Ray Rice cut by the Ravens, suspended indefinitely
September 8, 2014 11:55 AM   Subscribe

Earlier today, TMZ released a new video (warning: graphic/disturbing) of a February 12 incident involving NFL running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancée. A few hours after the video's release, the team terminated Rice's contract; shortly thereafter, the NFL reportedly suspended Rice indefinitely.

Rice was previously defended by various wings of the Baltimore Ravens organization.

Rice had also initially been suspended by the NFL for two games for the incident, a punishment commissioner Roger Goodell later admitted was wrong while rolling out a new, harsh league-wide policy on domestic violence.

The incident has sparked much discussion about the NFL's attitude toward women and domestic violence, in light of its treatment of other offenses. How you feel about the NFL's decision to suspend Rice indefinitely might depend on whether you believe that the league saw this video prior to today.

Among those reacting to today's news, Vox has an interesting breakdown of the TMZ aspect of today's events: "When it takes video evidence to get the public to take abuse seriously, the power is in the hands of the people who have the videos — and decide whether or not to release them."
posted by Kybard (533 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few hours after the video's release, the team terminated Rice's contract; shortly thereafter, the NFL reportedly suspended Rice indefinitely.

Roger Goodell was then seen to go outside and close the barn door.
posted by eriko at 11:57 AM on September 8, 2014 [93 favorites]


As much as I applaud the move, the Ravens and the NFL are both complicit in these events by waiting until the video was released to do so. The issue at hand is that he physically assaulted his wife, not that he was taped in the process.

The PR angle is what pushed them, not the act itself.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:57 AM on September 8, 2014 [52 favorites]


I don't understand why it took what, seven months, for this guy to get terminated. Why is it not the policy of every major sports league that if you beat the shit out of your domestic partner, you can no longer play for them?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't understand why it took what, seven months, for this guy to get terminated.

Because until the 2nd video came out, he wasn't enough of a libel on the NFL or the Ravens. Once it did, Ray Rice became a huge liability to them, one that was going to cost them money.

Money. It's always about money.

Here's a question for you to ponder. This video came out today to the public. How long have the Baltimore Ravens and NFL known about this video? Because unless that was also "today", then they *knew* and they didn't do shit about it until the world called them on it.

Because money. It's always about money.
posted by eriko at 12:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [28 favorites]


From the official Baltimore Ravens twitter account:

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.
posted by jbickers at 12:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


Thank you for making this post. I have been wanting to read mefites' takes on everything since the comments on facebook/twitter/news articles want to make me RIP MY EYEBALLS OUT.

All I have to say is it is about time.
posted by whitetigereyes at 12:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


(I see now that that tweet I mentioned was the "various" link in the FPP. I just cannot believe it hasn't been deleted by them. It's unreal.)
posted by jbickers at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Why is it not the policy of every major sports league that if you beat the shit out of your domestic partner, you can no longer play for them?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:58 PM on September 8 [+] [!]

Until the new policy, these actions just fell under to Personal Conduct Policy which was pretty lightweight when it came to punishment. The new policy is considerably stricter, with a minimum six-game unpaid suspension for the first offense, and a lifetime ban for a subsequent one.

It's good to see a new policy, but it's appalling that Janay Rice had to have her face smashed into a elevator railing for it to happen.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Given the video evidence, why were charges against Ray Rice dropped? I don't see why it was necessary for Janay to press charges.
posted by mullacc at 12:03 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


That tweet is disgusting.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2014 [27 favorites]


Yes, I saw that tweet for the first time today and only noticed afterward that it's several months old. It is completely mind-boggling that they've left it up. And telling - whoever is speaking for the team obviously does not believe it's a statement to be ashamed of.
posted by obfuscation at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why is it not the policy of every major sports league that if you beat the shit out of your domestic partner, you can no longer play for them?

Part of the issue is that his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened. She refused to testify against him, and gave at least one interview where she implied that she was complicit.

What boggles my mind, though, is that whatever you think of the NFL's story about having seen the video, the police absolutely did see it- and I think it is obvious they didn't need her testimony to prosecute - instead they offered him a plea deal that allowed him to avoid jail time.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, in NCAA football news, Penn State's punishment has been lifted.

I don't think I'm ever going to watch football again.
posted by Uncle Ira at 12:05 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Part of the issue is that his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened. She refused to testify against him, and gave at least one interview where she implied that she was complicit.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:04 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


I think that the reason is pretty well understood.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:07 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:08 PM on September 8, 2014


Take the stairs
posted by cjorgensen at 12:09 PM on September 8, 2014


I hope she's left him and has a bodyguard, because I doubt he's in a good mood.
posted by sageleaf at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?

He's been indefinitely suspended from the NFL, so the team would have to lobby with the league.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2014


I'm glad he's been terminated and suspended but I'm very upset that it took the video leak to do it. The video leak had more impact than the actual abuse of a woman.
posted by troika at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


He is good enough, The Pink Superhero, but he's been suspended from the league indefinitely, so he won't be playing anywhere for a long time, which is just.
posted by moviehawk at 12:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?

He's been good, but had a bad year last season, which I'm sure made the Ravens' decision that much easier. In any case, the NFL's indefinite suspension would make that difficult for the time being.

I am sure that, if they can, some team will pick him up during next year's offseason and attempt a Michael Vick-esque redemption narrative.
posted by Kybard at 12:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]



Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:08 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


He was a superstar, and by far the Ravens best offensive player, but the fan outcry over the two game suspension was pretty enormous. He'd be poison in the locker room and to the fan base. He's done, and I couldn't be happier about it.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?

He's on the decline and average-ish running backs are a dime a dozen. The only reason to sign him would be for the publicity, and I sincerely hope nobody in the NFL wants that kind of publicity - not even the Raiders.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2014


Part of the issue is that his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened. She refused to testify against him, and gave at least one interview where she implied that she was complicit.

Well, like eriko said: money. It's always about money. Rice stood to make tens of millions of dollars on his deal with the Ravens; if she took the stand and said "yes, he beat the shit out of me" and he got suspended, then she stood to either lose millions of dollars in household income (if she stayed with his despicable self) or millions of dollars in divorce settlement. So she stood up and accepted blame for having her professional-athlete husband publicly assault her.

This story is fractally awful. Every part of it just looks worse and worse the closer you examine it.
posted by Mayor West at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [20 favorites]


The deadspin article is interesting. Apparently the angle the league was pushing was that they were fighting, she attacked him, he lost his temper, hit her, and then she got knocked out falling into the railing. The video shows this to be an utter lie. Where the lie originated is an interesting question...
posted by Diablevert at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Note: The tweet was them live-tweeting Janay's statements during Ray & Janay's press conference about what happened.
posted by cashman at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Is this guy good enough that another team will want to pick him up once some of this hubbub dies down?

He's very good, but no, not good enough that another NFL will choose to bring him in. When the video came out this morning, other players in the league began tweeting that they were disgusted and that he should be out of the league. It's extremely rare for other players to talk so negatively of another player in those terms. Maybe he gets a shot next year, or the year after, after a huge rehabilitation effort on his part. But I doubt it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2014


The ubiquity of cameras has changed many things. All sorts of things, everywhere, that were once swept under various rugs and being "investigated" are now published somewhere and that's it for the perps: the camera doesn't lie.
posted by CrowGoat at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I made the comment in personal conversations that it sure sucked that it took witnessing the act via video to get Ray Rice's punishment re-evaluated, especially because both the Ravens and NFL say that his description of what happened is in line with what is in the video. I mean that's pretty horrifying.

HOWEVER.

If you are going to voice upset and push for progress, then it's kind of bad form to jump down the neck of people or organizations when they finally do the right thing. I applaud Gooddell for revising the penalty for domestic violence and revising Rice's suspension, and I applaud the Ravens for releasing him. It took extreme measures, but this whole situation has had an impact for the better.
posted by Kimberly at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


Is it just me, or is it fucked that TMZ posted this video without the victim's consent. The entire world is now gawking at what may be the most brutal and humiliating event in her life.

It's also fucked that it took the video being released for any action of consequence to be taken.

It's all fucked.
posted by AaRdVarK at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2014 [28 favorites]


From the Fox link, actual comments:

“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” Steve Doocy said.

For all we know she had it coming anyway.
posted by Cosine at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe Michael Vick could throw him some passes.
posted by newdaddy at 12:14 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


As much as I applaud the move, the Ravens and the NFL are both complicit in these events by waiting until the video was released to do so. The issue at hand is that he physically assaulted his wife, not that he was taped in the process.

It's also not like there was anything in this video that wasn't clear from what we already knew. It wasn't like I saw that video and thought "this is way worse than I was expecting it to be." It was exactly what we all knew it was, but without the public outcry and the video release, the NFL did effectively nothing about it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:15 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


How long have the Baltimore Ravens and NFL known about this video? Because unless that was also "today", then they *knew* and they didn't do shit about it until the world called them on it.

The Deadspin article in the OP makes a pretty compelling case that the Ravens and the NFL saw this video back in July (and, in fact, were actually claiming to reporters that its contents somehow made a 2 game suspension more appropriate than a longer one) and are only now reversing course and claiming that they never saw anything.

Of course, this being the NFL, they'll continue to coast by on near-infinite hubris and probably won't see any sort of meaningful consequences for their shameful role in all this.
posted by Copronymus at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera,” Steve Doocy said.

The other male cohost actually follows it up with "the message is, if you're in an elevator, there is a camera" which sounds like he's advising Ray Rice on how to get away with it. I mean Fox & Friends is a pit at all times, but that is especially bad.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


I've seen some people say that they see Ray spitting on Janay also. Of note, there's another NFL player currently playing while he appeals a conviction of assault and communicating threats.
posted by cashman at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2014


Apparently, the NFL and Ravens had not seen the video and were told that the fight was somewhat mutual. I still want to know, how did TMZ get it?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I made the comment in personal conversations that it sure sucked that it took witnessing the act via video to get Ray Rice's punishment re-evaluated, especially because both the Ravens and NFL say that his description of what happened is in line with what is in the video.

Per the "whether you believe that the league saw this video prior to today" link in the FPP, it took the prospect of the video getting out into the public to get his punishment re-evaluated rather than anyone involved in the decision seeing it with their own two eyes.
posted by Etrigan at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2014


Now if this were also to end Roger Goodell's career....
posted by MoonOrb at 12:18 PM on September 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


Everything I read about this just leaves me terrified for Janay Rice. Her abusive partner is now able to blame her for the potential end of his career. Every article I read about this, I'm just waiting for someone to say, I don't know, that Rice is in a safe place, or that there's a restraining order, or literally anything that would imply that she's unlikely to get beaten again tonight. I haven't seen anything, and I'm so worried for her.
posted by MeghanC at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [76 favorites]


Thanks for the context on the tweet, cashman. It was still an idiotic thing for them to tweet, but... well, I'll just leave it at "thanks for the context."
posted by obfuscation at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2014


Of note, there's another NFL player currently playing while he appeals a conviction of assault and communicating threats.

