EMPOWERED FANS MUST CONTINUE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Rice, the subject of the controversy you’ve surely heard by now, assaulted his then fiancée, Janay Rice, in an elevator, with footage at the time showing him dragging her unconscious body out of an Atlantic City elevator.
The penalty for this crime? A measly and insignificant two game suspension.
Now that video has been leaked to the public showing what happened inside the elevator, a public uproar has forced the National Football League’s hand as well as the Baltimore Ravens’ organization to fire Rice and suspend him indefinitely.
So all is set now. The NFL has since created a new domestic violence policy that permanently removes a player from ever playing again after their second charge. Let me emphasize that. SECOND.
So yes, the NFL has upped its policy but apparently it’s still not a severe issue that warrants automatic removal. All you’ve done is simply slap the player on the back and tell him, “Alright, here’s your get out of jail free card.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens’ organization claim to have never seen the inside the elevator footage until it was released to the public yesterday. Which might have been worse then saying they’d already seen it. Now, they look guilty of not doing enough research into the situation.
But let’s say for a minute that I actually believe the NFL (I don’t).
What difference does it make if you haven’t seen the footage of the actual assault? At the time you handed down the suspension, there was already footage of Janay entering the elevator consciously and being dragged out unconsciously! Why did you need to see the graphic assault that results in the exact same outcome you already knew?
Despicable, that’s what the NFL has been shown to be. Every single person involved with this incident has lost all credibility that they might have previously had – regardless of whatever future punishment may come Ray Rice’s way. Rice belongs in a jail and arguably all involved in the judicial process throughout his trial should lose their own jobs including prosecutor Jim McClain and superior court judge Michael Donio.
Failure to punish a man guilty of assaulting his now wife – and failure to locate evidence of the actual assault inside the elevator are the crimes that the New Jersey prosecutors are guilty of. After this stupidity, they should all lose their jobs as well – either for committing malpractice or for being too incompetent for their current positions.
Next we have the Ravens’ organization – which had the ignorance to hold a press conference that included Ray Rice and his assaulted wife Janay at the same table in front of media members. The same organization that had the nerve to put out a statement saying this blasphemy:
“Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident”
And then after disregarding Janay Rice, who has to sit in a room and say all the right things for fear of possibly being beaten again, the Raven’s General Manager Ozzie Newsome goes on to say this
“While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair.”
Fair judgment, huh?
Every member of the Ravens’ organization from the president to the head coach should be fired for letting this play out as long as it did. For allowing Rice to play in the preseason with the team and even receive a standing ovation from Baltimore fans. For having the indecency to allow this man comfort and a place to escape from prison.
And finally Roger Goodell and his hierarchy of officials in the NFL offices. Commissioner Goodell, NFL Chief Counsel Jeff Pash and more all deserve to lose their jobs as well. If Rice must go, so should his enablers. The ones who would rather suspend or fine players for substance abuse on drugs such as Adderall or drugs to help male fertility to speed up pregnancy.
In the end, do I believe they’ll listen to me? No, but to everyone that reads this, realize you still have a voice. So when this atrocity happens again, and it will, remember, you can make a difference. Don’t stand and cheer. Don’t watch the press conferences or support the statues built outside stadiums that are of figures who arguably murdered someone or obstructed justice (Ray Lewis with the RAVENS!)
Just realize you still have a voice and still make a difference. It happened this time and we’ll need to do it again.
Reece Funderburk is currently the producer for the “Reynolds and Gunter” show on 560TheTeam Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. He also hosts own show “The Saturday Morning Blitz” on Saturday morning from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET on WUSC 90.5 FM. He can be found on twitter @TheSMBlitz.