City Sports Report

Ray Rice : NFL, Roger Goodell Make Another Wrong Decision

Ray Rice and His Image Have Been Tarnished
Ray Rice and His Image Have Been Tarnished

Ray Rice and His Image Have Been Tarnished

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen as a standup guy with a sterling reputation in the NFL. He was looked at as a role model by some. But after one night in an Atlantic City casino in February, Rice’s image took a tremendous hit. Rice reportedly got into an argument with his then-fiancée Janay Palmer. The two were reportedly at a table when Rice hit her with an uppercut that rendered Palmer unconscious. Later, video surfaced of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator and then being stopped by security. The once squeaky-clean image of Rice had all but evaporated and the ball was now in the court of the commissioner. Roger Goodell has been known as a strict disciplinarian when it comes to “tarnishing the shield,” and many thought he was going to make a statement after this incident with Rice. He made a statement, but one that he probably did not intend to make. Goodell’s punishment dropped on Thursday, as Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season. And with this ruling, Goodell sent the wrong message to his fans.

Throughout the tenure of Goodell, he has made good decisions for the most part. He has held players more accountable for things off the field and made the league more profitable. But in this instance, he may have hurt the pockets of all the NFL owners. The NFL over the years has tried to bring in the casual viewer of the game. And more of the casual viewers of the NFL are women. The popularity among women has grown so much that more women viewed the Super Bowl than the Grammys and Oscars combined. The impact women have on the NFL has been very significant. With this light punishment of Rice, expect some of the women viewership of the NFL to wane. And with that, there may be a profit loss. Of course the NFL is a billion-dollar industry, but it’s also an industry that wants every single penny it can get. With women affecting as much as 70% of all purchases, the amount of products sold could take a dip and therefore affect the pockets of the owners.

But more than the monetary affect, the results of the Rice suspension could have a resounding effect on their image. Suspending players for four games due to usage of performance-enhancing drugs(PEDs) has become routine in the league. Goodell views the usage of PEDs as a black eye to his baby, the NFL. But when it comes to domestic violence from his players, it seems like Goodell does not take those instances very serious at all after the Rice suspension. With this light suspension, it appears Goodell takes players damaging themselves and his product more seriously than damaging other human beings. With many of these players being looked at as role models, kids are now inclined to believe that this incident is not that big of a deal, when in fact it really is.

In the end, Rice’s image has taken a hit and now he has to repair it. And along with that, he has to take care of some problems that may have been hiding in the shadows. But the underlying feeling is there is a false image the NFL is portraying. The league, with Breast Cancer Awareness month, tries to portray the image of caring about women. When in fact, they care more about the dollar signs that are attached to each piece of merchandise they buy and each ticket they purchase. The message Goodell is sending is loud and clear: women are not very important. And he could not be more wrong.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

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