And a player who was arrested for a domestic violence incident currently playing for a coach who claims to have "zero tolerance" for domestic violence.
posted by Kybard at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think that's pretty gross, Etrigan. But I'm still glad that they did the right thing...eventually.
posted by Kimberly at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2014


Oh, and his actual status.

As a player, Baltimore terminating the contract releases him. Since he's a 4+ year veteran, he doesn't have to clear waivers* and he's now an Unrestricted Free Agent. His prior contract is moot, and any team can sign him. (This, btw, is why he was "released" rather than "waived".)

If the new suspension was dropped, he would still be unable to play this weekend. With the new suspension, he's unable to play until the league says otherwise.

"Suspended indefinitely" does not mean "lifetime ban," and this can't stand for more than (IIRC) 6 games before the suspension either has to be lifted *or* an actual term imposed. This is per the CBA between the league and the players. Note that a "lifetime suspension" is an actual term, but basically an indefinite suspension can only happen as an emergency order and the league has a short period of time to justify and then a longer period of time to come up with a fixed term.


* NFL waivers. If a player under contract who is not a unrestricted free agent is let go, any team in the league has a right to sign him. Teams not interested waive their claim and if all 31 of the other teams do, then the player is an unrestricted free agent. If one files a claim, they can sign the player at his current contract or better. If more than one files a claim, the team highest on the waiver order get to sign the player. The wavier order is last seasons' results inverted, so the worst team gets first chance. The team signing the player off waivers then drops to the bottom of the waiver order.

NFL players with 4 year experience released before the trading deadline don't go through waivers, they're immediately UFA. After the Week 8 trade deadline, all released players have to clear waivers until after the end of the season.
posted by eriko at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


I sincerely hope that the NFL, Baltimore Ravens, and Roger Goodell deeply regret the roles that they chose to play in this incident.

No right-thinking person should give them an inch of leeway from these announcements. Choosing the moral course of action solely because your clientele reacted with well-deserved disgust isn't worth my spit.

And, as someone mentioned above, I fear for Janay Rice.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 12:22 PM on September 8, 2014


So what changed? We already knew he kicked the shit out of her. So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment? I think they should have booted him before, but don't understand why if they didn't more evidence makes it worse.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


As a Baltimore native and fan, all I can say is: Good.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am sure that, if they can, some team will pick him up during next year's offseason and attempt a Michael Vick-esque redemption narrative.

The Michael Vick redemption narrative is basically true. After serving his legal penalty, he's employed and lived a more-or-less upstanding life ever since. The only bad part of his post-prison life, as far as I can tell, is that it's not true for millions of other ex-cons trying to move on, and then we act baffled (or blame, not very accurately, the drug war) for why we have such a horrendous problem with our prison population. I don't think "overabundance of second chances" is a real pressing problem in America today.
posted by dsfan at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2014 [54 favorites]


So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment?

The optics. For the NFL and the Ravens, the video is a blunt, graphic public relations nightmare; text-based accounts (or Rice's personal explanation) are more distant, less emotional, and more easily handwaved.
posted by Kybard at 12:24 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


So what changed? We already knew he kicked the shit out of her. So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment? I think they should have booted him before, but don't understand why if they didn't more evidence makes it worse.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:23 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


For what its worth: Ray claimed it was a mutual, minor fight and that she hit her head on the railing which caused her to black out, and Janay agreed with this. The new suspension is due to the video evidence that contradicts Rices statement to the NFL investigators.

I love the game of football. I am a huge NFL slappy and I've been a die-hard Lions fan since I was a kid, but shit like this is what is going to turn me off the game someday.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


So what changed? We already knew he kicked the shit out of her. So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment? I think they should have booted him before, but don't understand why if they didn't more evidence makes it worse.

Also, because Janay Rice continued to support him, and asked for a lenient punishment for him, apparently. It seems many people were led to believe that this was a "mutual" fight.
posted by girlmightlive at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2014


So she stood up and accepted blame for having her professional-athlete husband publicly assault her

I know all the potential reasons she had for choosing her course of action. I get it. I'm just not that keen speculating her hows or whys. She's the victim here, and so, I defer to her judgement.

So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment?

The NFL claims to have not seen the video until today and that what happened in the video doesn't match what they were told had happened. You can be your own judge of how credible that is, but that is the stated reason.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:27 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Michael Vick redemption narrative is basically true.

Fair enough. I was just using him as an example of a player whose very public, well-handled, and successfully rehabilitated image might be a good PR precedent for a team trying to rehabilitate Rice's image--not as someone who necessarily didn't earn or deserve said redemption.
posted by Kybard at 12:28 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


He seems pretty chill in the video; he does not look to be raging. Now maybe that is how he is. Or maybe our view can't see the rage. But from what I seen, he is very matter of fact about it during the attack and after. That, to me, is even more disturbing; I understand rage, but he looks like he metes out violence like that without though. That video is worse then I was expecting.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:28 PM on September 8, 2014 [16 favorites]


Brandon Marshall is thankful today that the public and the reactionary NFL didnt have video of his incidents in 2006, 2007 (x4), 2008, 2009, 2011 or 2012 for which he served a total of 1 game suspension and still has a multimillion dollar contract.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2014


While the meta-story about the media's role in this is by no means the most serious part, it is in some ways the most baffling. Here's Peter King, arguably the most important NFL reporter working today, either saying that he thought that passing off an anonymous source's vague assumptions about what NFL officials had seen was good enough without bothering to check up on it himself, or just telling lies to cover for the NFL's blundering. Either way it looks pretty bad, even for someone like King who's kind of a buffoon at times.
posted by Copronymus at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


So if the facts haven't changed why did the punishment?

The NFL and the Ravens so screwed this up originally as to leave no doubt among anyone that the previous consequences were inadequate. The NFL, Roger Goodell, even came right out and said the screwed up going so far as to change the guidelines going forward. Then, the actual video from the elevator is released.

I think they took this as an opportunity to correct what they had done wrong. I would even go so far as to say they could have been behind the release of the video. I am with Kimberly. Finally the NFL and Ravens are doing the right thing. Applaud them for it.
posted by 724A at 12:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I picked a good year to start following Everton.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, before this happened, Ray Rice had a reputation of being squeaky clean and a generally upstanding guy, putting a lot of work into anti-bullying initiatives and other charitable endeavors.

It's possible that the Ravens and the NFL took so long to take the correct action because they had a difficult time believing Rice could do something so awful.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Brandon Marshall is thankful today that the public and the reactionary NFL didnt have video of his incidents in 2006, 2007 (x4), 2008, 2009, 2011 or 2012 for which he served a total of 1 game suspension and still has a multimillion dollar contract.

Ugh--and he was on Inside the NFL this week and when he was asked what his punishment would be today he basically said that what he had done was wrong, but sometimes people grow up in a culture where families fight with each other. The implication being of course, that his and Ray Rice's wives were culpable in their own abuse.
posted by Kimberly at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2014


Brandon Marshall is thankful today that the public and the reactionary NFL didnt have video of his incidents in 2006, 2007 (x4), 2008, 2009, 2011 or 2012 for which he served a total of 1 game suspension and still has a multimillion dollar contract.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:29 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


Not to defend his actions, but Brandon Marshall had undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder at that time.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:34 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


And a player who was arrested for a domestic violence incident currently playing for a coach who claims to have "zero tolerance" for domestic violence.

The shitty icing on the vomit cake: The 49ers' coach is the brother of the Ravens' coach.
posted by kmz at 12:35 PM on September 8, 2014


I still want to know, how did TMZ get it?

Probably the same way they got the Jay Z vs. Solange video: they paid somebody off to the tune of several years' worth of salary to make up for them losing their job when their employer tracked it back to them.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:37 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Part of the issue is that his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened. She refused to testify against him, and gave at least one interview where she implied that she was complicit.

Yes

And yes, the NFL and Ravens management was told the fight was mutual. The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing, but by all means, some of you people, condemn everyone and everywhere you can point a finger.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still want to know, how did TMZ get it?

Well the incident happened in REVEL in AC and they just closed this past weekend so my guess is an employee who no longer has a job had no reason not to give it up if TMZ offered them a pile of money.
posted by whitetigereyes at 12:41 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


It could not have been a mutual fight unless she was armed or built like a football player.
posted by desjardins at 12:41 PM on September 8, 2014 [22 favorites]


The shitty icing on the vomit cake:

Vomit cake is right. The knee jerk reactions to all of this is puke-worthy.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:41 PM on September 8, 2014


ray rice is scum, the ravens are scum for holding that press conference where they made janay act like she was at fault, the nfl & the ravens are scum for having that video the whole time and only acting today. roger goodell is scum for all sorts of reasons, one of them being that he interviewed janay about the assault with ray rice in the room. i'm glad he's gone, i'm disgusted it took this long.

on the 49ers situation, i'm actually with jim harbaugh (the coach) - his quote on the matter was : "There are going to be two principles at play here," Harbaugh said. "And one is, I'll speak for myself, I'll speak for the 49ers: We'll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we're firm believers in due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles." - which to me says that if macdonald is found guilty, he is gone. that seems a pretty defensible position.
posted by nadawi at 12:41 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Ray and Janay got married one month after the attack."
posted by stbalbach at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2014


The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing

There is literally no universe where this is true.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


uraniumwilly - it does not matter at all what they were told (by the abused woman standing next to her abuser, don't forget that part) - they had the tape. they acted today because of pr, not because they suddenly understood the weight of it.
posted by nadawi at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not to defend his actions, but Brandon Marshall had undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder at that time.

Well OK, but then there's Dez Bryant, who beat down his own mom. No video, still has a job and about to sign a massive new contract. We could do this for hours, fact is the NFL only cares about this stuff to the extent that it gets bad publicity or crosses over into the mainstream out of the ESPNiverse, and only then acts in reaction, at the last possible moment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing

There is literally no universe where this is true.


Except ours, where he was fired when it was exposed that Rice's wife and Rice lied about the incident.

Try our universe next time?
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:44 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


The knee jerk reactions to all of this is puke-worthy.

If you're talking about your own reaction in this thread then I concur.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:44 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


Maybe Michael Vick could throw him some passes.


Great example. Given the timing of his sentence and reinstatement, he was effectively suspended for two games. His actual suspension was for far longer. So, in the absence of video evidence, the league is more protective of pit bulls than it is of women of color.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Except ours, where he was fired when it was exposed that Rice's wife and Rice lied about the incident.

Try our universe next time?


Dude, if, as is conventionally believed, they have had this video for months, the NFL and the Ravens were both in the wrong. He should have been released on the first domestic violence charge. No matter what.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2014


uraniumwilly - it does not matter at all what they were told (by the abused woman standing next to her abuser, don't forget that part) - they had the tape. they acted today because of pr, not because they suddenly understood the weight of it.

Not to my knowledge. If you have information that the Ravens and the NFL had the tape, please enlighten me and i will join the chorus of condemnation.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2014


by all means, some of you people, condemn everyone and everywhere you can point a finger.

