NFL…do better

The newly released video of Ravens NFL player Ray Rice slugging his now wife with a left hook and knocking her unconscious should put all the speculation about what occurred to rest. But funny enough, it hasn’t. People around social media are still trying to make a case for his actions with questions like who hit first and what was said to provoke his actions. I don’t know which one I’m more disgusted with, him or “you people.” Simply put, there is no justification for his actions! Is there ever one for domestic violence (DV)? It’s rhetorical in my mind.

Rice not only floors her, but stands back and watches her lying helpless on the floor and then drags her out the elevator like I drag my garbage to the curve for pick up. Not that this isn’t disturbing enough but did you notice what it appears he did before they entered the elevator; spit on her as she walked by. What kind of person is he, really and who does that? His on the field stats might be good, but this really speaks volumes about his character. I would find it hard to believe this was an isolated incident, because DV doesn’t just show up out the blue in a KO.

For Rice’s actions, he avoided prosecution under a plea deal which is not a surprise for “first time” offenders. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a two game suspension. Then after public backlash, he admitted he made a mistake (didn’t punish Rice enough) and revised the league’s domestic violence policy with tougher penalties. The new policy imposes a six-game suspension for first-time offenders, and a potential lifetime ban for repeat offenders. But will the new policy apply to Rice in light of the “new” video? Or is a deal a deal? The NFL claims it didn’t see first video before making a decision but surely the investigators did or got the accounts of the incident in question from the mouth of the parties. At least you would think so. So something is not adding up here. Plus, I’m not sure why the league was waiting on law enforcement to send them the video when I’m sure Rice’s defense team had a copy of it in their possession.

All I know is football is a giant among us and the NFL has to do better. It should not have taken a video to surface for the league to address domestic violence by players.  And the tweet sent out by the Ravens’ organization back in May indicating that Rice’s wife (and victim) was sorry for the role she played in getting KO’d is shameful and smells like a smear campaign.  In response to more public outrage about the video released by TMZ today, the Ravens cut Rice from the team and the NFL suspended him indefinitely (but he can seek to be reinstated). Now, let the lawsuits begin …the real truth about what was known and not known will come out. I suspect more terminations/resignations.

Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ http://www.barnesproxlaw.com or follow her on twitter @ https://twitter.com/chanteprox for her sometimes random thoughts and whatnots.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered as legal advice. Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney. This blog is for informative purposes only.

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2 thoughts on “NFL…do better

  1. Good piece! I don’t have a problem w/ an employer firing an employee for such a disgraceful act. However, when Ray Rice told them what happened, Goodell decided two games was enough and the Ravens held a press conference stating they were standing behind Ray. Now that the video, albeit disgusting, comes out and shows what happened to the world, the powers that be change their mind. I don’t hear anyone crying about convicted woman beater Greg Hardy of the Panthers. I guess the surveillance videos in Charlotte are easier to hide. Sad in so many ways, I just hope he gets help and men learn it’s never okay to hit a woman!

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    1. Thank you for reading and for the article on Hardy. It’s unfortunate the league is acting (and reacting) based on public opinion and not principle. I’m not sure their ultimate actions will hold up especially if they had this “new” info when they made the initial decision. Speaking from a lawyer’s perspective, a deal is a deal.

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