I wanted to touch on something that’s kinda big in the press right now. It’s funny, because it happened back in February. We talk about it on The Rob Black Show. It was about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was caught on a hotel security camera knocking his girlfriend out in an elevator. I guess she got a little out of line and had to be straightened out. I’m joking, of course. I’m not like the ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, who was suspended for saying women should think before they open their mouths.
The video kinda reminds me of the infamous Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange altercation. I gotta tell ya, as much shit as people talk on Jay Z, he showed a lot of restraint when Solange was going off on him. A lot of people can do and say some stupid shit when they think a camera or a microphone isn’t on them, from Donald Sterling to Ray Rice, so I gotta hand it to Jay Z for keeping his cool.
So Ray Rice was in an elevator having an argument with his fiance and her basically knocked her out. Literally knocked her out. The surveillance footage shows her knocked out cold and the elevator doors are opening and closing on her limp legs. You see Ray Rice standing there trying to figure out what to do. He’s probably thinking, “Ahh, this drunk bitch. How am I gonna spin this?” Then you see the security guard coming up and asking what’s up. Rice is standing there looking very uncomfortable and attempting to explain his way out of it.
After giving his fiance a left hook knockout blow, Ray Rice was arrested. He pled out to a domestic violence charge of felony aggravated assault. He held a press conference where he took responsibility for beating up his girlfriend. His fiance even said she somehow provoked it. That was what led to ESPN’s Steven Smith making those comments. She didn’t say she deserved to get smacked, but she said that she played a part in the incident. I don’t understand how any girl who gets knocked out in an elevator by a 280 pound football player can take responsibility for it, but she did. All of this amounted to Ray Rice admitting that he struck his fiance and that he’s getting treatment and going to classes and there are stipulations with the court that if he messes up he can go to jail. He said he did it, he was sorry and let’s move on.
If a famous football player laying his girlfriend out cold in an elevator wasn’t controversial enough, the NFL handed out a two game suspension to Ray Rice. That’s right, a two game suspension. The NFL has come under fire for basically saying that you are better off beating the shit out of your girlfriend or wife and you will have a lower grade of discipline than you would for failing a drug test. Case in point: the Giants suspended a player named Will Hill who violated the NFL substance abuse policy for failing a test for marijuana. He was eventually cut by the Giants and signed by Baltimore. He has to sit out the first six games of the season. So smoking pot will get you more of a suspension than smacking your spouse according to the NFL. Punching your old lady in the face and knocking her out will only get you a two game suspension.
This policy has angered a lot of people. I can completely understand why. I’m not trying to come across as a politically correct softie, as you know I am the furthest from that. But the concept that smoking marijuana is worse than violence against a woman is pretty ludicrous. The NFL has a history of leniency when it comes to players and women. Ben Rothlisberger was accused of a sexual assault with a woman at a club in Georgia and the case was settled out of court. He escaped criminal charges. So the NFL’s record on dealing with these issues is pretty egregious. You would think that they would use the Ray Rice incident to show that they are not tolerant of violence against women. The most famous example of a football player involved in violence against a woman is OJ Simpson. You can’t get any more notorious than OJ. His friends like Al Cowlings and his associates in the NFL kept his domestic violence issues out of the spotlight until… Well, you know the story.
The NFL has always had to deal with this issue. You would think that Commissioner Roger Goodell would have set an example with Ray Rice or at least have given him a suspension comparable to that of a pot smoker. But let’s face it. The game of football is bigger than the necessity of maintaining the NFL’s image. American football is the biggest sport in the world, bigger than soccer. It draws the most people and makes the most money. Bottom line is nobody gives a fuck. The NFL’s position seems to be that nothing we do can hurt our image because the game is bigger than the image.
Look at the concussions in the NFL. When you talk about the head trauma that players go through and the damage they have after years and years of hits, nobody gives a fuck. Fans don’t give a fuck. You hear about the substance abuse and the DEA investigations and players being hooked on pain pills. Nobody gives a fuck. Roger Goodell doesn’t give a fuck. He like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever.”
With the abuse of women, from Ben Rothlisberger on down, the NFL has never sent a message of we won’t tolerate that. Richie Incognito was accused of behaving inappropriately with a woman and making her feel uncomfortable. He was never disciplined for that. He was disciplined for being mean to a 340 pound player. That he was disciplined for. Fucking around with a 110 pound woman? It was laughed off.
The NFL has a history of this and they just don’t care. Look at the way they treat cheerleaders. There was a lawsuit brought by the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders. It was amazing to found out that these women get paid something like $100 dollars a game, they have to pay for their own travel and other expenses. I actually thought they made some kind of money to be the eye candy and team representatives. We find out that they are paid next to nothing. Basically it’s supposed to be a privilege to be able to get out on the football field in shorts shorts and halter tops and shake your ass. I did not know that. But apparently that’s how the teams of the NFL feel.
What has been going on for years and years with the NFL will give you an indication of where they stand with a woman being smacked around or knocked out and what duty it is of theirs to protect them. From what I see, the NFL will not have a problem with this. They have a problem when there is a backlash from fans or from advertisers. There is no backlash. The NFL doesn’t care. If it affects their bottom line, then they will care. Let’s face it. The NFL is comprised mostly of men. The ownership is 100% white men. The fan base is primarily men. Why would any of these people get upset that Ray Rice didn’t get more of a suspension for beating up his girlfriend?
The NFL is in a position to where they don’t have to care. They’re not hockey or basketball. They’ve had there fair share of racial incidents. They call each other names on the field to incite each other. When the Richie Incognito bullying incident happened, players came out and said that racial slurs are tossed around all the time. It’s part of the game.
As long as football continues to make money, the NFL doesn’t care about these issues. Neither do the fans. Listen, I don’t condone violence against women, but Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend around isn’t gonna keep me from enjoying the game. There is not enough incentive on anyone’s part to make a stand or create any kind of boycott. It’s kinda like Walmart. They abuse their workers and pay them shitty. They are right wing gun selling sweatshop importing scumbags. As much as they offend my liberal values, I’m not gonna stop shopping there. We all like buying cleaning products at a discount rate. We all like the benefits that Walmart provides. I feel bad for Haji in Indonesia who has to work long hours in grueling conditions, but I like the shirt he made that I bought for $4 dollars. Kinda the same way I feel about what’s happening in the NFL.
Players becoming retarded from too many head shots, getting strung out on dope and knocking the shit out of their girlfriends isn’t gonna hamper my enjoyment of the greatest game on earth. I love the fucking game. It’s sad, but so is Walmart.
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