What an unbelievable shock. It even took me a few days to fully collect my thoughts and understand how I feel about the incident for me to even consider putting anything in writing. This situation is highly sensitive and controversial. I needed to be sure of what I was going to say before I said it, essentially.
First off, any type of domestic violence is wrong, but the video that was revealed to the public on Monday was appalling. Yet, did it not just give us a picture of a story we already knew? We have known the story of how Rice struck his then fiancee, Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) knocking her unconscious, and slowly removing her from the elevator. However, Rice received a metaphorical “slap on the wrists” from the judicial system, by having to attend anger management classes. The same treatment was observed by the NFL, who suspended Rice for a measly two games. What changed?
Is it really that the video coming out was enough to terminate Ray Rice’s contract and suspend him indefinitely from the NFL?
Apparently. Apparently we need a picture to fully understand a story that was already told in words.
Like many have said, this is just the beginning of the fall out from this situation. There was already a new domestic violence policy installed in the NFL due to the Rice controversy. Now, there are reports that the NFL has had this video since April, before they handed Rice the two-game suspension. Many are questioning NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the evidence, situation, and suspension. In fact, an independent investigation into the matter is being held, and is headed by the former head of the FBI. If it is found that the NFL had had the video since April, does Goodell lose his job? That would be the biggest implosion of an organization as a whole since Penn State, with Joe Paterno taking the fall for another person’s wrongdoing.
Even past that, what happens when Rice gets reinstated to the NFL? You really didn’t think he’d just disappear, right? The NFL is going to be forced to reinstate him, and most likely within the next year. At that time, Rice would be a free agent, and available to sign with any team. How will teams justify signing him? How would Rice be perceived in the locker room? There is no doubt that these types of questions will be what hurts Rice when trying to find his next team. My guess is that he would have to sign with a team that has a big-name head coach, or someone with a dominant personality that could control the media frenzy and overall situation that would come with bringing in Rice.
All in all, it’s a very sad situation, and something that was preventable. I hope that some good can be found out of this, and that is the awareness to stop domestic violence.