As we all know, NFL running back Ray Rice made headlines two weeks ago after video footage of him beating his wife in an Atlantic City hotel elevator was leaked on TMZ Sports online.
Rumors of domestic abuse surfaced this past February that resulted in Rice being suspended for just two games.
Last Monday however, owners of the Baltimore Ravens announced during a press conference that the organization decided to terminate Rice’s contract.
What frustrates me is that the NFL, and the Baltimore Ravens, decided to take action after the video was released.
For me, this means that the NFL and the Ravens were aware that Rice had physically abused his wife and continued to let him play.
It was not until TMZ Sports released the video online that a legitimate punishment was given.
I understand that the NFL is a business, an incredibly profitable one at that; however, I do not feel that allowing instances like these to continue is ethical.
In a way, football fans allowed this to happen as well.
It was known that Rice had beaten his wife this past winter due to his two-game suspension.
After his suspension, he still had fans.
Does this mean that society is condoning behavior like this for the sake of throwing a ball?
Not only is it sending a message to other athletes in the NFL that behavior like this is “tolerated” it is also sending a message to young fans that he or she could potentially commit illegal actions with little to no consequence.
Just because an athlete is talented and profitable to an organization does not mean that he or she is above the law.
The video of Rice punching his then finance (now wife), Janay Palmer, this past February at the Revel Casino shows Rice knocking Palmer out cold against the elevator wall.
After Palmer was knocked unconscious the video shows Rice dragging her body out of the elevator and dropping her to the floor.
He then begins to slightly hit his foot against her as if to wake her up.
He then steps over her body like it is a box in his way.
His actions almost appear inhuman and completely heartless.
What frustrates me about the video is that, unlike a normal person who would desperately try to see if Palmer was OK, Rice takes little action to attempt to revive her.
According to TMZ Sports online, Ravens officials said they did not see the video after it was released, and that their decision was based off of reciprocal blow back and outrage from the video.
After announcing their decision to terminate Rice’s contract, the Ravens released a one-sentence statement saying, “The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of running back Ray Rice this afternoon.”
I feel that this statement was far too brief, and cowardly.
I feel the Raven’s organization should have taken more responsibility not only for Rice’s actions, but also for its own. Rice is an adult and thus he needs to deal with the majority of the repercussions from his actions; however, The Raven’s organization needs to admit that the organization allowed this to happen for some time.
I think they should admit that instances like these must never happen again.
The NFL needs to be more proactive with addressing issues such as these.
This is not the first time that the illegal actions of professional athletes have gone unpunished.
Sports are without a doubt fun, I am not denying that; however, athletes first and foremost are normal people like you and me.
If I broke the law, I would be punished accordingly. Professional athletes should be as well.
The NFL can still be great even when enforcing its rules.