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Saturday, September 13, 2014

NOT SO NICE MR. RICE


NOT SO NICE MR. RICE
A cranky question posed on

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following question and perspective comes from a cranky old man with little knowledge of the facts in the case.  Comments and responses are welcome. 


Big news in the NFL this week. 

Ray Rice has been cut from the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended from the National Football League.  Rice had previously been suspended for two games when he got in trouble for domestic violence after he beat up his then fiancé Janay Palmer.

New videos of the beat-down recently became public and they were so disturbing that the Ravens ended his contract and the League extended their suspension. 

The videos are indeed disturbing.  They show an argument in an Atlantic City Casino elevator where Rice’s fiancé charges him with apparent intent to punch him.  Ray Rice defensively hits her with a left hook driving her into a rail in the elevator and knocking her out cold.  He then callously drags her out of the elevator with no apparent remorse.  It was in all very brutal.

First let me address the defensive punch.  Ray Rice is a professional athlete of enormous talent and strength.  He weighs over 215 pounds and none of that weight is excess fat.  His fiancé weighed maybe 125 pounds.  Ray Rice could have easily absorbed any punch Janay might have landed and could have easily grabbed her arms and held her like a child throwing a tantrum until she changed her attitude.  

I am not a professional athlete of enormous talent and strength.  I have been attacked by a 150 pound woman with bad intentions on several occasions.  I was able to grab her and hold her off with ease until she realized it was easier to just beat me up verbally.  I know that people can sometimes act irrationally (not saying this was the case with Janay, I have no idea) but there is no excuse for this kind of violence toward anyone, man or woman, who is so little of a legitimate threat.

Rice’s fiancé, Janay Palmer, is now his wife.  After this horrific beating, she still elected to marry Ray Rice.  I have read how she has been called a multiple victim.  A victim in the beating and a victim in the press.  She has been a victim in that she had to defend her actions that led up to the beating. 

Here is the question and perhaps the dilemma.

Is destroying Ray Rice’s career and taking away his ability* to earn a living making his wife a victim once again?  Rice deserves to be punished, but are we also punishing the victim?

Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice, apparently decided to forgive Ray Rice for the beating (a mistake in my opinion) perhaps she knows something about Ray.  Maybe he should be given a second chance.

Ray Rice’s teammate Ray Lewis killed a man and yet he was allowed to play and was an all-star for many NFL years.  He apparently became a positive role model and an inspiration to many.  He was given a second chance.  Michael Vick tortured and murdered defenseless dogs.  He went to jail for his crime and has since been allowed to play in the NFL.

If Sam Jones, the plumber next door, beat the crap out of his girlfriend and she did not press charges and later married him, he would still have his plumbing license.  Why is Ray Rice different?

He is different because the League is trying to protect its image.  The League is concerned about losing a key demographic, women fans and wives of fans.

Ray Rice was a hero around these parts of New Jersey.  He was born and bred in the tri-state area.  He was a star for our State School, Rutgers, and was instrumental at turning their football program into a National Power (well respectable anyway.)  He was respected and there was never a hint of his being anything but a hard working law abiding citizen.  I never heard an unkind word about his character.

Maybe he just made a bad mistake. 

Maybe he is a brutal lowlife who until now has managed to fly under the radar of public scrutiny. 

I believe Ray RIce deserves to be punished.  The league needs to send a message that they will no longer tolerate violent behavior off the field, and this violence against a woman is as wrong as beating up a child.

Should the victim also be punished?  Punishing her husband is surely punishing Janay Palmer Rice once again.  If Janay can forgive and allow Ray a second chance, why not the NFL, why not society? 

Maybe Janay should not have married the man.   Maybe the state should not have sanctioned the union.  Maybe she should not have been allowed to marry Ray Rice.

When does society get to say that we know what is best for a person?  Is punishing Ray Rice also punishing his victim, his wife?

I don’t know.

Why did you have to create this dilemma Ray Rice?

You were a New Jersey Treasure, why did you have to be a dick?

The preceding question/opinion is not necessarily endorsed by management…Mrs. Cranky.

 


*Don’t feel too badly for him financially, he will apparently still retain $20 million from a bonus for signing his contract.