Yeah. We should probably hold off on our condemnation until we have some really irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing. Like, maybe video of the alleged perpetrator beating the living hell out of his wife. That would probably be strong enough evidence for us to point our fingers.
posted by Mayor West at 12:45 PM on September 8, 2014 [21 favorites]


Well OK, but then there's Dez Bryant, who beat down his own mom. No video, still has a job and about to sign a massive new contract. We could do this for hours, fact is the NFL only cares about this stuff to the extent that it gets bad publicity or crosses over into the mainstream out of the ESPNiverse, and only then acts in reaction, at the last possible moment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:43 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


Don't get me wrong, I know what you mean but I think Brandon Marshall was not the best example.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


And yes, the NFL and Ravens management was told the fight was mutual. The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing, but by all means, some of you people, condemn everyone and everywhere you can point a finger.

Hey, I hear the NFL has a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Vomit cake is right. The knee jerk reactions to all of this is puke-worthy.

Somebody's reaction is puke-worthy, yes.
posted by kmz at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


if she took the stand and said "yes, he beat the shit out of me" and he got suspended, then she stood to either lose millions of dollars

or, you know, she understood how dangerous it is to leave an abusive partner.
because we victims know something you usually don't: It's incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she's gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose.
posted by nadawi at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [54 favorites]


Dude, if, as is conventionally believed, they have had this video for months, the NFL and the Ravens were both in the wrong. He should have been released on the first domestic violence charge. No matter what.

Agreed, if... If that's true it's a scandal of monumental proportions.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2014


by all means, some of you people, condemn everyone and everywhere you can point a finger.

Yeah. We should probably hold off on our condemnation until we have some really irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing. Like, maybe video of the alleged perpetrator beating the living hell out of his wife. That would probably be strong enough evidence for us to point our fingers.


You think the Ravens and the NFL would have access to the tape and risk everything just for the sake of Rice?

Cause, that's what you all are saying.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014


Not to my knowledge. If you have information that the Ravens and the NFL had the tape, please enlighten me and i will join the chorus of condemnation.

read the fpp. specifically, this link.
posted by nadawi at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


And yes, the NFL and Ravens management was told the fight was mutual. The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing,

I don't have an argument there, given the information at the time. BUT, they had to know there was additional cameras, unless they were in utter denial. The fact that they didn't wait until all the evidence was available is... Odd.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014


roomthreeseventeen: "The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing

There is literally no universe where this is true.
"

It it true right here in North America. As of today, Rice has been cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the league. That is pretty much all that can be done to him in the NFL short of cutting off his balls.

This of course assumes that the NFL is accurate in saying they did not have access to the video before today. If they did, then while they did finally do the right thing, there should be all sorts of repercussions for the NFL including Roger Goodell being fired or resigning.
posted by 724A at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014


I don't think anyone can say with certainty that the NFL saw the video. I don't really believe anybody at this point, but my gut says that the two game suspension would have been much more severe if they had.

Goodell is far from perfect, but currently most fans are angry at him for his efforts to extend suspensions and reduce violence in the game.

I'm not blind to the fact that he is protecting this gigantic money making enterprise, but on the personal conduct side of things, he's the strictest commissioner in league history.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm really curious to see how hard the MNF crew is going to work to protect the shield tonight. Maybe they'll start wearing pink early?
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Didn't the first video, that's been out all this time, show him dragging her by her hair?

I don't care what she said after that, while still living with the man she is clearly being terrorized by. ISIS's victims say what they're told, as well, right before they get their heads cut off.

The fear beaten partners have of leaving or standing up to their abusers is excessively well-documented. There is no excuse for not taking that first video seriously, or pressuring his wife into saying what they wanted to hear.
posted by emjaybee at 12:49 PM on September 8, 2014 [26 favorites]


And yes, the NFL and Ravens management was told the fight was mutual. The NFL did the right thing. The Ravens did the right thing, but by all means, some of you people, condemn everyone and everywhere you can point a finger.
posted by uraniumwilly


The NFL and Ravens did the right thing only after this video showed how bad their initial thing was.

Given the option of distancing themselves from Rice, or at least remaining dispassionate and allowing the process to play out, Baltimore decided to double down on how awesome he was. Not only that, they figured putting an abused woman next to her abuser in front of the press to soak up blame was a good idea, and they promoted her coerced admissions.

Roger Goodell decided to issue a laughably soft penalty, then send his flunkies into the media to talk about how tough he was on Rice. The entirely deserved backlash led him to make a big show about tougher penalties on domestic abusers, even though it wasn't something he couldn't have done before.

And now this. The NFL, Ravens, and Goodell all assumed that they could brush this example of domestic assault under the rug and that coming down harshly would negatively impact their brand. They were so, so wrong, and they are irreparably damaged for it. But for all the heat, scorn, and vitriol coming their way today, they're still better off than Janay Rice.

And that fucking sucks.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 12:51 PM on September 8, 2014 [22 favorites]


seriously, y'all, read the deadspin link - do you think the reporters just made up that they were told about the second tape? that they just all conjured that information out of thin air (and made up that the ravens and the nfl after seeing the tape said it was basically no biggie)? please.
posted by nadawi at 12:51 PM on September 8, 2014


The deadspin article linked in the post makes a strong case that the NFL either had and saw the tape or they lied about having seen the tape to reporters at the time. It is highly likely they are either lying today, or lied previously to justify the actions taken.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:52 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think "the video" is 2 videos. One is the one where she was dragged out of the elevator. The other is the one that we all saw today.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2014


Well, like eriko said: money. It's always about money. Rice stood to make tens of millions of dollars on his deal with the Ravens; if she took the stand and said "yes, he beat the shit out of me" and he got suspended, then she stood to either lose millions of dollars in household income (if she stayed with his despicable self) or millions of dollars in divorce settlement. So she stood up and accepted blame for having her professional-athlete husband publicly assault her.

This is beyond disgusting that you would accuse her of being a gold digger. Women have lots of reasons for not testifying against their abusers.
posted by desjardins at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2014 [50 favorites]


...but shit like this is what is going to turn me off the game someday.

What would it take?

As someone who never really liked football but likes sports generally, I found it pretty easy to give up watching football after Junior Seau's suicide. But I was really only missing the easy small talk among friends and co-workers. Back then I didn't really expect other people to give up watching football.

But everything has really added up...NFL's bizarre priorities (lax on domestic abuse, draconian on weed), the racist team name, player exploitation by the NCAA, pretty much everything else the NCAA does, the NFL being complicit with the NCAA, NFL team wage theft from cheerleaders, etc.

Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.
posted by mullacc at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


The fact that they didn't wait until all the evidence was available is... Odd.

The NFL tends act once there is either a plea deal or a verdict in a criminal investigation. This seems to be its basic MO; once there is a verdict or a plea, however the league rules is more likely to stand up under the CBA. They just whiffed on this one, and the Ravens chose wrong in doubling down on Rice.
posted by graymouser at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2014


I think it's possible the Ravens saw the video but not the NFL head office. They, as a franchise, stood to lose the services of one of their best players. If the Ravens had a hand in concealing it, the penalties should be enormous.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:54 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Peter King's statement was that he relied on the word of a reliable source. Even reliable sources are sometimes wrong.

No one is coming out of this smelling like roses, but to the extent you can correct a wrong, and the way the NFL and the Ravens handled this originally is so so wrong, they should and they did.
posted by 724A at 12:55 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


there are 2 videos and according to the deadspin link (seriously! read it!) at least part of the league office and the ravens office saw both (or lied about seeing both, which really makes no sense).
posted by nadawi at 12:56 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.

I think if it turns out that if the Ravens people and the NFL did see or know about it, then yes. But these people aren't stupid, they realize the risks to their org - and the money angle surrounding Rice just does not wash. They would cut Rice first before risking such a scandal. It's a no brainer.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:57 PM on September 8, 2014


Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.

I don't think so. For one thing, fantasy football seems to get more and more popular every year.
posted by girlmightlive at 12:59 PM on September 8, 2014


What would it take?

Honestly? I don't know. I grew up with the NFL, with an NFL fan for a Dad. My kids watch with me on Sunday. I sit next to a wall with a 4' tall Lions helmet vinyl stuck to it, and a life-size cardboard cutout of Ndamukong Suh watches over my shoulder.

My wife knows that when the Lions are playing, I'm available for emergencies only, and rewinding it on the PVR is not the same as watching it live. I'll also have my laptop out, chatting with a few hundred like-minded fans on the forum that I moderate. If the Lions win, I'm smiles and sunshine all week. If they lose, I need to cool down before talking to other humans.

I have Honolulu Blue and Silver coursing through my veins and a vast collection of Jerseys, both HOFers and draft busts alike, overflowing my closet. I don't even live in the US for gods sake.

I *am* the NFLs target market. The fact that I am even questioning my passion right now is a very bad sign for the league.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [15 favorites]


I think if it turns out that if the Ravens people and the NFL did see or know about it, then yes. But these people aren't stupid, they realize the risks to their org

Risks to their organization? You might actually be coming from another universe. The NFL has a major franchise named for a racial slur, blithely maims its players, and employs the services of plenty of people who've done things as bad as Ray Rice. They know how to make these calculations; it's just that they're are incredibly unlikely to face any consequences whatsoever.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [19 favorites]


For me, Ray should have already been kicked out of the league when the initial video surfaced. The punches, and his whole demeanor toward her (her body as she was unconscious) was just repulsive.
posted by cashman at 1:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


>>Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.

I don't think so. For one thing, fantasy football seems to get more and more popular every year.


er...maybe I misused the word 'expect' or just intended a different definition of the word. What I meant is that I think true fans have a duty to think hard about giving up the sport.
posted by mullacc at 1:03 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


the ravens and the nfl just thought the 2nd video wouldn't get out and they calculated their response (and their smearing of janay) on that. they make these calculations all the time and they're usually right. this time the evidence actually got out.
posted by nadawi at 1:03 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's a no brainer.

You may well be from another universe if you've never been exposed to people who have done something incalculably stupid. In this one, it happens all the time, especially when there's money and fame in the equation.
posted by Etrigan at 1:03 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Risks to their organization? You might actually be coming from another universe. The NFL has a major franchise named for a racial slur, blithely maims its players, and employs the services of plenty of people who've done things as bad as Ray Rice. They know how to make these calculations; it's just that they're are incredibly unlikely to face any consequences whatsoever.
I agree somewhat. I hate the name "redskins." I saw a woman wearing a Redskins shirt yesterday and, really just couldn't believe it. The rest of the stuff about maiming and all the stuff about employing people as bad as Ray Rice doesn't add up to the kind of scandal this is. A huge portion of the players are sound, admirable athletes.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:04 PM on September 8, 2014


there are 2 videos and according to the deadspin link (seriously! read it!) at least part of the league office and the ravens office saw both (or lied about seeing both, which really makes no sense).

Yeah, for real. Peter King has backtracked on this, but he's only one of, like, three reporters to have said something similar.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:04 PM on September 8, 2014


Additionally, look at this dude. That's the arm he swung with.
posted by cashman at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is it just me, or is it fucked that TMZ posted this video without the victim's consent. The entire world is now gawking at what may be the most brutal and humiliating event in her life.

