UPDATE: Ray Rice was just released by the Ravens. Uh, see below. What did you think happened on the elevator?
Sorry, going on a rant here. With the release of more video of the title fight in a Las Vegas elevator a couple months ago between the 230 lb Ray Rice and his 105 lb fiancee, the blogosphere is abuzz with talk of revisiting and adding to the supposed punishment of Rice. While I have no idea if anything more comes of this, my question is, what the fuck did you think happened anyway? The NFL is disavowing any knowledge of the extra footage, but this matters? What do you think happened when 2 fully conscious people walk into an elevator, and moments later one is being dragged out of the elevator by her hair? You now have people coming out and saying “gee, this makes everything different.” I say, gee, get a fucking clue.
It goes part and parcel with the recent hooraw around Ray McDonald and his scrape with his pregnant girlfriend. Just taken at face value, you have a big party with a bunch of people there. At some point near the end of the party, a woman calls the cops because she feels threatened by her boyfriend. He just happens to be a football player. The cops show up, and notice bruises around her neck and on her arms. I imagine they check out RayMac for consistent injuries, but whatever. He gets arrested for suspicion of spousal abuse.
Here’s where the stupidity starts. Jim Harbaugh, in a dig at his brother, tells anyone and everyone in hearing distance that he would NEVER tolerate a player of his being an abuser of women. Remember, brother John welcomed back Ray Rice after his deal, and said we stand behind our player and will accept the NFL’s (fucking joke of a) punishment. When Ray McDonald gets dragged to jail, ol’ Jimmy is all of a sudden very interested in due diligence and letting the courts handle it.
How do the courts handle it? Well, look at Ray Rice. He and his (speed bag) fiancée promptly get married. And Rice has to attend some sort of anger management deal. In other words, no punishment. Was she under duress to marry him? No one knows that except for them. The NFL levies a huge 2 game suspension, and boom boom, everyone is happy. Except for the victims of domestic violence who rarely get any form of justice and usually get labeled as the cause of what they get. Will he continue to beat her? Another question we won’t get to know. Unless he’s stupid enough to get caught doing the same shit somewhere else, or worst case she eventually shoots him. Hey, just ask Steve McNair. Look, he may never do anything like this again, but if you believe the stats, most abusers don’t stop at just one. Like Lay’s potato chips.
The point being, no one seems to have trouble turning a blind eye to this. From the courts to the league to the owners, to their teammates. Which brings me to Jed York. And to a lesser degree, Trent Baalke. These are the guys who would be in the direct position to lay down some kind of suspension, sit-down, or punishment for RayMac’s alleged abuse. What does Jed do? Absolutely nothing. He has been as quiet is a church mouse. He and Trent Baalke are hiding behind the due process bullshit Harbaugh conveniently hid behind. Not a peep.
Would it kill Jed to sit down Ray McDonald for one game as the investigation proceeds? No. Plenty of other people in similar circumstances are suspended with pay pending an investigation into whatever the deal was. Everyone gets all bend over due process and ‘innocent until proven guilty’ but that all horseshit. What of the pregnant girl who was (apparently) strangled by her very large and very strong boyfriend? What of Ray Rice cold-cocking his fiancée with a punch that very well could have killed her? Lots of people come out and justify this behavior as if it’s boys being boys or whatever. I wonder what they’d say if they were the recipients of systematic and ongoing abuse as the rest of the world winked and laughed.