Football season is back with a bang, and not the good kind. After dealing with the concussion problem in football during the offseason, the NFL didn’t make it two weeks in before things got a whole lot worse.
On February 15, Ray Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, hit is wife in an elevator in Atlantic City. After the League learned of the incident, they watched a video of the aftermath and interviewed Rice’s wife WHILE he was in the room. In response, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a two game suspension and fine.
To put this in perspective, players recently caught with weed in non-violent situations have been indefinitely suspended from playing in the NFL. Ray Rice knocks out his wife and has to sit out two games. This was enough to cause outrage until Monday when TMZ did what it does best and released the full video.
We see Rice and his wife (then fiancée) in the elevator. She approaches him, apparently angry, and he swings. The video ends as he drags her unconscious body out of the elevator. No remorse or overwhelming apology from the player. His wife, however, released a statement Monday blaming the media for bringing up such painful memories and taking the game away from her husband who’s worked so hard.
Now Rice is receiving the punishment he deserved initially. His contract with the Ravens was terminated and he’s banned indefinitely from playing. Will another team want him if the ban is lifted?
Keith Olbermann discussed the issue in a recent segment. Believing everyone involved with the case failed to do their part, he called for the resignation of Goodell and everyone else who let Rice get away with domestic abuse and showed the world they could get away with it, too. He also claimed Rice already had a second chance during the investigation and was deceptive, meaning he should never play again.
Assault and abuse are two of the big causes for brain injuries, which include domestic violence. By not properly punishing Ray Rice, the NFL is saying it’s not that big of a deal.
This is just another example of the NFL not doing its ethical duty to protect players or their families. At least more concussions are being diagnosed with longer periods before the players return to play, but questions are raised. How many concussions go undiagnosed every season? How many will be affected by the longterm effects in the future?
Time will tell.