I am having a real hard time with this mental calculation. I disagree sort of with the assessment of "humiliating" in the sense that under no circumstances should it be humiliating to be victimized this way. Nobody should feel shame that a violent asshole hurt them. I'm aware that this is easy to say and hard to live. We all culturally have a fucked up outlook on what it means for our own egos to be violated this way.

But the question of whether this video should be out in the world being entirely controlled by what she wants... man, can I get cloned so I can have one of me firmly agree with this and the other me firmly think that it's the Right Thing for the world to know what this man did to another human being, and could possibly do to others? Because holding both these thoughts at the same time in one head is really hard.
posted by phearlez at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


A huge portion of the players are sound, admirable athletes.

#NotAllFootballPlayers
posted by desjardins at 1:06 PM on September 8, 2014 [40 favorites]


I am glad the Ravens and the NFL did the right thing, but that does not excuse the victim-blaming and shaming done after the first video was released.

I too am afraid for Janay Rice today.

And don't read the comments on the Ravens' Facebook page unless you really want to vomit.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:08 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Is it just me, or is it fucked that TMZ posted this video without the victim's consent.

The Revictimizing of Janay Rice, written by Dave Zirin
posted by nadawi at 1:08 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


I suspect that this will end in a murder-suicide for the Rices, and the people who act shocked about these things will act like its a shock that another woman has been murdered.
posted by OmieWise at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Probably the same way they got the Jay Z vs. Solange video: they paid somebody off to the tune of several years' worth of salary to make up for them losing their job when their employer tracked it back to them.

I have a little bit of a problem with TMZ being portrayed as an angel of justice, so I just want to point out that they do a lot more than just pay for content; they sit on videos and threaten to run negative campaigns behind-the-scenes, and use that to pressure people into providing access. How long has TMZ had this video is a question you probably don't want answered.

I don't fully understand why the NFL or the Ravens went to bat for Ray Rice in the first place, especially considering how player-unfriendly the League is, and that is a question that I'm sure has a complicated answer and I'm dying to have addressed by an insider. I can't wrap my mind around the type of sentencing Michael Vick got, and the pass Rice has received with video of his fiancé spilling out of an elevator. Why would you even lean towards keeping a guy like this in a "next man up" environment?

The only answer I can come up with is that the NFL is knowingly aware that "redemption stories" keep people interested in the product, and they were hoping Rice, who otherwise seemed like a "really nice guy" in a superficial sense, would come around. That NFL justice is, unsurprisingly, not only all about the money, but about creating story lines that keep people engaged.

The fact that we have to see a fist connect with a jaw to "get it" says a lot about domestic violence. "Oh, now he's for sure suspended" - that is a crazy message to send to the public. I still have trouble reconciling Ray's public anti-bullying campaign with how he treated his wife. But if this sends a message to other would-be perpetrators that women are not sub-human, then by God, it's worth it.
posted by phaedon at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ray Rice: In My Defense, I Am a Monster (Clickhole/Onion)
posted by scody at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Peter King at MMQB initially reported that the NFL had seen the tape but the league subsequently claimed that it had not. He doesn't come right out and say it but he comes across as skeptical.
posted by tommasz at 1:09 PM on September 8, 2014


Given the video evidence, why were charges against Ray Rice dropped? I don't see why it was necessary for Janay to press charges.

From May 20: Deferral of prosecution depending on completion of a program
Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program Tuesday to avoid aggravated assault charges against his now-wife, Janay Palmer.

“This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation,” acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain told the Press of Atlantic City.

“After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law, it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”

Once the program is completed — which takes place over the course of one year — Rice will not be convicted of third-degree aggravated assault. The arrest, however, will remain on his record.
posted by phearlez at 1:10 PM on September 8, 2014


I'm done with the NFL. This is the rant I posted on my FB feed this morning:

I’ve been a fan of the NFL since high school, but during the past few years it has become increasingly harder for me to ignore all of the fucked-up shit about the league and just enjoy the games. This morning I watched a video of the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in the face so hard that she falls back, hits her head on an elevator railing and passes out. He was only suspended for two games, but even before that the Ravens’ official Twitter account saw fit to quote Palmer saying she deeply regretted “the role that she played in the incident” and pundits in the media earnestly discussed whether Palmer was at least partially to blame for the assault. The NFL is now claiming they had not seen this video – just the one where he drags her out of the elevator after knocking her out cold - when they decided on his punishment, but this is a lie. The NFL also has a long, documented history of sheltering domestic abusers and systematic shoddy treatment of female employees, and it only donates a tiny fraction of the money it makes selling pink merchandise during its yearly “Breast Cancer Awareness” initiative to actual breast cancer research.

Then there’s all the other stuff. The league dragged its feet on research into the effect repeated concussions have on players, attempted to discredit doctors whose findings clashed with the NFL’s official position (which was “everything’s cool”) and then made a lowball offer on thousands of concussion-related lawsuits filed by former players, who accepted because that was the only way they’d see any money before they died. When the billionaire owners decide it’s time to build new stadiums (some of which are replacing buildings that aren’t even 20 years old), billions in taxpayer dollars and land subsidies are given away to the same owners who are too cheap to provide proper health care for these former players, many of whom die (or kill themselves) in poverty and misery. The Washington Redskins are still named the Washington Redskins. And so on.

So, like I said, I’m done. If I need something to eat chips and sleep to during Sunday afternoons I can always watch golf.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [34 favorites]


It's a no brainer.

You may well be from another universe if you've never been exposed to people who have done something incalculably stupid. In this one, it happens all the time, especially when there's money and fame in the equation.


You must realize this involves the collusion of the Ravens and the NFL, their lying would be risking a hugely damning scandal vs simply cutting Rice. What money are you talking about?
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:11 PM on September 8, 2014


This is beyond disgusting that you would accuse her of being a gold digger. Women have lots of reasons for not testifying against their abusers.

My apologies; I didn't mean to imply that. I was trying to speculate on one of a thousand reasons she might have stood up at that press conference (which is one of the most surreal things I've seen in recent memory), but on re-reading what I wrote, it comes out really victim-blamey. Not at all what I wanted to imply about her, and I really hope she's OK.
posted by Mayor West at 1:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [15 favorites]


> He doesn't come right out and say it but he comes across as skeptical.

This is as critical of the NFL as Peter King will ever get.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


#NotAllFootballPlayers
posted by desjardins at 3:06 PM on September 8 [7 favorites +] [!]


At the very least, after the extent of the assault was revealed other NFL players started speaking out against him. It's not much but in the closely knit realm of hyper macho NFL players it's something we haven't really seen before.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:15 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


uraniumwilly: You must realize this involves the collusion of the Ravens and the NFL, their lying would be risking a hugely damning scandal vs simply cutting Rice. What money are you talking about?

There's a thread directly upstairs from this one involving another scandal that was hugely damning vs. simply parting ways with the offender. Humans often miscalculate risk based on incomplete information, not to mention a complete lack of concern for the moral implications of looking the other way.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:15 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the subject of the thoroughness of the NFL's venality: Does Watching the NFL Make You Evil? by Jeb Lund (Twitter's @Mobute):
Given its indifference toward women and racism, its eagerness to plunder public coffers and its outright economic and medical hostility toward its own labor force, it is flabbergasting that any of us remain fans of the NFL at all. It’s a game of on-the-field supermen managed and exploited with all the “superman” sociopathy of Wall Street-Silicon Valley vulture capital neofascism. The one thing the NFL hasn’t figured out how to do yet is compel fans to download a $159 app, the only purpose of which is to tell them they’re fungible, fired and that both their job and satellite feed has been outsourced to a bare wall in a 50,000-square-foot maquiladora in order to free job creators from their shackles.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


uraniumwilly - you said if you saw information about the ravens and nfl having the tape ahead of time you'd condemn them - what mental gymnastics are you doing to disregard the multiple people saying they were told the ravens and the league saw the second tape and used that to decide on the slap on the wrist for rice?
posted by nadawi at 1:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not blind to the fact that he is protecting this gigantic money making enterprise, but on the personal conduct side of things, he's the strictest commissioner in league history.

He's exactly as strict as the Players Association and other forces demand that he be. His tombstone will read "Chickenshit," and the only reason I don't necessarily want him fired is because whatever bootlick the owners instate after him will probably only be worse.

uraniumwilly: tRice was a superstar franchise player for the Ravens, who just retired their previous franchise player (another dude named Ray who will go down in history more for off-the-field awfulness than anything else.) There was a huge financial interest in covering this up and soft-peddling it for as long as that would be possible, and with all the other times players get into these scandals, the NFL has learned that blowing it off or pretending that a two-game-suspension is being tough, well, they had every reason to think they could get away with it now.

Reporters are saying they saw the second tape. We're never going to have the time machine to take you back and show you them watching it, and the NFL is never going to admit having watched it, because that's how lying for PR works.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:18 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's a thread directly upstairs from this one involving another scandal that was hugely damning vs. simply parting ways with the offender. Humans often miscalculate risk based on incomplete information, not to mention a complete lack of concern for the moral implications of looking the other way.

I think that's a really interesting point. One wonders how the shame component alongside the homosexual stuff fits into this scenario.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:20 PM on September 8, 2014


What would it take? [...] Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.

I'm a woman, a feminist. I'm a football fan. I have been a football fan longer than I've been a feminist, actually, if only because I was acquainted with football before I knew what feminism was: I grew up in the shadow of an NFL stadium (almost literally). Here's the thing. The world is so shitty to women in general that I've long given the NFL a pass for being lousy to women on every level, from being shitty to the cheerleaders to wanting cookies for paying lipservice to breast cancer awareness, just because I enjoy watching football. If everything is shitty I might as well be having fun, right? But that video makes me feel physically ill. That the NFL and the Ravens had this information and didn't do anything about it until the video was leaked is abhorrent. Am I still going to watch football next week? I don't know. I appreciate that the NFL has a stricter policy about domestic violence. I am glad that Rice is out of the league but "indefinitely" to the NFL isn't the regular definition of indefinitely. As eriko said, in six weeks it will either be lifted or he'll be actually banned. Six weeks is a long time, and I wouldn't put it past the NFL to quietly lift the ban.

My team hasn't made the playoffs since I was 14 and I still watch every week so yeah, I'm a true fan. And yes, I am thinking hard about giving up the sport.
posted by troika at 1:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


Maybe if there was a video of them watching the video.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [20 favorites]


He's done, and I couldn't be happier about it.

Remember how Michael Vick got to come back? I don't think Ray Rice can pet enough women's heads to repeat that accomplishment.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:22 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


One wonders how the shame component alongside the homosexual stuff fits into this scenario.

