Ray Rice incident reflective of domestic violence among athletes

Peter Ha, Staff Writer

On Sunday, the Ravens were without star running back Ray Rice due to a domestic violence altercation over the summer which resulted in a two game suspension.

Monday, September 9, TMZ News released a video showing Rice violently beating his then fiance, now wife, Janay Palmer. In the video, it’s clear that Palmer hits Rice in the face, and Rice brutally strikes back, knocking Rice against a railing in an elevator. Palmer then went unconscious. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claims the league did know that there was a video out and did not have possession of it when deciding on the consequence for Rice.

Before the public release of the video, Rice was only suspended for two games. After TMZ posted the video on its website, the National Football League quickly came to a decision of suspending Ray Rice indefinitely, taking their time to come up with appropriate consequences for Rice’s action. Moments after, the Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice’s contract, releasing him from the team. The league made it clear that no other team could try to negotiate a signing of Ray Rice.

Law Enforcement on Wednesday, September 10, informed the public that the NFL did have possession of the video of Ray Rice beating Janay Rice in April. The law enforcement official also played the AP a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says, “You’re right. It’s terrible.” The finger now points to NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Because of such lenient consequence for such horrific actions, the National Organization for Women is asking for Goodell to resign. They believe that actions taken by Goodell did not display much focus on domestic violence against women that prevails throughout the NFL.

Before the 2014 season, Brown’s receiver, Josh Gordon received a one year suspension for his second offense of drug use. This raised the question of whether or not beating a woman is less serious than using drugs. For the NFL, a first offense of a DUI would only cost them a paycheck worth two games — no suspension.

In another case, 49ers defensive lineman Ray Mcdonald was arrested on the suspicion of domestic violence against his pregnant fiancée. McDonald did play in the 49ers season opener even on the suspicion of domestic violence; he also is set to start for the 49ers this week. 49ers Chief Executive Jed York told San Francisco’s KNBR radio he would not punish a player “until we see evidence something should be done or until an entire police investigation shows us something.”

Many people are concerned by the way Goodell and the NFL handled the Rice case. Many believe that Goodell was not tough enough on Rice the first time around, only suspending him for two games, prior to the release of the video. People, however, can now be relieved that Rice is now suspended indefinitely with more punishments to come. The NFL is still criticized for having lenient consequences, mainly concerning the fact that players using drugs receive a tougher punishment than players who beat their spouse.

People are people and will make mistakes. Some mistakes are simply not easily forgiven. Ray Rice and his domestic violence case is an example of a mistake he should have to live with forever, knowing this mistake cost him it all — his fans, job and dignity. The NFL should follow through with a permanent suspension of Rice from the league. Though great talent is being left behind, bad actions deserve consequences. Allowing Rice to return to work would only hinder the message the NFL is trying to send: domestic violence will not be tolerated.