The Ray Rice controversy is a mess

Let’s put aside any conspiracy theories that the NFL was hiding their possession of the 2nd tape that was released of Ray Rice assaulting his fiancee Janay Palmer on Monday.  Let’s not get into the lack of morals Ray Rice showed by hitting his wife unconscious and dragging her out of the elevator.  It was simply disturbing.

I want to ask everyone this:  What actually changed with the release of that video?

Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Ray Rice for two games when the first video was released.  The public went into a rage for this slap on the wrist, and eventually Goodell reacted to this negative publicity and admitted he messed up on the suspension.  This reaction to poor public relations also led to Goodell implementing predetermined suspensions to future domestic abuse scandals.

Once the video of Ray Rice actually knocking out his fiancee was released by TMZ, the Ravens went from supporting their running back to terminating his contract, and the NFL then suspended Rice indefinitely.  Teammates went from supporting Rice to resenting his actions.

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.— 
Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014

That is the Baltimore Ravens official Twitter account.  Forget the actual quote, the point here is that the Ravens tweeted this to show they supported Ray Rice.


What the hell did you think happened in that elevator even before the 2nd video?

At no point did Ray Rice release any information that would make you believe that an accident occurred in that elevator.  If she accidentally knocked her head off a rail and was left unconscious, then I’m sure that would have been mentioned by Rice or anyone involved.  He only apologized for the incident and admitted he made a mistake.

This leaves the public to think that Rice clearly assaulted his fiancee and dragged her unconscious body out of a public elevator in a way that was very disturbing.  You saw that, I saw that, Goodell saw that, and everyone else saw that.  He knocked his wife out, and we saw the aftermath of it.

Seeing something instead of just reading it clearly gives people more of an emotional reaction to things.  Domestic abuse is a serious issue in this world and we have plenty of examples throughout professional sports of these scandals, but this is the first one we have video recordings of.

What i find laughable about this whole situation we are in today is how many people have changed their attitude towards Rice after the 2nd video was released.  How on Earth could you have supported this man after what we learned even before the video?

To be clear, some anonymous teammates told reporters yesterday that Rice lied to them about the indecent saying that he was defending himself when Palmer attacked him.  As for the league and the supporters who were given only the information from press conferences and the first video, what made you change your view here?

Our society tends to react instead of act.  Supporters are reacting to the video of Rice hitting his fiancee even though a simple reading between the lines would clearly point to this, no video evidence needed.  Roger Goodell, as previously mentioned, reacted to domestic abuse issues AFTER his league was taking a lot of heat from the public, not before when we all ignored the issues that have been around throughout the history of the league.

Ray Rice is now unemployed and forever crippled by his unforgivable actions.  Is it an overreaction to say he never will be on an NFL roster again?  Maybe.  I think it has something to do with this video and the fact he’s on the decline of his career.  Personally I find this whole scandal to be a complete reactionary mess of the NFL commissioner trying to save face on an issue that should have been addressed way before this incident. I’m not surprised that it took visual evidence for the public to react this way to a horrific crime.

If we can take anything out of this, it’s that the NFL once again has proven that strong negative public reaction is the only way they will take action to controversies like this.  From concussions ruining the lives of players to domestic abuse scandals, the NFL treats these issues like dirt and brushes them under the rug hoping nobody notices the mess.

I love what this sport and this league can offer in terms of entertainment, but their leadership qualities have taken a major hit from their inability to take action before things like this turn into public outrage.


Ryan Jackson

About Ryan Jackson

My name is Ryan Jackson and I love fantasy sports. I graduated from the University of Maine in 2014 with a degree in Journalism, and I am now a graduate student at Quinnipiac University working on a sports journalism degree.