I don't really understand this statement but I am sure your explanation of it won't make me an iota more inclined to agree with whatever it is supposed to mean, based on this thread so far.
posted by phearlez at 1:22 PM on September 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


I am glad that Rice is out of the league but "indefinitely" to the NFL isn't the regular definition of indefinitely. As eriko said, in six weeks it will either be lifted or he'll be actually banned. Six weeks is a long time, and I wouldn't put it past the NFL to quietly lift the ban.
posted by troika at 3:20 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


Consider the reaction to his two game ban without this video evidence. If Goodell reinstates Rice it would be a huge, huge PR mistake. Goodell, on average, doesn't make those.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


uraniumwilly: Rice was a superstar franchise player for the Ravens, who just retired their previous franchise player (another dude named Ray who will go down in history more for off-the-field awfulness than anything else.) There was a huge financial interest in covering this up and soft-peddling it for as long as that would be possible, and with all the other times players get into these scandals, the NFL has learned that blowing it off or pretending that a two-game-suspension is being tough, well, they had every reason to think they could get away with it now.

I don't think there was a combined effort of the NFL bigwigs and the Ravens to hide the fact that this video existed for the sake of the financial gain you describe. The hit both organization would take if this evidence was in their possession is so much greater than what $ Rice potentially brings to the Ravens.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2014


I do wonder about how this will play out for the women in these kinds of cases. If the league does get serious about throwing out players who beat their wives and girlfriends, I wonder if that will just prevent the women even more from seeking help/pressing charges/etc. I mean, it is clearly the right thing for the league to do, and sends the correct message to the public that domestic violence is, like, actually socially disapproved, even if you are a big bad dude with a lot of money. But I just wonder about this paradox of how to apply punishments for domestic violence in a way that makes it most likely for victims to report/get help.

I find it hard to even begin to imagine the headspace a woman is in where she would not only defend him but marry him after this. (I'm not saying she's bad, I'm saying it is a hard mindset to reason about in the abstract, so it's hard for me to imagine how to encourage her to get help.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]


Six weeks is a long time, and I wouldn't put it past the NFL to quietly lift the ban.

Six weeks is just the right amount of time for Goodell to say that they were hamstrung by these previous policies and agreements and for Rice to use his UFA status to sign with somebody like Oakland who doesn't care about image anyway.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2014


The tweet in which she expressed her regret for her part in it has been deleted, FWIW.
posted by jbickers at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2014


The hit both organization would take if this evidence was in their possession is so much greater than what $ Rice potentially brings to the Ravens.

You have honestly never come across anyone who doesn't do risk-reward calculations well?
posted by Etrigan at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Six weeks is a long time, and I wouldn't put it past the NFL to quietly lift the ban.

"Quietly" doesn't factor into it. This is a high-profile player involved in a high-profile case. The NFL can't sneak him back onto the field, and if he can't play, no team will bother.
posted by Etrigan at 1:26 PM on September 8, 2014


My team hasn't made the playoffs since I was 14 and I still watch every week so yeah, I'm a true fan. And yes, I am thinking hard about giving up the sport.

Several men and women I know (including me) have expressed this opinion. It just keeps getting worse: knowledge of concussions, Richie Incognito's bullying, this, I mean, I enjoy watching football (not as much as many of my friends but I do enjoy it and I own a Bears jersey and everything) but I just don't think I can do it anymore.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:26 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Six weeks is just the right amount of time for Goodell to say that they were hamstrung by these previous policies and agreements and for Rice to use his UFA status to sign with somebody like Oakland who doesn't care about image anyway.

I honestly resent this remark. Yes the Raiders had a (shitty, stupid) coach who beat his wife. But I don't think it's fair to say that we'll just take on wife-beaters as a general rule. I want Rice nowhere near the Raiders. Our receiving crew isn't perfect, but we're building into something, and suggesting that we'd take Ray Rice as a short-term deal just because we're OK with domestic violence rankles.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:33 PM on September 8, 2014


There's a pizzeria in Baltimore (on Light Street) that is giving away pizza in exchange for Ray Rice jerseys, according to their Facebook posts;

Dear Lovers of Women, Not Hitting Women, Non Violence and Just Generally Being a Good Person,
Come trade your Ray Rice Ravens Jersey in for a free pizza at Hersh's. These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week.
‪#‎CutRayRice‬

posted by newdaddy at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2014 [62 favorites]


what happened in the video doesn't match what they were told had happened.

I don't really follow the NFL in the off season and even I knew that there was video of him punching her unconscious. Somebody performed active coverup activity here and I would be very very surprised if Ray Rice is the only guy who gets fired this week.
posted by bukvich at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2014


You know, rugby is a fun sport to watch...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Doublewhiskeycokenoice: totally fair and I apologize. I was really thinking of the Raiders' sort of "outlaw" image but you're right and I don't wish Rice on them. Mea culpa.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:38 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am sure that, if they can, some team will pick him up during next year's offseason and attempt a Michael Vick-esque redemption narrative.

The Michael Vick redemption narrative is basically true. After serving his legal penalty, he's employed and lived a more-or-less upstanding life ever since. The only bad part of his post-prison life, as far as I can tell, is that it's not true for millions of other ex-cons trying to move on, and then we act baffled (or blame, not very accurately, the drug war) for why we have such a horrendous problem with our prison population. I don't think "overabundance of second chances" is a real pressing problem in America today.


Mike Vick matured as a person, I'm pretty convinced. I've talked about this before on Mefi a lot, a thread here made me go vegetarian cause I had to somehow balance the karma of being a fanatical Eagles supporter and cheering on a despicable person who hurt animals. As time went on and Vick seemed to be doing the right thing at least as a PR campaign my argument was that he deserved a break because and hadn't given anybody a justification yet to decide he was faking it.

At this point though, he looks like a man who saw hell and reformed himself and matured. You don't sustain a PR facade this long. I bet one of his biggest regrets is that he was unable to do that earlier and save his brother Marcus from sabotaging his own career.

I don't know as much about Rice as a player or a person. He deserves jail time. He deserves a long suspension time. I do think he deserves a second chance on a short rope, because he is a human being and like Vick sometimes people change.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:38 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


One wonders how the shame component alongside the homosexual stuff fits into this scenario.

I don't really understand this statement but I am sure your explanation of it won't make me an iota more inclined to agree with whatever it is supposed to mean, based on this thread so far.


You're right. I was way off. I had understood the story to be sex abuse between the coach and college players, not boys. My mistake.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's strange to me that this moment – the moment when the NFL has been forced to do what it should have done a month and a half ago – is getting people talking about giving up the sport. I would've understood it better before, rather than after, the indefinite suspension announcement. I was still upset about the initial suspension and I'm not sure if I would've been able to watch a game with Ray Rice in it if he had come back from the slap on the wrist. I would not support his reinstatement at any time. But I am not thinking about giving up on the sport, and I think some of the piling-on is gratuitous.

I'm not going to say that the NFL did any less that horribly botch the initial ruling on the suspension. It should've been a lifetime ban from the word go. But I think the whole "giving up the sport" talk is tarring people who don't deserve it with the same brush.

I don't love the shield. I don't love the owners or the hype machine or the corruption that everyone knows is there. But I do love the players and the sport, and they are better than Ray Rice.
posted by graymouser at 1:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I find it hard to even begin to imagine the headspace a woman is in where she would not only defend him but marry him after this.

It's really simple; she's imprisoned by his violence. If he wants to get married, she dare not say no. He probably isn't violent 24/7 either; like most abusers, he probably is really nice sometimes, but never predictably, just enough to keep gaslighting her. So she spends a lot of time afraid, a lot of time confused, and probably a lot of time just trying not to think about how shitty it is, or pretending things are ok for others.

That's all gone now, which is why I really need the media to step up and find out if she's safe right now.
posted by emjaybee at 1:52 PM on September 8, 2014 [23 favorites]


Pure speculation, this, but personally I don't find it terribly implausible that the league saw the 2nd video and gave him a two game slap on the wrist....all that needs recalibration is your understanding of their mentality. That is, don't ask yourself what you would do , if you'd seen it. Or what a normal person would do. Ask yourself what a ruthless, sexist bastard would do, to protect their own? Here's a guy who's spent the past however many years happily tousling the heads of school children for your in-house charity, a guy who's telling you about this terrible mistake he made and that he's very sorry, and that she started it, and it was a moment of madness, and that his wife has forgiven him (and is willing to stand at a podium and say so) and whose coach is either hinting or saying that they'd very much like this vital part of their organisation back on the field ASAP....after all, there's been a hundred scandals like this before and they've all blown over....

Hubris, of course. Classic. And also a kind of ...gridiron tower, I guess? Out of touch with the real world, with how far they've drifted from what ordinary people consider right and wrong? Presuming that they can't have seen the tape, because anyone who saw would have realized how terrible it was...that's the error. I think it's entirely possible they could have seen it and not realized how terrible it was. I can think of at least five current or former NFL players accused of murder off the top of my head. Including the Baltimore Raven's Ray Lewis, whose retirement last year was close to a canonisation.
posted by Diablevert at 1:52 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]




But I do love the players and the sport, and they are better than Ray Rice.

I get it, I do, but as I mentioned up thread this isn't the only issue; my husband and I have already agreed we would never let one of our kids play football knowing what we know now even though my brother played and loved it and was captain of our high school team. I see the value of sports and I get liking football. I understand saying "I love the players" but their minds and bodies and lives are being destroyed by playing this game and I think there are a lot of people (although maybe it's just people I know) struggling with how to justify watching football at all.

If this were the only thing that had happened I'd be appalled but I might well keep watching. These revelations on top of the knowledge that the players, the people actually working hard at the game, are being destroyed by it is almost definitely too much for me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:58 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Pure speculation, this, but personally I don't find it terribly implausible that the league saw the 2nd video and gave him a two day slap on the wrist...

I'm pretty confident we're going to find out whether or not this information was made available to both the Ravens and the NFL.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:59 PM on September 8, 2014


If you are a praying person, pray for that woman tonight.

She was and is in a no win situation. No matter what the league and the team did or did not do, does or does not do, she is screwed because of her HUSBAND'S actions.


It would be totally illegal but sometimes I think the best way to handle this stuff is to have his coworkers beat the everloving crap out of him when this happened and to do it again if he ever laid another finger on her. (But as we say in the churchy world, that's my flesh talking.) But yes, the fact that this may very well have ended his career, and the almost certainty that he will blame her instead of himself for this......she needs to go hide out somewhere for a very long time.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


The league dragged its feet on research into the effect repeated concussions have on players,

maybe they should also do some research on the effect of repeated concussions on player's wives. Not all elevators have cameras...
posted by any major dude at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


But we let Ray Rice get away with domestic abuse until it did.

That article says and implies that until this morning, most fans were off rationalizing away the NFL's actions, instead of clamoring that they had given Rice a slap on the wrist. But hell, even in the mostly-kept NFL media there were articles like Ravens fans should boo Ray Rice. Decent people who follow football were trying to figure out how to deal with this total botch on the part of the league. The leak forced the league's hand and resolved that particular part of the problem.
posted by graymouser at 2:07 PM on September 8, 2014


Now that I have gone back and actually watched the video? That man's butt needs to be in jail. I am just as freaked out about how cold his actions seemed after she was knocked out.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm an NFL fan so I'm not trying to pick on them, but almost every comment about Rice getting a slap on the wrist was paired with, "compared to this guy who failed a drug test." It was more about the drug policy being dumb than straight up the ball was dropped on Rice. That said, yeah the fan attitude was that the two game suspension was ridiculously light.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:11 PM on September 8, 2014


But I think the whole "giving up the sport" talk is tarring people who don't deserve it with the same brush.

