The internet is on fire with outrage over TMZ’s video of Ray Rice punching his (then) fiance’ unconscious. The reaction of the media, in particular sports reporters, is making me sick. Case in point, I give you Keith Olbermann’s self righteous tirade:
We all know beating women is wrong–very wrong. But nobody can say it like Olbermann; he has no equal when it comes to a thorough eviscerating. But when he says that this situation has, “…elements of classic tragedy; where the right thing is done, only after it is too late to actually matter.” I hope he includes himself in that criticism.
Allow me to publicly ask the media some common sense questions.
1. What did you expect to see in the video?
In February 2014, witnesses saw Ray Rice and his fiance’ engage in a verbal dispute and were seen physically striking each other before entering the elevator. When they exited the elevator, the unconscious victim was dragged out by Ray Rice, as shown in a TMZ video publicly released at that time.
With the newest video, we get to see Ray Rice actually throw the punch inside the elevator. So…why the shock? What did you see that you didn’t expect to see? What did you think an NFL player striking a woman would look like?
Seriously sports reporters, I want one of you to be brave enough to answer these question. I assume you are familiar with the size and strength of NFL athletes. And you knew that Ray had struck Jaylan unconscious. So what new information was revealed to you as a result of the video?
To me, the video shows about the best result one could expect from such a mismatch. I feel confident that if I was struck by Ray Rice, or any other NFL player, I’m sure it would break things no surgeon could fix. My face would never be the same again. So, to me, the video shows a best case scenario and is not surprising at all. Why are you NFL Insider experts acting so surprised?
2. Is the concept of violent crime in the NFL new to you?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter stated that this incident might be the greatest “black eye” to the league ever.
Dog torturer Michael Vick is a New York Jet. Patriot Aaron Hernandez is awaiting trial for murder. Alonzo Spellman caused an emergency landing. Rae Carruth had his wife killed. Ray Lewis murdered some folks and then was honored with a statue in front of Baltimore’s stadium.
This list goes on. In fact, since 2000, there have been 719 NFL arrests.
Beating women is not new in the NFL. I know this. You know this. You sports reporters’ shock and outrage are disingenuous at best.
If you listed the top 100 domestic violence incidents in the recent NFL history, I’ll bet Ray Rice wouldn’t make the list.
The problem is that when you act surprised about Ray Rice, it leaves the casual viewer with the impression that this is an isolated incident. But we both know this is NOT an isolated incident in the NFL.
3. Why are you debating who knew what, when about the video?
Pretending like the video is just now available is a charade. If the police, Ravens, or NFL didn’t view the video, it was because they wanted plausible deniability. Every elevator in every casino in the US has a video camera in it.
Also, please refer back to question #1. Why did you need to see the video anyway? He drug his unconscious girlfriend from the elevator. What else did you need to know?
4. Do you really want to criticize Goodell for talking to Janay?
Is anyone taking Janay’s wishes into account with all this? Shouldn’t the victim have a say? She was willing to get beat up for money. Now her money has been taken away. How does this help her?
Domestic violence is a complicated issue, in which Stockholm Syndrome victims won’t stand up for themselves. But in a free country we should respect people’s individual rights, even when they are wrong. Sports reporters, one of the reasons why this whole crusade feels wrong to me is that there is no victim asking for your help. You have forced your “help” onto a woman who doesn’t want it. According to Janay, your help has caused her more pain than her husband’s punches. Janay might be wrong, but it is her life.
It is a complicated issue. I respect the fact that Roger Goodell sat down and talked to her before making a decision. Shouldn’t you respect that too?
5. Why are you not calling the Baltimore Ravens out?
If the Ravens and/or their beloved spokesperson Ray Lewis try to claim they are taking a moral high road with this, then as an objective reporter you have a duty to call them out on their complete and utter bullshit. The Ravens care about the fielding the best team possible. If the anti-christ was available in free agency, played good enough ball, and video evidence of his heinous crimes could be covered-up; then they’d sign him.
Fuck the Ravens and their hypocrisy.
6. Why are you demanding for Roger Goodell to be fired?
Domestic violence has been an issue in the NFL since Jim Brown. Now, finally, a commissioner is taking a tougher stance. Isn’t that what you want? Then why are you calling for him to be fired? Because he was complacent, and not tough enough, sooner?
If so, sports reporter, did you not have the same complacency for too long?