doesn’t know sour milk is bad until you taste it, but oops, the cat’s out of the bag now, because law enforcement authorities now have evidence that you DID receive the second tape (the elevator footage) back in April, BEFORE the two game suspension was handed down, and LIED about the fact that you received it. Like, super dee duper lied.
“‘We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator,’ [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell said. ‘We assumed that there was a video. We asked for a video. We asked for anything that’s pertinent. But we were never granted that opportunity.’”
So here’s what people that are paying attention are mad about, NFL: you are clearly not upset by domestic abuse. You are more concerned with public perception than basic morality. Your latest commissioner (the lying liar mentioned above) has spent the last decade handing out fine after suspension after fine after suspension, claiming to be cleaning up the league’s image and making its players better role models.
What set the scene for this sudden need for a cleaner image when Goodell came in a decade ago? Oh, things like the NFL Love Boat scandal, where a bunch of Minnesota Vikings players rented a boat, went out to sea, and had a raunchy sex party. Like, research if you must, but they hired prostitutes and strippers and it was reportedly raunchy as all Hell. Still, no minors attended the event, no violence was reported, and the only charges held against them were being naked and getting laid in the middle of Lake Minnetonka (public enough, I suppose).
And THAT was enough for a few “Oh, the behavior is definitely disturbing” comments. So where the Hell are your priorities, NFL? Because it looks more like you’d rather your players teach kids not to party, smoke weed, or have consensual-yet-not-typical sex than to teach these young, impressionable minds to have some God damn respect for women.
Not that it’ll matter, those young minds will be riddled with concussions soon enough anyways.
So you need to tell us, right now, what do YOU consider a role model? Not, “What do you think people will want to hear,” but you, right now, especially Roger Goodell, need to come out and tell us your priorities. Because right now your role model looks like a concussed wife beater that calls natives ‘Redskins’.
The rest of us
P.S. Whatever happened to Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault case?