What is the difference between the Ray Rice story of a few weeks ago and now? We were all in the elevator with him and his girlfriend after seeing the graphic video, released by TMZ. Before we saw the footage we could only imagine what happened in that elevator. Now we have seen up close and personal, what it looks like for a grown man to punch a woman in the face. Not to mention that Ray Rice is a professional football player who is strong as an ox I am sure. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth millions in terms of a terminated NFL contract. Ray Rice is in a world of hurt right now and he has no one to blame but himself.
The Ravens had no choice but to cut the guy even though he has done nothing extra since the story first broke months ago. Everything that happened has already happened. He has not punched anyone else. The Ravens were in the elevator with the couple now though. And like all of us who saw it, could not deny it is worse now. Knowing what happened and seeing it happen are two very different things. The former cost Ray Rice a couple games. The latter cost Ray Rice his job with the Ravens and most likely his football career.
How could Rice’s team keep him around after what the entire country has witnessed? You can’t have a player in your team uniform after all the coverage the video got yesterday. Not only sports networks, but regular news networks ran the video once it was put out for the world to see. By the way, TMZ is a sickening organization that stalks people for profit. But occasionally they do let the world in on stuff like this video, which makes them somewhat valuable to the media world.
The NFL knew it screwed up as soon as the backlash started when they only suspended Rice for a couple games back when all this started. Roger Goodell apologized and changed the NFL policy to make the punishment much harsher for future women beaters. Now domestic abuse cases will come with a six game suspension and follow that up with a possible lifetime ban if a player is stupid enough to hit a woman again. Now that the NFL has seen the video, they have indefinitely suspended Rice from the league. Some could argue that they are backtracking on the punishment already dealt to the player. And the union could have something to say about that fact. However, I am sure the NFL Players Associationdoes not want to be seen as supporting lighter punishments for incidents like the one involving Ray Rice. A union that seeks better treatment for a man whom the world saw hit a female, is not a union that will be supported by its members or the league’s fans.
Is Ray Rice the devil? No. He had a very, very, very bad night. From all accounts, he was one of the most popular guys in the Ravens’ locker room. Even his coach, John Harbaugh had a hard time not saying something good about the guy as he announced the team’s decision to cut him loose. The fact is that Ray Rice should have simply walked away from the situation. Domestic issues can be tricky, but violence is clearly not the answer, especially when it is a man versus a woman.
Because of one bad night, Ray Rice, along with his new wife, will be changed forever. The multimillion dollar contract is gone. There is not much hope for reinstatement anytime soon. There are no TV analyst jobs waiting. No coaching job is going to be open for him for a long time, if ever. Whatever plans he and his wife had are totally wrecked. It is bad that one night will define a man, but that is reality for Ray Rice now. Video was the vehicle for his banishment from the NFL. His own actions are what lead to there even being a video in the first place. If any athlete or average Joe can learn anything from this incident, it is to simply walk away. There is clearly no instance where hitting a woman is going to be justified or tolerated.