Sooner or later any boycott, personal or organized, has a negative impact on people who are not the bad actors. A company treating workers poorly is still providing them jobs. A repressive regime has citizens who depend on trade to make their livings or thrive. You can make your own personal judgments about what is too little or too much collateral damage - grodd knows I have condemned the US's embargo of Cuba, for example, despite thinking the Castro regime is a bad one. But change has never come without some pain, and not all of it falls on the unjust.
posted by phearlez at 2:15 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hubris, of course. Classic. And also a kind of ...gridiron tower, I guess? Out of touch with the real world, with how far they've drifted from what ordinary people consider right and wrong?

I'm going to suggest the term "ivory stadium".
posted by Tsuga at 2:18 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think a boycott fixes anything about the NFL. It's far too big to be pressured from the outside, but as an extremely image conscious organization it is possible to force it into the right direction from within the fandom.
posted by graymouser at 2:21 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just read on the NYT comments a point about how the police, we must assume, saw this video. And they didn't press charges - regardless of his wife's preference for not testifying? That's pretty outrageous.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:24 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


#SportsBadBecauseSomeBad
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:50 PM on September 8 [+] [!]


Dude. Just don't.
posted by tzikeh at 2:27 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm going to suggest the term "ivory stadium".

How about "ivory skybox"?
posted by ogooglebar at 2:32 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


uraniumwilly, many police prosecutors won't bother with domestic violence cases where the victim refuses to testify. It's definitely not common for charges to be pursued without the cooperation of the victim, though it does happen occasionally.
posted by truex at 2:37 PM on September 8, 2014


And they didn't press charges - regardless of his wife's preference for not testifying? That's pretty outrageous.

I had thought he was arrested but entered pre-trial diversion.
posted by KathrynT at 2:37 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


yep - charges were pressed, he got pre-trial diversion. now, one can ask why that was allowed to happen, but the answer is probably some combination of first offense (well, caught, anyway), big money lawyers, the smear campaign against janay (and her involvement in that campaign), and his fame.
posted by nadawi at 2:40 PM on September 8, 2014


And they didn't press charges - regardless of his wife's preference for not testifying? That's pretty outrageous.

I had thought he was arrested but entered pre-trial diversion.


I just found this: The DA pressed charges, but "Rice’s lawyers negotiated and got the charges dropped in exchange for him entering that program. Possibly influenced by the fact that his fiancee was going to be especially helpful in moving forward with charged."
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:40 PM on September 8, 2014


I'm with St. Alia on this one. I expected the video to be bad. I didn't expect him to haul his girlfriend's body like it was so much meat, dump her face down on concrete, and then leave her half-in half-out of the elevator like that. When he moves to fix it, after what seems like forever, it's only made worse when he dumps her head back into the elevator doors, and my not-so-tiny fear that the doors are going to close on her RAMPS THE HELL UP. He could not have cared less that he might have just delivered a serious head and neck injury, or that he might be making it worse.
posted by instead of three wishes at 2:40 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


People with video recordings have power? Not in Indiana...
posted by qcubed at 2:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


uraniumwilly: I just read on the NYT comments a point about how the police, we must assume, saw this video. And they didn't press charges - regardless of his wife's preference for not testifying? That's pretty outrageous.

They did.

From Wikipedia:
On February 15, 2014, Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer were arrested and charged with assault after a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Celebrity news website TMZ posted a video of Rice dragging Palmer's body out of an elevator after apparently knocking her out.[15] The Ravens issued a statement following TMZ's release of the video, calling Rice's domestic violence arrest a "serious matter". The matter is being handled by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.[16]

On March 27, 2014, a grand jury indicted Rice on third-degree aggravated assault, with a possible jail sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000.
After that the Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain admitted Rice into the Pre-Trial Intervention program, which would allow him to avoid a trial by entering voluntarily into counseling and such.
posted by tittergrrl at 2:42 PM on September 8, 2014


I don't think a boycott fixes anything about the NFL.

Personally I'm not interested in fixing the NFL. I think the problem is that football is just unsafe, especially at the elite level. Any governing body that supports football has to promote the macho warrior BS. No surprise then that the NFL also fucks up in other areas too.

Boxing has the same problem. I used to be a big fan--I think it can be a beautiful sport. But ultimately I came to the conclusion that we shouldn't watch men destroy each other's brains for entertainment.
posted by mullacc at 2:45 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Football with robots. That's the future. Go, team!
posted by newdaddy at 2:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Personally I'm not interested in fixing the NFL.

If it turns out the NFL had this video and didn't immediately suspend Rice, then the NFL needs hardcore boycotting, at least until a new regime is put into place with a new policy.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Until the robots start protesting.
posted by newdaddy at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2014


Does rugby have this problem?

While I'm not a big fan, I am a fan of the culture (at an amateur level) as I've seen it; people rough-house the hell out of each other on the field and then all go to the clubhouse and drink together. The comradery (that I've seen) in the sport seems pretty awesome.
posted by el io at 2:50 PM on September 8, 2014


instead of three wishes: “I'm with St. Alia on this one. I expected the video to be bad. I didn't expect him to haul his girlfriend's body like it was so much meat, dump her face down on concrete, and then leave her half-in half-out of the elevator like that.”

It's probably worth noting that we already had video of this part. TMZ posted a video from outside the elevator back on February 19th. So there was no doubt whatsoever that he somehow rendered her unconscious and ended up dragging her out of the elevator in what can only be called a rather rough manner.

Pogo_Fuzzybutt: “The NFL claims to have not seen the video until today and that what happened in the video doesn't match what they were told had happened. You can be your own judge of how credible that is, but that is the stated reason.”

So – if the NFL is telling the truth, and they hadn't seen the second (in-elevator) video until today, then Ray Rice apparently told them an incredibly convincing story for how his fiancee got knocked unconscious inside an elevator during an argument that didn't actually involve him hitting her. One begins to have to strain to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

uraniumwilly: “If it turns out the NFL had this video and didn't immediately suspend Rice, then the NFL needs hardore boycotting.”

The NFL, and everyone else, already had video of the aftermath. They already knew exactly what happened – people have been saying since July specifically that her head hit the railing somehow. There is no sense in which anyone learned anything new from this video.
posted by koeselitz at 2:50 PM on September 8, 2014


Mike Vick matured as a person, I'm pretty convinced.

This is the mythology of NFL justice which 5-10 years ago, everyone bought into, and dare I say, was a form of entertainment. To its credit, the NFL was at least ahead of the curve.

I just want to reiterate my previous point about TMZ a different way, and say that it strikes me as very suspicious to suggest that the source of the video (the hotel or casino or whatever), or the police for that matter, would have the wherewithal to stagger the video into two different stages, namely, provide an outside party first with outside elevator footage, and only at a later date footage from within the elevator. Which leads me to believe - without any evidence to support this - that at least one possible allegation is that TMZ has chosen to release this footage in stages.

My point is I am extremely curious how and why the video got leaked out in this staggered fashion. At a minimum, even if the reason turns out not to be scandalous, I feel that the public deserves an explanation. I am equally curious to know whether or not the NFL was aware of this second video, as in, were the contents of this video even described to them, and were they notified of it existing.

If nothing else, I feel like transparency on this particular issue is important in determining how deep the bullshit goes at the NFL and whether or not Goodell should keep his job. And I am curious if said transparency will be provided, or if he will preemptively quit. I am sincerely perplexed. There is some seriously important shit on the line. To leak a woman spilling out of an elevator, and not release the clip of her getting her face rearranged - that is some fucking egregious shit. Somebody, somewhere, saw all of that shit at once. And I want to know why it was leaked out to the public in stages.
posted by phaedon at 2:53 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


There is no sense in which anyone learned anything new from this video.

The story was that she attacked him, and yeah that isn't an impossible thing. The video shows she only moved towards him and he punched. It was entirely one sided.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2014


to believe that the nfl hadn't seen the second video you have to believe they lied to their most ardent supporters in the press by telling them they had seen it and it wasn't that bad (or you believe those people in the press lied, all with the exact same story). there is absolutely no other answer. the nfl lied then or they're lying now. personally, it makes way more sense to me that they're lying now.
posted by nadawi at 2:56 PM on September 8, 2014


The story was...

Just a story that was manufactured by both the victim and the perpetrator. Now there's evidence the victim and the perpetrator lied.
posted by uraniumwilly at 2:58 PM on September 8, 2014


Mike Vick matured as a person, I'm pretty convinced.

This is the mythology of NFL justice which 5-10 years ago, everyone bought into, and dare I say, was a form of entertainment. To its credit, the NFL was at least ahead of the curve.


I'm not really sure what you are saying here. Vick served two years in federal prison, not "nfl justice," and has been an angel since. He has been an advocate against the crime he was imprisoned for. He has gone out of his ways to support local folks during natural disasters. He has been a dedicated teammate when in the past he was more self-serving.

I can't say for certain he has changed, but if I can't say it for him there is literally no felon I can say it for and I refuse to live in that world.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:59 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]


Given how flat unconscious she is, I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't really remember what happened at all. I don't know how fair it is to call something "lying" in that circumstance. The German player who caught an elbow to the head and didn't even get knocked all the way out in the World Cup final against Argentina, when he came to he couldn't remember whether or not he was playing in the World Cup final. This was much more serious than that.
posted by KathrynT at 3:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [21 favorites]


uraniumwilly: “Just a story that was manufactured by both the victim and the perpetrator. Now there's evidence the victim and the perpetrator lied.”

He's never denied hitting her.
posted by koeselitz at 3:07 PM on September 8, 2014


Just a story that was manufactured by both the victim and the perpetrator.

and the league and the ravens, since they more than likely had both videos the whole time.
posted by nadawi at 3:12 PM on September 8, 2014


The PR angle is what pushed them, not the act itself.

But this is as it should be. The Ravens are his employer. As his employer, they should not be able to fire someone for actions done outside of work IF they don't have an impact on the job. The PR angle impacts his employer therefor they can and should fire him.

Do you think men or women who beat their spouses should be permanently fired from any job? Probably and understanably, but what about other crimes?

What he did was truly despicable. He should be fired and shunned. However demanding that an employer should be required or even allowed to fire any employee for committing a crime is the proverbial slippery slope. Where do you draw the line on who is and isn't fired for which crimes?

his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened. She refused to testify against him, and gave at least one interview where she implied that she was complicit.

Battered Spouse syndrome is one possible reason for her actions after the fact. There is another possible reason which is obvious if not politically correct to suggest.
posted by 2manyusernames at 3:13 PM on September 8, 2014


Either Roger Goodell and his folks saw this video and ignored it or they made no attempt to try to see it. Both mean they are implicit in the very public, very coordinated attempt to whitewash what Rice had done, rather by action or inaction. Both are just as bad and I'm only sorry it took seeing the second video to make me realize this.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:14 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ugh.