** I found this article after writing this post while searching for the name of Ray’s wife.

21 comments:

  1. i don't feel like i have the right to judge janay, either in her decision to marry him or to defend him, now. it makes me very uneasy to think about being her, though.

    we humans are a terrible bunch.

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  2. There are so many issues to be upset about in this dreadful situation, but the one that really sticks in my mind is this: Didn't they already punish this guy by suspending him for two games back in Apil? It was a ridiculous punishment that really seemed to condone his actions, but the NFL had every opportunity to see the footage inside that elevator and chose not to. Anyone seeing the footage of Rice pulling her out of the elevator could see he beat the crap out of her. Let's face it, if Rice had attacked a man he'd be in jail today. Women had better wise up and realize that all the gains they've made over the past twenty years are currently being undone. Wake up, ladies! You have the power to make the NFL hurt, and I suggest you do so.

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  3. I am not feeling badly for him or his wife. I do feel bad for a lot of men who grew up among families and friends who believe that it is OK to hit their wives. People need to be educated.

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  4. He should never play again. Ever. He's a big bully as so many of these guys are. The are above the law. No, you're not. It's time that these thugs pay for what they do. As for his wife? She married him anyway? He'll continue to knock her around. He'll just be more careful that cameras are not in the mix.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

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  5. Pre-feminist movement, the scene could easily have been as you described. Rice could have absorbed the punch but held the hysterical lady until she cooled down. He still could in this day but men are confused about their role with women. We don't know what went on before and what were their usual habits of solving a dispute. Women expect everything equal to men and if she slams away at a man, she must expect the same slams back. Given the difference in size and weight between most men and women, I'd say she is just plain stupid. She also must have known he could be violent with women but yet she married him. I think his bank account outweighed her fear of physical harm.

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  6. I have not problem judging this affair. A lot of very vocal judges over the last couple of decades, a lot of noise about violence, finally is bringing one last bastion of violence, football, to it's knees. Players are injured on the field by acts of violence, wives and children off by acts of violence. Football used to be a game of skill and sportsmanship. Greed has bred and fed the violence. For shame.

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    1. My only correction would be that Football has always had a violent aspect even when played for nothing but sport.

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    2. 125 or 150 years ago football was a running and passing sport, played without pads. That was the game of football. It had no more violent aspect than baseball or basketball or tennis or volleyball or pingpong.

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  7. Not sure what the answer is, but I'd take 20 million to not go to work.
    Too many steroids, too much testosterone and too much money all around. Makes people behave badly. That's all I got.

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  8. Violence against women and children cannot and should not be tolerated. The two game suspension was a joke. Should he be given a second chance to play football - maybe after he proves himself worthy of that second chance. Just because she married him doesn't mean that he has changed. I truly don't understand why some women choose to remain in a violent relationship. I know a lot of it is fear and there has to be some better way to address that fear and help them feel safe enough to leave. So many aspects to this problem. She was stupid to charge at him physically also. Have no idea what any of the answers are.

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    1. I would like to add, violence to ANYONE, especially those who offer little or no threat, should not be tolerated.

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  9. To elaborate on the plumber analogy...Sam Jones wouldn't lose his plumbing license, but he'd probably lose his job with the plumbing business that employed him. A cop would probably lose his job AND his badge. Sure, Sam the plumber could keep working as a plumber, in business for himself. And the cop could keep working as a private security guard. Let Ray Rice work as a janitor...

    I don't know what to say about his wife.

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  10. The NFL has a reputation of looking the other way if the athlete is good enough. Just one case after another of violence, murder and illegal behavior is glossed over. Now we have the Adrian Peterson child abuse case.. I think these situations may be the catalyst to say "enough". I hope so. .. .

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  11. If I knocked out my husband in a casino elevator, could I lose my teaching license? You bet. That falls under "moral turpitude" if I'm convicted, or under "immorality" if I'm not. There goes my livelihood. I would imagine that such clauses exist in Ray Rice's NFL contract.

    The plumber is (excuse me, plumbers) just a plumber. He is not held to a higher standard for being in the public eye, a possible role model for impressionable children. So there's Ray Rice at a high school football game, where the players are no doubt in awe of a real NFL player on the sidelines. What kind of message do they take away from his actions and the consequences? Is he wrong? Is he being persecuted for something his wife has forgiven him for? Who knows?

