We had all heard the story and had seen the original video released by TMZ. There were rumors of what Ray Rice had supposedly done and how the incident started. The video only showed the aftermath and that was hard to watch in its own right. The full video of the event makes my stomach churn.
Prior to this new video I had tried to be neutral in the affair. Yes I am a Ravens fan and I had been thrilled with what Ray Rice was doing on the field for my home team. I didn’t want to judge because I didn’t have all of the actual facts. Sure, I had lost respect for him. I wasn’t about to cheer him on. I was wondering if it really was a hay-maker uppercut, or was it a pushing and shoving match that saw one person stumble? There is no question about that anymore. There are some other questions that need answers.
Why is the NFL so nonchalant in the penalties for domestic violence?
I did research on this topic and found that over the past three years there were nineteen cases of NFL players being arrested for domestic violence or violence or crimes against women. What is shocking is that only four players including Ray Rice received suspensions. Of those players only one faced a greater penalty than Rice as he received a four game suspension. One player got the same as Ray Rice and one player served only a one game suspension. When Commissioner Goodell stated that he was merely following precedent in the matter he was being truthful. I am glad the NFL has decided to change their ways in how they handle these cases now. To me it is coming much too late.
What should the Ravens do about this?
As a fan and with my heart I am thinking Ray Rice needs to be cut and never allowed to play football again. The problem is that my normally very analytical mind is having a hard time deciding what is logical. Ray is in the midst of a very high paying contract. I know this should not be a deciding factor, but that is the truth of the matter. If Rice was a backup player earning the league minimum I think he’d be off the roster by now. The Ravens legally owe him millions of dollars. Cutting him would decimate their salary cap. Yes, it is all about money. I think this is making me even more sick trying to explain things from the Ravens standpoint. Then there is the legal backlash they might face from the NFLPA. My thoughts? The Ravens may not be able to cut him, but they don’t have to have him play. They could offer their own team suspension as well. Both of those options still pay Ray what he is owed but also sends a message to the fans. The problem is that it penalizes the team with his cap number tied up in a player that is not on the field producing. Perhaps the NFL needs to look into this policy and change it so that teams can release players guilty of such transgressions?
What should the fans do?
I am not comfortable telling anybody else what they should think or do. You all have your own minds and you should make them up for yourself. Is Ray Rice worthy of redemption? Does he deserve a second chance based on all of his previous charity work and his help in the community? Does he deserve to be booed every game and for the fans to turn their backs on him no matter what he does on the field? One thing I think I am comfortable in saying to all fans of the NFL, they should let the NFL know this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. I think they got the message already and that is why we have seen a change in the suspensions and policy with how the NFL will deal with this in the future.