FanDuel - WFBC

July 24, 2014

Ray Rice Suspended for 2 Games: the Baltimore Ravens running back will be suspended for the first two games of the regular season under the NFL's personal conduct policy and fined a third game check. The ban comes in response to Rice allegedly striking his then-fiancée and now wife, Janay, unconscious in February in Atlantic City. Rice was able to avoid prosecution after being accepted into a pre-trial intervention program.

posted by tahoemoj to football at 02:42 PM - 21 comments

I have to admit to posting this mostly so I could vent about it. Ray Rice, who knocked his fiance unconscious in an elevator, was suspended for 2 games. Josh Gordon, who failed a drug test after smoking pot (I understand that he is a repeat offender), was suspended fore the entire season. Terrell Pryor, who traded some OSU swag for a tattoo, was suspended for 5 games (thanks Deadspin commenter).

The Ginger (Nerf) Hammer apparently thought the punishment fit the crime after viewing more of the security tape than any of us has seen to date. What could possibly be on that tape that would justify a professional athlete striking a woman at all, let alone so hard that it knocked her out? Unless she pulled a gun on him, I can't see any justification for it; and if she did have a gun, he shouldn't be suspended at all. So how does the NFL justify the mentality that smoking pot is worse than beating on a woman?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:49 PM on July 24

So how does the NFL justify the mentality that smoking pot is worse than beating on a woman?

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

posted by grum@work at 03:03 PM on July 24

So how does the NFL justify the mentality that smoking pot is worse than beating on a woman?

They're a self-policing entity, for which the majority of fans either embrace or shrug off a massively cultivated violence culture.

The viewership is predominantly male and based on most research I've read, males as a whole tend towards a more 'meh' attitude towards physical and sexual violence towards women. We are perhaps getting to be more enlightened, but there are a metric fuckton of male viewership out there who won't change the channel because a woman-beater is playing.

Why are drugs so unfairly scrutinized? A largely Republican ownership group, surrounded by largely wealthy Republican friends, and the Maud Flanders' of the world who believe that athlete drug activity leads to kid drug activity, and thus smoking pot in your free time is worse than hitting a woman in your free time because ol' Whitey might not buy ad time next year.

There are no morals on what's worse or better - it's all about what brings in viewership and revenue. I find it more challenging every year getting geared up to cheer for a sport so fundamentally morally bankrupt.

posted by dfleming at 04:07 PM on July 24

grum's answer was less depressing.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:57 PM on July 24

... based on most research I've read, males as a whole tend towards a more 'meh' attitude towards physical and sexual violence towards women.

I don't know any men who'd take a "meh" attitude about domestic violence, going back through my entire adulthood. I know plenty who'd take a "meh" attitude about pot even if they don't use it personally.

posted by rcade at 07:26 PM on July 24

Terrell Pryor, who traded some OSU swag for a tattoo, was suspended for 5 games (thanks Deadspin commenter).

The NFL didn't really suspend Pryor for anything -- that 5-game suspension was because he had an active suspension against him from the NCAA, and the NFL has decided not to let people get out of NCAA suspensions by jumping to the NFL.

posted by Etrigan at 08:25 AM on July 25

I don't know any men who'd take a "meh" attitude about domestic violence, going back through my entire adulthood

Literally, maybe not. But PTI (God help me why is the DVR still recording it?) yesterday featured king of the #hotsportstake Jason Whitlock who told us we couldn't judge Ray Rice because we didn't know what happened and the fact the DA is letting him off suggests there must be extenuating circumstances because DAs aren't in the habit of cutting young black men a break. Which doesn't address the question whether DAs are in the habit of cutting the rich or the famous a break. Wilbon simply paid lip service to the horrors of domestic violence and then agreed we couldn't possibly know what to think about someone who punched a woman into unconsciousness because we are still waiting on a leak of the whole tape. At which point we will be waiting on a transcript of every conversation the couple ever had to see how it is she provoked him.

If the culture around sports didn't have a "meh" attitude, Rice would be suspended for a year or cut by his team and roundly criticized in sports media instead of the stupid "Equal time to both sides of the story" thing sports "journalism" insists on thinking makes them real reporters. And we sure as hell wouldn't have a team posting about the wife's apology on social media which clearly suggests that a fist of a powerful professional athlete winding up in her face was at least partially her fault.

posted by yerfatma at 09:01 AM on July 25

Keith Olbermann's take.

posted by phaedon at 09:33 AM on July 25

Big Ray has no doubt already told Little Ray about the cosmic truth:

What starts as shock, morphs to meh, then ends up as hugs and kisses, man, woman, and child.

posted by beaverboard at 10:29 AM on July 25

The NFL didn't really suspend Pryor for anything

That's a discussion for a different thread. If you don't like that example-- here. Take your pick.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:42 AM on July 25

So the working theory here is that if Ray Rice smoked a joint or did a line and chilled out instead of beating his wife, he'd be in more trouble. Amen, NFL!

posted by phaedon at 12:09 PM on July 25

...Jason Whitlock who told us we couldn't judge Ray Rice because we didn't know what happened and the fact the DA is letting him off suggests there must be extenuating circumstances because DAs aren't in the habit of cutting young black men a break.

