Fifteen seconds. That’s all I was able to watch.
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When Ray Rice gave his wife a mean left hook to the face in a hotel elevator, that was it. It’s disgusting, disgraceful, inexcusable, unacceptable — put whatever adjective you want there.
The viewing public of the NFL cannot stand for this. Face it, the NFL is the most popular professional sports league in America, and possibly in the world. Domestic violence committed by Ray Rice, Ray McDonald or any other player, for that matter, should absolutely not be tolerated in the league, nor in this country.
Many of these players are not just athletes, they are role models for young athletes across the country. Rice plays for the Baltimore Ravens, a city where one in four people live below the poverty line. Way to set a sparkling example for the impoverished kids of Baltimore who looked up to you.
But my issue with the Ray Rice situation goes far beyond the realm of the simple concept of role models.
Recently, the Associated Press reported that law enforcement sent the tape to an NFL executive last April.
From the AP:
"“The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: ‘You’re right. It’s terrible.’“The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. The person said they were unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because they wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.”"
If this video indeed went to the NFL office in April, and Roger Goodell indeed saw the video of the horrific sequence of events in the elevator before making his decision … I’m actually at a loss for words.
Do the math: that means it took Goodell a little more than four months to suspend Rice after seeing that video?
My mom has told me since I was a child: “You never, EVER, have the right to hit a girl.” And those who tolerate domestic violence are just as guilty as the ones who commit it. Nobody, even in today’s violent video game-obsessed society, should tolerate violence of any kind. Anybody who shows any signs of leniency needs to go. Immediately.
When Ray Rice delivered that left hook to his fiancee, it didn’t just pack the punch of Rice’s fist, it had the power of Roger Goodell behind it as well.
Because, again, if Goodell saw the video and then gave the suspension he did, it indicates that he is more concerned with the NFL’s revenue than with domestic violence. And this is coming from a guy who made $85 million from 2010-12.
Is that a strong statement? Absolutely. But just look when TMZ broke the video, it was the Baltimore Ravens who acted first, not the NFL. The Ravens cut Ray Rice and then the NFL suspended him “indefinitely.” The NFL and Roger Goodell have not been the first ones to act throughout this situation, they have waited for others to take action first.
He can write whatever letters he wants, saying how the league will crack down on domestic violence. He can say that he will never step down.
Quite frankly, I don’t care what he thinks, says or writes. And no other NFL fans should care either. We as a community and as a nation, should not stand for domestic violence. It is our duty as people, as humans to stand against injustices like these.
If Goodell saw the video in April, he needs to go; it’s time to put the domestic violence and concussion lawsuits behind them.
Sportswriters across the nation have already delivered a left hook to Goodell’s job security, as many are calling for him to resign.
But now it’s in the public’s hands. It’s time for the public to deliver the knockout punch.