Enough time has passed.

 

Tempers over the incident have simmered slightly, and now logic finally has an opportunity to make a guest appearance in the Ray Rice case that was released in a shocking video just a few weeks ago.

 

Prior to the video's release, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, received little resistance to the the Baltimore Ravens running back's mere two-game suspension, but when the tape eventually surfaced Rice was handed an indefinite league wide ban.

 

National news commentators launched on a month long tirade to bring up the issue of domestic violence, and bash the league at every opportunity for it's handling of crimes committed by its athletes.

 

But was the truth lost somewhere in the process?

 

Let's start with the initial punishment being given to Ray Rice. Many were critical of Rice's two-game ban not being close to enough for a case of assault. What many people tend to neglect is the monetary impact that those 2 games cost Mr. Rice, which most analysts agree is somewhere in the range of $530,000. This does not include the cost incurred by legal fees, time lost due to internal league punishments such as mandatory attendance to reeducation programs, as well as the moral costs to his reputation.

 

Also compared to how Goodell handled past incidences of domestic violence, Rice's punishment was extremely harsh. In 2008, Ahmad Brooks was charged with knocking a woman unconscious and suspended only one game. 2011, Eric Walden, felony assault for punching his own girlfriend, one game. 2012, Dez Bryant, misdemeanor assault on his own mother, no suspension.

 

To say that Rice got off scot free, is both technically and fiscally just untrue.

 

There was also a strange campaign by news outlets to paint the NFL as an multi-billion dollar organization built on a strong foundation of woman beating. According to the statistics based blog Fivethirtyeight, famous for predicting the 2012 election most accurately of all pundits, the NFL has a much lower rate of domestic violence than the national average. In fact, the NFL's average arrest rate is only 13 percent of the national average for all crimes. To say that the league is full of rampaging thugs acting without legal consequence is based purely on prejudice, ironically by social justice workers looking to paint them in a negative light for their own agendas.

 

Then there was the statement released by Rice's then fiance and now wife, which was all but entirely thrown in the garbage based on the assumption that she didn't have the ability to analyze the situation as a victim.

 

Ironically, Janay Rice had the clairvoyance to subsequently criticize the media frenzy over the incident and misrepresentation of the facts in favor of a more favorable narrative, complete with sound bites.

 

There's more issues here than can't be fit into a space of a little more than a 500 word column. Questions of Mrs. Rice own case of assault where she initiated the violence by attacking her husband to be. Why exactly this factoid was completely ignored, rather  than Ray Rice's response to the incident, has to be the most baffling fact of the case. From a legal perspective, she too should be charged with assault.

 

But welcome to the age of digital media, where the facts are all but assumed, and the context doesn't matter!

 

(1) comment

J

It's pretty straightforward, the NFL and Ravens made an employment decision based on how the behavior of their employee would affect the perception and bottom line of their company.

It may well have been a one time thing with Rice. His wife may be totally legitimately fine with him. That doesn't really matter.

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