This February 15th, Ray Rice, a NFL running back was reported to have assaulted his wife Janay Palmer. Subsequently, Rice and his wife were arrested on March 27th, 2014. Rice was suspended for the two first games of the NFL season. But nearly 6 months later, additional footage was leaked by TMZ sports, showing Rice punching his girlfriend and knocking her unconscious. Rice has since then had his contract with the Baltimore Ravens terminated.
This has not only caused a stir up in the football community, but in circles of strong advocates for gender equality. This has also led the NFL to change some of its policies on domestic violence cases by players. This raises some important questions and issues with the NFL, our society, and the media. The NFL knew about what happened before the video was released, and had only suspended Rice. But when the video was released, the NFL quickly, if not nearly immediately, had Rice’s contract terminated.
Are we to believe that the reason Rice was expelled was because they came to their senses? Or because the NFL couldn’t be placed in a negative light for much longer? Nothing changed during the six months before the footage was discovered, but as soon as the video was released, the media picked up on the story, placed it on every front page of their newspaper, website, and news show.
Infuriated, we take to the internet, and make video commentaries on youtube, and write letters to the NFL. Why now? did we not do the same back in February? Did we need a visual to be woken up by a video?
Now the NFL is being wrongfully praised for their expulsion of Ray Rice, and most of us seem to agree. But if the NFL were as righteous as we praise them to be, they would have definitely done something about Rice when the incident happened, not after the video was leaked. The only reason the NFL took further action was because the community grabbed our imaginary pitchforks and torches and took it to the internet to complain about something that should have happened back in February. Because of the controversy over the NFL, they have ruined Rice’s career, to the point where even his wife (the one who was knocked out in the elevator) is calling it a “nightmare”.