I haven't really been following this story. Do we know why the DA is letting him off? I think that bugs me more than the length of the NFL suspension.

Of all the suspensions Goodell has handed out I can't believe this is the one he chooses not to be heavy-handed on. He had to know the league was going to come under scrutiny for a small suspension.

posted by tron7 at 05:38 PM on July 25

I don't know any men who'd take a "meh" attitude about domestic violence, going back through my entire adulthood.

1 in 4 women report being the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. Nearly 1 in 5 women report being the victim on sexual violence in their lifetime. And yet, in protests and organizations working to get those numbers down, the vast, vast majority of people standing up are women.

You don't have to be vocal to show you don't care - not showing up or doing anything about it is enough, particularly when these numbers mean with any kind of social circle you know people who've been a victim - whether you're aware or not.

posted by dfleming at 07:32 PM on July 25

Of course I'm aware of domestic violence victims. We all likely know somebody who suffered it. And the men I know are aware of it and angered by it, not making excuses for it like some of the idiots on ESPN.

All I'm saying is that I question the idea men have a "meh" attitude about this. I don't think you give most men enough credit.

Domestic violence fell 64 percent in the U.S. from 1994 to 2010, according to a DOJ report. People are more aware today.

The NFL is an outlier on this issue by taking it so lightly.

posted by rcade at 08:37 PM on July 25

All I'm saying is that I question the idea men have a "meh" attitude about this. I don't think you give most men enough credit.

Credit for what? Being aware it's a problem?

posted by dfleming at 09:41 AM on July 26

For not regarding a problem as serious as domestic violence with "meh," which is where this conversation chain began.

You're moving the goalposts a bit by talking about whether men are doing enough about it. Where we started was whether men care.

posted by rcade at 11:22 AM on July 26

You're moving the goalposts a bit by talking about whether men are doing enough about it. Where we started was whether men care.

I consider sitting idle, or not changing your behaviour because you find out a man beats women, as an attribute of a "meh" attitude. You don't care enough to do anything about it. If your definition of caring about things is the words we use, then we've got different definitions of what constitutes caring about something.

The goalposts were that people wouldn't change the channel because Ray Rice has beaten a woman - and that's the only morality the NFL knows. If when Rice comes back, and nothing changes in terms of Ravens viewership - then it's clear a predominantly male audience accepts a person who beats a woman so long as they play football. We can wax poetic about our beliefs, but it's our actions that are more than just smoke.

The suspensions would be longer if there were more $$ consequences for the NFL for employing people who commit domestic violence.

posted by dfleming at 05:39 PM on July 26

If your definition of caring about things is the words we use, then we've got different definitions of what constitutes caring about something.

I never said anything to indicate that it was.

The goalposts were that people wouldn't change the channel because Ray Rice has beaten a woman - and that's the only morality the NFL knows.

Are you going to stop watching football because of this?

posted by rcade at 08:50 AM on July 27

Do we know why the DA is letting him off? I think that bugs me more than the length of the NFL suspension

I think the contents of the videotape that has not been released to the public will answer your question. My guess would be that it will provide Rice with a self defense claim that the DA didn't think he could overcome. The law doesn't differentiate between male and female aggressors when it comes to striking someone in self defense. That means that the only question in a court room would be whether the force used by Rice was a reasonable response to the aggression he was responding to. And that's a tough sell for an overworked DA to make against a seasoned defense attorney, which Rice would no doubt have.

Now, as I mentioned in an earlier comment, concepts of honor and decency would lead me to believe that only the imminent use of a deadly weapon against Rice could justify him striking her in such a way to knock her out. But that's not the law.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:32 AM on July 28

Are you going to stop watching football because of this?

Sorry - stepped away for a few days - and yes, I'm going to watch less football because of this. I'm not at no football level yet, but this is another step in that direction.

posted by dfleming at 02:02 PM on August 01

I think it's a ridiculously mild punishment, completely out of step with how society views domestic violence against women today. But how one player's misdeeds are punished is not an issue likely to have major impact on whether I watch the NFL.

The only big obstacles to my enjoyment of the league at present are concussion risks and teams bilking communities out of billions in tax dollars on stadiums. Any public money spent for the private gain of team owners should be paid back in full by a $1 ticket surcharge on each game at that stadium. I'd happily pay that as an alternative to making all taxpayers fund something only some of the public enjoys.

posted by rcade at 03:24 PM on August 01

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