I resolved last year to stop supporting the NFL with my eyeballs. I did pretty good, but I slipped some and stole a few glances at the Broncos-Colts game last night.

From this awful episode, to the concussions and the shakedowns of public coffers and all the other inequities the pro game (and the quasi-pro game) thrive on and perpetuate, it's just too much.

I'll try harder not to watch next weekend.
posted by notyou at 3:16 PM on September 8, 2014


Where do you draw the line on who is and isn't fired for which crimes?

This slippery slope argument doesn't fly for me. The NFL player agreement includes a code of conduct. My employment agreement does not. As I understand it, the rationale is that Ray Rice is a role model for legions of 12 year olds in Baltimore and I am not, so his off-the-clock actions have a bigger impact on his job than mine do (though as an aside, as another example, attorneys can get disbarred for off-the-clock actions that reflect on their character).

The NFL customarily punishes players for their violations of the code of conduct. Once they start doing that, I think they have a common-sense obligation to make the punishment fit the violation, rather than the PR backlash.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]


to pretend like the nfl or their teams are like typical employment situations is laughable.
posted by nadawi at 3:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is another possible reason which is obvious if not politically correct to suggest.

...go on.


Wait, don't.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]


Either Roger Goodell and his folks saw this video and ignored it or they made no attempt to try to see it.

Is there some sort of legal maneuver that halts evidence being released to other entities who have no legal right to view it?
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:17 PM on September 8, 2014


the rationale is that Ray Rice is a role model for legions of 12 year olds in Baltimore and I am not, so his off-the-clock actions have a bigger impact on his job than mine do (though as an aside, as another example, attorneys can get disbarred for off-the-clock actions that reflect on their character).

Wow! Thanks. That makes perfect sense. Logical and in hindsight obvious. I couldn't understand why one employer should treat an employee differently than another employer.

The impact that sports stars and similar careers have on impressionable fans is huge. If something like this is whitewashed it would send a signal that it is okay.

Thanks for clearing this up for me.
posted by 2manyusernames at 3:21 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is there some sort of legal maneuver that halts evidence being released to other entities who have no legal right to view it?

If the NFL had actually attempted to see the video, surely their statements about it would explain why they hadn't seen it, right? If authorities/owners of the video had refused to show it to the NFL, then wouldn't the NFL's statement be something more than "oh wow no we didn't see that video but now that we do, holy shit that's bad," and instead something like, "we knew of the existence of additional video and because of [legal reasons go here] our requests to review it were refused so we acted on the information we had?"
posted by MoonOrb at 3:22 PM on September 8, 2014


and, again, sources inside the league and the ravens claimed to have seen the inside the elevator video and claimed that it included janay attacking ray rice, thus explaining the lax punishment months ago. so they lied about seeing the video, used it as justification for a lesser punishment, and are now gobsmacked about what was on the video they never saw but claimed to have seen? nah.
posted by nadawi at 3:25 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay actually I see now the NFL says that they did request all video. But I'm still extremely confused about what the NFL actually saw at the time.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:29 PM on September 8, 2014


I wrote something like this over at Sportsfilter, but I guess its worth repeating here, too. I've been a huge football fan. I love watching the game, I love pouring over stupid stats and most importantly, I love reading breathless and florid written accounts of great games and players. However, between the evidence of brain damage, the misogyny, the apologists for criminals, and the general inept and cruel behavior of the billionaires who run the whole show (I'm particularly looking at Dan Snyder here, but not exclusively), I think I need to sit a few Sundays out. Maybe more.

No sport - indeed, no activity - is without its faults or faulty participants, but professional and college football have finally tilted just a little too far in the last decade. I feel bad when I watch because I think of all the shitheels on the field and in the offices. I don't need that and I doubt I'm the only person who feels that way.

I don't claim that I'll be walking away forever because old habits are hard to break and I really do love the game. I love humanity more, though, and Football seems to be anti-humanity at the moment.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Of the many things that upset me about this, right now I'm most sickened by the realization that the reason the constantly-choreographed and PR-ready NFL PR Machine didn't seem ready for this kind of reaction in case the video came out probably means that they just figured people wouldn't care.

Typical "I don't always agree with him" standard boilerplate Olbermann intro here, but this is just about spot on (and I'm not saying that because he basically says exactly what I said in my comment from 15 minutes ago):

Keith Olbermann On Roger Goodell: "An Enabler Of Men Who Beat Women"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


If the NFL had actually attempted to see the video, surely their statements about it would explain why they hadn't seen it, right? If authorities/owners of the video had refused to show it to the NFL, then wouldn't the NFL's statement be something more than "oh wow no we didn't see that video but now that we do, holy shit that's bad," and instead something like, "we knew of the existence of additional video and because of [legal reasons go here] our requests to review it were refused so we acted on the information we had?"

Actually, in typical NFL PR parlance it seems they would explain their decisions and behavior without detail - in political cover fashion.
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:42 PM on September 8, 2014


Now I'm now I'm starting to expect true fans to really think hard about giving up the sport.

You'd have to give up a hell of a lot then. Take your money out of any banks because we know of many incidents where corrupt upper management have fucked over millions of people's retirement funds and have lobbied for laws that equally fuck over the common people. Don't use electricity or other forms of power because the corporations who deliver that to you, may have fucked over millions of people's retirement funds and may be actively restricting the free flow of water in many places in the world, etc.

It would be great if there was someway to persuade an organization like the NFL to govern fairly, with little to no corruption, and with due process that then moved on to seemingly even more difficult organization to persuade them to change could work, and I applaud that.

I don't think abandoning the very thing you want to reform is a solution. If people are so skeptical that no matter what they do is just PR then boycotting will produce only more PR.

I think it would be great to start with an easier target, like the NFL, and then move on to the difficult ones that will take decades to change, if ever. It has to be focused and civilized of course, and not shrill and super outrageous accusatory to the point where honest conversation produces pointing fingers (see Metafilter of late). There are a ton of despicable people in the world and they are often in sports leagues, companies, politics, non-profits, religious groups, the arts, farming, films, etc.

The fact that there is open and widespread hatred of the poor, overt racism, overt sexism, overt classism, demonization of "others" and onward and downward underlies the deep issues we have as a society and civilization. No wonder so many of us feel like this is a world we don't really belong in.
posted by juiceCake at 3:43 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Part of the issue is that his wife - for reasons known only to her - went to bat for him to minimize the severity of what had happened.

She might not remember. She was knocked out cold and in the beginning of the video she looked drunk (watch her walk into the elevator, she bounces off the door pretty good). Given that it's possible she didn't really know what happened (the details, she knows he hit her) and publicly accepted and spread his version of events because it was easier/ she was afraid/ ashamed/ guilt/ messed up relationship reasons. I wonder when she saw the tape? I doubt the Ravens showed it to her.

I agree the worst part was how cold he was. The total lack of concern whem she hit her head and was obviously unconscious was extremely creepy.
posted by fshgrl at 3:50 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I know it's a long thread, but if anyone addressed this comment I would appreciate links because I can't find them:

It's always about money. Rice stood to make tens of millions of dollars on his deal with the Ravens; if she took the stand and said "yes, he beat the shit out of me" and he got suspended, then she stood to either lose millions of dollars in household income (if she stayed with his despicable self) or millions of dollars in divorce settlement. So she stood up and accepted blame for having her professional-athlete husband publicly assault her.

This story is fractally awful. Every part of it just looks worse and worse the closer you examine it.


I appreciate we are all in agreement about the fact this situation is awful, but Mayor West, this statement is basically accusing this woman of gold-digging and shows a very poor understanding of domestic abuse. Women (and men) of all classes habitually protect their abusers.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


It seems like even with the slap on the wrist Rice got from the Atlantic City authorities, there has to be an sworn account of events somewhere on the record. Did he file a false report or perjure himself in order to sell this story?
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:52 PM on September 8, 2014


Oh, hah, I guess I just realized that the Atlantic City DA and police surely must have seen this video and must have been just fine with the way Rice's actions in it were presented. I guess that's not the most surprising piece of information I have learned about that fine city, but still...
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:54 PM on September 8, 2014




I know it's a long thread, but if anyone addressed this comment I would appreciate links because I can't find them

It is a long thread, and here is Mayor West addressing this himself, actually.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


DarlingBri - here and here, and as MoonOrb points out, Mayor West walked it back.
posted by nadawi at 4:02 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, and the Ravens' FB page is a huge trigger alert. Tons of women (or Facebook accounts with women's names) upset about Rice being let go.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:04 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


From what I'm hearing from people who pay much more attention to NFL social media than I do, if Rice does make his way back to the field there are a lot of defenders aching to head-hunt him, fines be damned.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:08 PM on September 8, 2014


oh yeah, totally lots of players saying rice needed to go and plenty of those are on the defense - head hunting makes a lot of sense.
posted by nadawi at 4:09 PM on September 8, 2014


Thank you, I don't know why I couldn't find that. Carry on, sorry I failed at search.

Oh Jesus, I typo'd Mayor in my search box. Mortified.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:15 PM on September 8, 2014


Apparently Goodell and the NFL knew about the video well before hand and TMZ has proof.... if you're to trust Harvey Levin.
posted by lattiboy at 4:22 PM on September 8, 2014


Is Harvey Levin from TMZ? Why don't they just release it now?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:24 PM on September 8, 2014


Presumably it will be a bigger news item to do it first thing in the morning.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:38 PM on September 8, 2014


Ravens having a press conference right now: "We'll always stand in support of them as a couple....My pain is for both of them as a couple."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:38 PM on September 8, 2014


They are not a couple. They are an abuser and his captive. Ugh.
posted by emjaybee at 4:48 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


You stay classy, Fox News.
posted by SisterHavana at 4:51 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


However, between the evidence of brain damage, the misogyny, the apologists for criminals, and the general inept and cruel behavior of the billionaires who run the whole show (I'm particularly looking at Dan Snyder here, but not exclusively), I think I need to sit a few Sundays out. Maybe more.

Don't forget the regular-as-clockwork civic shakedowns for new stadiums (next up: Dan Fucking Snyder, again).
posted by COBRA! at 5:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


You stay classy, Fox News.

A "legitimate" beating. I guess like a "legitimate rape" it just means, "Something we can't pretend didn't happen for the sake of our political convenience."

I'm not a huge fan of Debbie Wasserman Schultz but I don't think she needed Ray Rice to give her an example of real abuse or will stop for a millisecond to respond to the challenge to oppose this.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:02 PM on September 8, 2014


You know if there actually were 'militant feminists', they'd be 'head-hunting' Rice in a different way.
posted by el io at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


if Rice does make his way back to the field there are a lot of defenders aching to head-hunt him, fines be damned.
posted by Navelgazer


Riley Cooper lives. Players aren't going to hurt their team's chances to win with head-hunting an asshat.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah I thought for sure Riley would get creamed, but it seems that once his teammates said forgive but not forget, players on other teams seemed to mostly accept it.
posted by cashman at 6:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the video, there are several other guys who chat with Rice while his girlfriend is lying across the threshold of the elevator. At least one of them has a thingy in his ear that suggests he's hotel security. Where are those guys tonight?
posted by newdaddy at 6:31 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Too bad TMZ wasn't around back when the Ray Lewis murders happened.
posted by spilon at 6:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apparently Goodell and the NFL knew about the video well before hand and TMZ has proof...

