Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Little More Than a Misunderstanding

Roughly 8 months after the TMZ video initiated a media firestorm, the former Baltimore Raven, Ray Rice, walks free with all charges dropped. His two game to indefinite suspension has been lifted by league officials and is now free to sign with whatever team is willing to sacrifice moral integrity for his talent on the field. Despite his wife stating that she is very much against the punishment aimed towards her spouse (which helped lead to the dropped charges) this upholds a very dangerous precedent in professional sports. The idea that the superstars are above the law and should not be subjected to moral scrutiny due solely to their physical abilities is not something we need. Society needs these spotlighted athletes to be a moral compass for today's youth; we don't need kids aspiring to be the next Ray Rice or Suh. Not only that, but it also brings into play the gravity of the domestic violence issue in the United States. His lawyer states that it was all just a big misunderstanding, but the video very unambiguously depicts Rice assaulting his wife. he got off with a slap on the wrist and a little training seminar that I'm sure amounted to "please do not hit your wife or other people." Personally I think Rice should be banned from the NFL and I'll be rather disappointed if a team picks him up in the following years. What do you think? Do you think Rice was punished adequately for what he did? Or was it all really just a misunderstanding?

7 comments:

Christian Carlson said...

I don't think Rice was punished adequately at all. Just like you said, the domestic violence issue is completely clear here: the video tells all. The fact that Rice staying in the NFL, able to walk free, is really just shocking. I don't understand how an organization essentially can allow such a thing to happen and then ultimately not really do anything about it. There is no misunderstanding here. This was wrong.

Elena E said...

Rice definitely got off too easily. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue, and an abuser should not be able to get off freely from his/her actions. Although I believe he should not be put back in the NFL, it should not be the main focus of Rice's issue. Janay Palmer went home with her abuser, and is now married to him. Behind closed doors, we cannot know what is happening. If Rice was willing to knock Palmer out in a public elevator, what could he be doing in an even more private place, such as his home? Rice should be placed under supervision, and Palmer should be provided with assistance (if she requests it) to start a new life without Rice. After that discussions on removing Rice from the NFL can take place.

Jeremiah Rondeau said...

The business of football has nothing to do with winning games. Take a look at this Forbes list:

http://www.forbes.com/nfl-valuations/list/

The Redskins suck. They won 4 games last season. Yet they have the 3rd highest revenue in the NFL-- $395,000,000/ year. Therefore, I don't believe that a team hiring Rice for the same amount he would otherwise earn is a given. He is toxic, and the damage he does to a team's brand may far outweigh the monetary value of an extra W.

The league choosing to lift Rice's suspension after the outcome in the courts is fine. That being said, no owner should allow Rice anywhere near their team.

Samantha Bhaumik said...

According to Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive officer at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it's "not uncommon for first-time offenders, like Ray Rice, to have charges dropped" after completing similar programs. " Even if this is true it is ridiculous that he would be let off with just an arrest on his record and still be able to be picked up again by another team. He obviously assaulted his wife as seen in that horrific elevator video, and yet he still gets very little consequences. Being a celebrity athlete he is a role model for children and fans. His actions have a greater impact and therefore hold more weight when it comes to consequences. He should be banned for life. As for the dropped charges based on his wife staying by his side, it makes my skin curl. Her insecurity and lack of self respect has saved him and he doesn't deserve any of it. This injustice needs to stop and people need to pay for their wrongdoings especially if they are looked at as role models.

Alex Li said...

I agree that his superstar status helped him get a pretty minimal punishment. The Ray Ricr domestic violence really shed light on how ineffective our justice system is as he just serves as another example of somebody with a high social status who got off really easy for a horrific crime. I understand the NFL has intersts in keeping big name players but it is much more important to represent the league with well mannered players to encourage all the young kids following the NFL to do similarly.

Ben Maison said...

It's the spotlight that determines the penalties. In this way, the NFL is a reactionary body. The Ray Rice scandal wasn't doing their reputation any favors so they suspended him as if to say "See how responsive we are?" Really, this all works as a business. The NFL has no obligation to be a role model for youth, it just plays well with the public if they present themselves as if they really care.

Douglas Kirsher said...

I feel that the only reason that the NFL punished him at all was because the issue had become public. I don’t think the NFL cares about social issues that much, just what is in their best financial interest. Ray Lewis should have been prosecuted based on the evidence. There was plenty of evidence to support assault charges against him. I think that NFL should set standards for punishment of individuals that have committed offenses and stick to those standards that they set. Ray Lewis got off too lightly because the NFL really doesn’t seem to care about people in general, just only about their self interests.