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Perhaps we are too forgiving, but I think most Americans are fond of the notion that we give second chances. I think it does show that perhaps we ascribe too much value to professional sports. The cynic in me wonders how sorry Peterson and Rice are, or if they are sorry about the millions they are losing out on.
To take the question a half-step further, the depravity of the Ray Rice case notwithstanding, do we expect too much perfection out of public figures?
The Rice and Peterson cases need to be examples to all that we as a society will not tolerate violence no matter who you are. If Rice weren't a public figure and NFL star this case would have been handled differently starting with the hotel, police and all the way down to the judge. A message needs to be sent that regardless of who you are it is not okay to resolve differences with violent behavior. It's time we treat athletes and anyone in the public eye with equal treatment.
Question: What changes need to be made so young boys and young women do not become desensitized to acts of violence by professional athletes just because they are deemed as above regular societal standards?
Deep down I believe the root of the issue begins in each household that a child grows up in. The best thing a couple can do is show their children what a healthy marriage looks like. I understand this is a way over-simplified solution as it leaves out the never ending set of life challenges such as single-parent homes, lower socio-economic areas, etc.
From a societal standpoint, we could certainly quit giving so much airtime to such cases. Change the channel when we see a story about irresponsible behavior from a movie star, don’t click on the link to read about the self-depricating decisions of a young musician. We the people are what drive the demand for such stories, so it is in our power to shift the conversation to something else.
Harsher punishment would be a start. Above all, stronger family values for our youth would be helpful. Parents need to educate children early on that violence and immoral behavior is not acceptable in our society. There must be higher standards for superstar athletes and celebrities that represent role models for children. The Rice case must serve as a wake up call for the NFL as a league so that investigations aren't swept under the rug and mishandled. It was disheartening to see Rice's wife stand by him in public for the sake of good PR so that he could be reinstated into the league. Women must not tolerate acts of violence no matter who they are married to because they are setting an example for generations of young women to come.
Question: Is it fair that he be reinstated back into the league and why?
As a start, let me indicate that I believe a harsher punishment than the initial two-game ban was necessary. I do agree with the decision to re-instate Rice simply because Goodell’s half-assed investigation is what led to a situation of double jeopardy. If Rice was for his part honest with the Ravens and the NFL, then he shouldn’t be further punished for their poor investigation or lack of conviction in their initial suspension. As Americans, we should abhor anything that resembles double jeopardy.
To take it a step further, I agree with the Ravens decision to release Rice. Any player needs to understand they represent the brand that is an NFL franchise. If no team wishes to sign Rice because of the toxic effect he would have on their brand, that would certainly be a free-market resolution to Roger Goodell’s lack of conviction in the matter.
He should not have been reinstated back into the league. We are a nation that believes in second chances and forgiveness but if you are in the public eye and you have young kids who look up to you, you need to be much more careful and not fall down the path of violence and poor judgement. After watching the video I think that his wife is lying about a one time act. That was horrific to view and she is lucky he didn't kill her or put her in a coma. Any person with self control would not react to anything with this type of violence. The NFL' s policy needs to to be strict regardless if it's a one or first time error. Others including our children need to learn early on that our society will not tolerate violence in any way shape or form regardless of how intelligent or talented one might be.
Question: Who do you think was most to blame in the handling of the ray rice case and why?
The NFL, followed closely by the Ravens. The basis of this opinion stems from the ruling of arbitrator (and former federal judge) Barbara Jones. She finds that the NFL knew what the facts were all along, and only attempted to increase Rice’s suspension once the public became a furious mob following the release of the infamous video on TMZ. Judge Jones finds that Roger Goodell’s, "“imposition of a second suspension based upon the same incident, and the same known facts about that incident, was arbitrary.” Furthermore, Jones finds no evidence that Rice lied or misled Goodell and the Ravens, yet Goodell and his staff had, “vague,” recollections about many pieces of the investigation when testifying to Judge Jones. It seems likely that Rice was more honest and Goodell/Ravens were more dishonest or deliberately vague in this circumstance.
To me, this indicate that quite likely what happened was that the Ravens tried to call in a favor, and the NFL acquiesced to the request and promptly swept the matter under the rug. Once the video was made public by TMZ, that’s when this approach became so toxic.
There is no excusing what Rice did. Judge Jones even indicates that had the NFL began with an indefinite suspension, she likely would have found in favor of them and supported such a suspension. That being said, if an employee makes a mistake, the most you can ask of them is to be honest and bear the consequences of said mistake. It seems that Rice was for his part honest with the Ravens and the NFL. They really let Rice, Janay Palmer, the fans and the league down by trying to sweep it under the rug.
I feel strongly that the NFL holds most of the blame. They rushed to judgement without holding their own investigation. They are one of richest organizations and surely they could afford their own private investigators. Everyone knows the all hotels and hotel elevators contain security cameras. How is it that someone was able to call TMZ and sell that almost immediately after the incident? Ray Rice and his wife were not honest about what occurred and the police report was also dishonest because it initially cited that was occurred was a "minor physical altercation". How did they not interview hotel employees and get video at the time the event occurred?