City Sports Report

Roger Goodell and NFL Dropped the Ball on Ray Rice Situation

Ray Rice and His Image Have Been Tarnished

Like so many of you, I was sick to my stomach when I saw the video of Ray Rice striking his then fiancé, Janay Palmer, in the elevator of Revel Casino in Atlantic City Valentine’s Day weekend. I went on record stating from day one that I wish I knew what exactly happened in that elevator prior to the scene of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer into the hallway. Now I wish I didn’t see the second video because the sight was that horrific.  Even with him being released by the Baltimore Ravens and subsequently suspended indefinitely by the NFL, Rice’s future is uncertain in so many ways. The one thing that we do know is that a number of individuals and organizations dropped or fumbled the ball away in regards to this situation.

First, I want to say that I hope that Ray and Janay Rice can weather this storm and their marriage can survive this situation. Right now that is all that matters. With all of the turbulence that is surrounding what has taken place, their marriage is what is truly important here. Janay did not want to press charges against her husband. Many felt that this was a mistake and believe it even more after viewing the second video on Monday. It is not up to me or anyone else to tell the Rice family how to deal with their marriage. However, this is bigger than the Rice family and football in general and so many others dropped the ball.

The legal system dropped the ball. Rice was given what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Even without the video of him striking his wife, there was enough evidence to warrant a much stiffer punishment. If someone would have seen me dragging an unconscious woman out of an elevator, I assure you that I would not be here writing this story. And why wasn’t this pinching video taken into account when the sentence was handed down?  And speaking of the punching video, why in the world is it just coming to light now?

Are you trying to tell me that the Atlantic City District Attorney Office, the NFL and Ravens did not see this video until TMZ Sports released it on Monday? There is no way in the world you could tell me that those organizations could have seen those images and only given Rice a misdemeanor legally and two-game suspension as far as football is concerned. Now the question is, why didn’t they see it? TMZ got their hands on it. Therefore, the NFL should have gotten their hands on it too. The NFL is one of the most powerful organizations in the world. They shouldn’t have any issue securing any evidence. And Heaven help them if they saw it and didn’t take in account when rendering their verdict of the two-game suspension. OK even if they didn’t see it, there is no reason for them not to have seen it. The NFL released a statement indicating that they asked the State Police for the video and the State indicated that the Local Atlantic City Police had the video. Regardless of who had the video, the League should have gotten their hands on it.

Yes, many individuals and organizations dropped the ball here. I’m not going to get into what the Rice family should do. That is their marriage and they should be able to decide their own fate. I just hope that they can work things out. If any good can come from this, one should hope that Domestic Violence is put on the front burner and we handle it with better digression.  This is bigger than the NFL. This is a society issue. Plenty of people dropped the ball here. Let’s hope that we all learn from this mistake.

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