Stop Domestic Violence, Mrs. Rice.
When a professional football player cold-cocks a woman, that is not “mutual combat.”
It’s not acceptable, either.
Your public defense of your husband is understandable. He’d gotten on a $43 million gravy train and he didn’t want it to stop. Maybe you didn’t want it to stop, either. It’s understandable.
But it’s not acceptable.
I don’t really feel sorry for you. Oh, I’m sorry you got knocked out. But no, I’m not sorry that your gravy train may have derailed.
I’m sorry you’re married to –and defending–an abuser. But no, I’m not sorry that you may have to find another way to make money.
When people act in violent and even criminal ways, as your husband did, there must be consequences.
Even though the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens took action only because their backs were against the wall.
This knockout happened in February and Rice was slapped on the wrist. As usual, professional football looked the other way. They did not want to see, hear or speak evil of one of their own.
But once TMZ pushed out a more graphic video of Janay Rice hitting the deck after that punch, the potential public backlash forced the football industry to take action.
If there had been no new video, would they have done anything more than that slap?
We’re not used to looking at paparazzi as performing a public service, but in this case, that’s just what TMZ did.
It’s not exactly traditional journalism, but like good journalism, it brought a horrific situation into the sunshine where we could all see it.
The horrific situation is that a professional athlete cold-cocked the woman in his life and his team and the NFL pretty much ignored it. The victim sprang to the defense of the abuser.
Why? Money. Like most things in this country, it’s all about money.
✘ ✘ ✘
A man I was with many years ago beat my head into our kitchen floor and threatened to kill me.
I understood why he did that. But it didn’t make it acceptable.
We have made great strides against domestic violence in the decades since I found myself with a three-day headache.
But we still have further to go.
✘ ✘ ✘
Here’s the bottom line:
Ray Rice’s behavior is not acceptable.
His wife’s blaming the media for ruining their lives is not acceptable. Ray Rice’s fist ruined their lives.
The grudging sanctions by professional football are not acceptable. Fans should hold the league and team accountable. I doubt they will. But they should.
For once, tabloid media and paparazzi have performed a public service by pointing all this out.
Thank you, TMZ.
And here is the National Domestic Violence Hotline.