    Where do we draw the line? If he raped her just a little bit after knocking her unconscious, and she still forgave him, would that be wrong enough to take away his livelihood? She didn't say no. They already had a child together. So he might have assumed it would be okay...

    Yeah. When does society get to determine what is right and what is wrong?

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  12. No, this is not punishing Janay 'again'. She chose where she is at and who she is with. The original punishment was just plain stupid, based on the prior evidence Rice should not have been allowed to continue after just 2 games pause. His crime was egregious in and of itself but his failure to get medical help for her was unacceptable.

    If it was one of us we would be financially crippled fighting the charges AND there's a chance we'd lose our jobs. He's made enough already that there is nothing crippling about this unless he's also chosen unwisely in his finances. If so, that was his choice as well. The point is he is no better and is no worse than any of us and the punishment should not be mitigated by the effects of his or her poor choices.

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  13. Once a person hits you the first time the second is coming periously quick! The fact she stayed with him is appalling but many people do..Domestic Violence is in my opinion tolerated in the USA more than any other country just like Hunger is tolerated, human beings have the right to live with food and not to be battered! Plain and simple, I don't care if it men to men, women to women whatever the battering! Hunger is in epic portions in our USA the greatest country in the world, I say tolerated because even food banks are empty and many and some people think is is okay...Jimmy Carter yes the former President of the USA said it succinctly if you say you are a Christian and you fail to help your fellow man what God is that you say you believe in?? I so applaud his efforts for Haibtat for Humanity and Hunger in this great country. On to Domestic Violence once a person says enough she or he has to make dadblasted sure they can escape, usually with just the clothes on their backs with their kids to boot, maybe a bag or two and a tiny amount of money in the dead of night or morning to a safe house..Once they take the first step usually they never look back, they get help and build a new life, some of them have to leave the entire area to escape the abuse..If the person files a restraining order the batterer tries to harm them a lot sometimes killing them it is a statistical fact, they have to escape the right way or they are not going to live long..It is a horrible way to get help but in the end the person being battered never regrets it..they can finally find peace and their kids too..I do not feel sorry for this football player or his wife, they are putting the matter under the rug and it will rear it's head again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Interesting points that you make. Usually I just love to explore grey areas, but in this case I believe Rice committed assault and should be in jail, not just miss a few games.
    High school athletes get pulled from their squads if they get bad grades. Why should professional athletes get away with assault and battery?

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  15. Joe...
    Think you got your question answered above in the comments, at least from this group.
    At what point do we say that 'well, she's culpable, she's not a 'victim'? Or that she had some responsibility for what happened?
    I agree with most of what you said, with the exception of the slightly mentioned thought what the victim has some culpability.
    To my mind a victim is a victim. As you noted, the size difference, etc, dictates he shouldn't do what he did.
    Good job bringing up a subject that I see no other bloggers have.

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  16. Thank you everyone for your comments. In response, Football has ALWAYS been a violent sport even 125 years ago before the forward pass was invented. It is more violent today with steroids and HGH and 300 pound players that run a 4.8 40. Unfortunately I think many Sam the Plumber's next door do get away with domestic violence. Yes I agree Ray deserved serious punishment, yes I agree he was brutal, and I did in fact call him a Dick! My question was is Janay even more a victim as a result of Ray's behavior. Her actions on that night indicate to me no fear and a possible indication that Ray had not previously been an abuser. And she has known Ray since high school and been with him for seven years...they have a child. My question should her feelings be considered in any punishment to Ray has been answered by my readers and the answer is NO. I can't say that I disagree, but I still have some reservations. Worth thinking about without instant knee jerk PC reaction. THe readers have spoken...I don't disagree even if Janay does.

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  17. He beat her and she married him anyway?? Foolish girl. And shame on him!!
    Mine didn't hit until after we'd been married a few months. I had him arrested and divorced him. I wasn't hanging around for seconds.

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  18. It's tough for us to understand why someone stays...I think that's part of falling in love. There's a brainwashing sort of process where you justify a person's faults. There are a lot of women who would have walked away after that--especially since they weren't married yet. But I'm sure he was remorseful and promised it would never happen again. Maybe he even sought counseling for it? Either way--I can see why his team canned him. Athletes are paid big bucks for what they do and they have a responsibility to uphold the reputation of their team. I hope she gets the support system she needs to get out of the marriage if it is still abusive.

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