Picture Credit: Metro.co.uk (Picture Editor: Pejman Faratin)
Well it seems that lightning has struck again. I am referring to the Ray Rice scandal that started out as a domestic assault case and has developed into the next inquisition. When I look at ALL the things that went on here it seems to me what Ray Rice did was but a part of a larger fiasco that all parties need to be ashamed of. Please don’t read me wrong here. I DO NOT CONDONE WHAT RAY RICE DID IN ANY WAY-UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES-EXCEPT SELF PRESERVATION. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HAS BEEN, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE UNACCEPTABLE. But if we are going to be fair about this and learn something from it we need to consider all the things that went on here:
1. Roger Goodell is as complicit in this train wreck as anyone else. Perhaps more so because the ‘buck’ is supposed to stop at his desk and it did not. It just blew right through the station and honked on the way by. He didn’t even get a chance to wave at it. He reacted in every terrible way possible. If anyone should lose his job here it is he. He misrepresented himself, his office and the situation to appease owners and to protect the already tarnished reputation of the NFL. He turned a lapse of judgement and self control by a player into a center stage circus.
2. Ray Rice and his wife are really the only two who know exactly what happened. However, he not only displayed a lack of class and integrity but he punched is girl friend hard enough to render her unconscious. He didn’t have any concerns for her safety or health and could have seriously harmed her permanently. You just can’t go around punching people when ever you feel justified. That goes whether they are male or female. It is not right and the sanctions need to be adequate enough to send the message that it will not be tolerated. What is not clear is if they had been drinking-how much-for how long-and would they have done and said the things they did if they were stone cold sober. This is not to excuse his behaviour or hers. No-I am not trying to put the victim on trial here. The facts remain as they are and they need to be seen and treated as such if we are to move toward any kind of equality among us. If both jump in a pool of water is one more wet than the other when they come out?
3. Has anyone thought about charging Janay Palmer for assault? Apparently she spit in his face–twice. That, supposedly, does constitute assault. Am I to accept that her behaviour was OK but his was not? Again his treatment of her was most disturbing and the sanction for his behaviour needs to reflect that. But if we are to move together toward equality then the same rules need apply to all of us and need to be equally applied. Perhaps Janay Palmer needs to pay more attention to her own behaviour and act with a bit more class and integrity.
4. If there are those who need to be hit hard it’s the owners who tried to have this buried. They placed the well being of their business above the laws of the land. They were playing CYA above all else. What sanctions are appropriate for them? Will there be any at all? At the very least they need to be suspended from all team activities for the reminder of the season. It is only because they were caught that they are all clamoring to ‘do the right thing now’. This is/was no act of conscience.
The last two points are more about what stands in the way of resolving this issue fairly and without bias.
5. Last but certainly not least: The feminists need to disappear. They add nothing to the process except acrimony. They need to acknowledge that their efforts were, at one time, noteworthy but now it’s time to stand aside and let the culture grow its egalitarian roots. My hope is that they would take political correctness with them. PC is killing us. It has outgrown its usefulness. It thwarts free speech and open discussion of ideas and counter ideas. Healthy debate is becoming more difficult. It penalizes those pioneers who risk standing up and being heard. If we look around at what is happening in our homes, schools, play grounds, arenas, stadiums and legal institutions we become aware of the rights and freedoms lost as a result of not feeling safe enough to say “I don’t like that and I won’t support it”. When we can’t risk being different or not agreeing without being called a terrorist, a malcontent or anti-something then we have become victims of political correctness.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:”Not to speak is to speak; not to act is to act”. Quite true.
In the spirit of risk-taking I don’t think that Ray Rice should have been stripped of the opportunity to earn his living because he was not able to control himself. He lives in a culture of violence where each week he is expected to physically dominate other people, to do it well and if he doesn’t he’ll be replaced until he can. I think Ray Rice should miss the remainder of the season–no pay. While sitting out he completes a residential program that is actually designed to teach clients to control their anger and moderate their behaviour to the satisfaction of professionals who are qualified to say he’s ready to return to society.
I concern myself more with what our children are learning by listening and watching how the ‘adults’ handle this mess. The message being sent is:”It’s OK to lie and cheat as long as you have enough money and power to pull it off. Just don’t get caught”.
Anyways that’s how I see it, Jim