This is going to break my heart.
posted by uraniumwilly at 6:52 PM on September 8, 2014


I am equally curious to know whether or not the NFL was aware of this second video, as in, were the contents of this video even described to them, and were they notified of it existing.

My source in February who told me they had watched that Ray Rice elevator video said then, "It's bad... He's going to jail."
posted by stargell at 7:10 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can we take a second to consider what a weird entity TMZ is in our lives now? Like, it's trashy, most of the time, but often cuts towards exposing stuff that really needs exposure, and it's got clearly a large budget but isn't a major media outlet or, to the best of my knowledge, affiliated with any, aside from their TMZ on TV show. It doesn't have a greater higher purpose in a mission statement like VICE or Vocativ have. It's just sort of like the Gretchen Wieners of the internet, a chaotic neutral force of gossip that occasionally, as here, lands on the side of good.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


Can we take a second to consider what a weird entity TMZ is in our lives now? Like, it's trashy, most of the time, but often cuts towards exposing stuff that really needs exposure ...

Because who else is going to do that these days?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:19 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


In the video, there are several other guys who chat with Rice while his girlfriend is lying across the threshold of the elevator. At least one of them has a thingy in his ear that suggests he's hotel security. Where are those guys tonight?

I'm not sure I understand your question, and I may be missing something, but I don't think those guys were just "chatting" with Rice, I think they are security and I think they called the cops and got Rice arrested.
posted by OmieWise at 7:21 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yay Lions win...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 7:43 PM on September 8, 2014


Well, like eriko said: money. It's always about money. Rice stood to make tens of millions of dollars on his deal with the Ravens; if she took the stand and said "yes, he beat the shit out of me" and he got suspended, then she stood to either lose millions of dollars in household income (if she stayed with his despicable self) or millions of dollars in divorce settlement

This is one of the most fucking disgusting comments I've ever read on Metafilter. What the hell?
posted by discopolo at 7:53 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


discopolo: see here.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:55 PM on September 8, 2014


it's the whole suspension not because they saw it, but because we saw it. that gets to me.
posted by xcasex at 7:58 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coach of Ravens speaks about the video:

"It's something we saw for the first time today," Harbaugh said. "It changed things of course. It made things a little bit different."

Harbaugh was also asked if his feelings toward Rice -- he stood up in front of a podium and defended his (now) former player just months ago -- had changed. He said no.

"Everything I said in terms of what I believe I stand by. I believe that still. I'll always believe those things," Harbaugh said. "And we'll always stand in support of them as a couple. That's not going to change."

The Ravens coach even went so far as to say he and his wife would offer Rice and his wife support as they move forward, even though Rice is no longer on the team.

"When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences it is tough and it is hurtful. My pain is for both of them as a couple," Harbaugh said. "From everything talking to Ray, up until his suspension, talking with him a lot, was they were working hard and doing well. If I can help them in any way and if my wife and I can help them in any way, we'll do that."

Harbaugh also said the video "wasn't made available" to the Ravens until Monday morning when it went public.

"It wasn't made available to us. It wasn't there for us," Harbaugh said. "As far as I know yeah, it wasn't something we ever saw or had access to."

Why not? Harbaugh had "no answer for that" though he does "absolutely" believe the Ravens did their due diligence to find all necessary video available."

posted by uraniumwilly at 8:03 PM on September 8, 2014


People on Twitter are sharing their stories of domestic violence and how they dealt with it through the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft tags.

But yeah, Steve Doocy, make a joke about cameras! Wonko the Sane was right, this world needs to be in an Asylum.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Too bad TMZ wasn't around back when the Ray Lewis murders happened.

The Ravens have a statue of Lewis in front of their stadium. Lest anyone think they are anything other than the worst sports franchise in North America.
posted by dry white toast at 8:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why it took what, seven months, for this guy to get terminated. Why is it not the policy of every major sports league that if you beat the shit out of your domestic partner, you can no longer play for them?

Come on. You really don't understand it? I think the reason is obvious. Ray Rice was on a five-year $35 million contract to play football with the Ravens. Guess why -- because he generated more than $35 million for the team. So obviously, they want to keep this quiet.
posted by scunning at 8:58 PM on September 8, 2014


Quoth the Ravens to Ray Rice, "Nevermore!"
posted by Renoroc at 9:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone saying they did not see that video, or did not know it existed, is outright lying.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:08 PM on September 8, 2014


I'll be surprised if Ray Rice doesn't get picked up by someone, and I'll be surprised if he does. Most programs are absolutely desperate for talent like him, and I suspect that there is no one else on the market who even remotely comes close to be as undervalued as Ray Rice. We already know that the Ravens thought he was worth $35 million -- but no way is anyone going to pay that much. He'll get a second chance, just like Michael Vick. And no matter what anyone says about head hunting, this isn't exactly a club of Grandmasters. These guys beat the living crap out of each other for a living. What possible margins are there to target Ray Rice after this moreso than was the case before this? The guy is going to take a hit to his wealth, and it'll be substantial, but he'll still end up playing on another team. This "indefinite suspension" is exactly that -- he's suspended long enough. The guy needs to be arrested and in prison, though, and restitution made to his wife.
posted by scunning at 9:10 PM on September 8, 2014


I can't verify any of this, but maybe the video was not obtained by the Police from TMZ. I heard the hotel that this happened in closed about a week ago and all of the employees were laid off. Maybe one of the employees that had access to the video made a copy of it and when they were laid off they decided to make a little scratch off of it. Maybe the NFL wouldn’t pay for it, but TMZ would.
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:13 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


it's my theory that goodell's sudden change of heart about domestic violence penalties was because he knew tmz bought the tape. it seems to stretch imagination to think tmz would lay out more for this than the nfl or the ravens.
posted by nadawi at 9:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think it's great that there have been so many strong statements against this (cf. Obama, Terry Crews). But I have to agree with the sentiment above that wasn't it enough he dragged his unconscious fiance by her hair out of the elevator? (Also pretty sure that domestic violence is bad regardless of who perpetrates it, and what gender they are-- not just what "real men" should and shouldn't do.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:41 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


while i agree the "real men" stuff misses the fact that it's not only men who are the abusers or women who are the victims, but i think it's also important to keep in mind that a majority of violent abusers are men and a majority of their victims are women. round about 1/3 if all women murdered are murdered by their significant others and nearly ask if those murderers are men.
posted by nadawi at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2014


If Rice never plays football again it will add years to his life.

Let him play. But he doesn't get to wear a helmet.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:51 AM on September 9, 2014


Janay has released a letter:
The Baltimore Sun has verified that the following unabridged message from her official Instagram account is from Janay Rice and was intended to be released publicly:

"I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," Janay Rice wrote. "But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass of for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.

"THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don't you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you've succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!"
posted by cashman at 6:09 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


iI feel so sad for her. i hope she gets out alive.
posted by nadawi at 6:15 AM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


This whole thing continues to be sickening. Those who diagnosed from afar that Ray is an abuser, and that she is abused, appear to be right. It's just disturbing to see upset at the media, and what was meant to say "unwanted opinions", and - well it's all just disturbing.
posted by cashman at 6:16 AM on September 9, 2014


The phrase "Ray Lewis murders" sounds like it should describe the time that Ray Lewis murdered some people, which as far as I can tell never happened.

If, for whatever reason, Janay Rice has made her peace with her husband brutally knocking her unconscious, it's not surprising that she sees the media firestorm as not being in her best interest.
posted by leopard at 6:31 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


ray lewis was never found guilty of murder, but he was involved in some way in the fact that 2 guys were murdered. i can only think you're being purposefully daft to prove some sort of point.
posted by nadawi at 6:39 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Janay's response is a very good example of how domestic violence destroys women.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:45 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]




Must be nice to be an example.
posted by Trochanter at 6:52 AM on September 9, 2014


Trochanter, I'm not sure what you're implying. I'm not blaming Mrs. Rice for her reaction.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:55 AM on September 9, 2014


Thanks nadawi. "Involved in some way" is the type of clear, incisive language that helps me understand issues better.
posted by leopard at 7:11 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


he's either a murderer or he covered for a murderer - i've done a lot of reading on this topic (because i used to really love ray lewis and hoped he had been railroaded) and it's hard to come away thinking anything other than he was at least partially culpable for 2 men being murdered. it's really grotesque that he managed to reform his image into some sort of super-jesus-freak and get a lucrative job at espn where he lectures other people on morality. all the same, even a probable murderer like ray lewis isn't coming to bat for ray rice - condemning him pretty harshly last night.
posted by nadawi at 7:19 AM on September 9, 2014




The NFL needs a huge overhaul. They let assaulters, animal abusers, and uneducated men receive millions of dollars whether they play or not. The only thing NFL cares about is their image after the fact.
posted by stormpooper at 7:27 AM on September 9, 2014


uneducated men?
posted by cashman at 7:37 AM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


I'm a lifelong Ravens fan, and probably will continue to be even despite the terrible way that the front office has handled Ray Rice. Still, this whole thing makes me distrust and dislike the team as an organization, and the higher level management. Before this all happened I was very happy with the way that Ozzie Newsome ran the team and the way that Harbaugh coached it, but now I feel like I can't really respect or trust anyone at the head of the team.

My experience with other fans in person and online has been a similar feeling of dislike and malaise. I was at a bar in Baltimore (well, Dundalk, but still) for pub trivia last night, and they stopped the game and muted the sound system for Harbaugh's press conference. Overall the attitude was pretty morose as John gave the usual platitudes that one would expect an embarrassed leader to give in this sort of situation.

I do sort of wonder where this moral clarity was when the incident first came to light, and most fans were shrugging their shoulders as it seemed to have blown over, happy that we'd have one more star player on a struggling offense. It's really a mark against the city and the franchise that nobody got indignant until the irrefutable proof was leaked.
posted by codacorolla at 7:40 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


uneducated men?

They just take all of their millions and perform more evil. You know how it is.
posted by uraniumwilly at 7:44 AM on September 9, 2014


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ray-rice-video-wife-defends-player-blasts-media/

And now she is defending Rice and condemning the media.
posted by holybagel at 8:02 AM on September 9, 2014




her statement was posted in full upthread, holybagel. i'd like to draw attention again towards dave zirin's piece - a lot of people are ignoring how fucked up it is to use her ragdoll body for outrage and views. i understand why it's seen as important to show and i understand (even though it makes me side eye) that some people needed the elevator video to stop blaming her for being dragged, unconscious, out of the casino - but it also to me emphasises how little we care for the dignity of (especially black) women.
posted by nadawi at 8:54 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Since a lot of NFL players come from college, their reading scores aren't up to par for college level reading. http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/
posted by stormpooper at 9:20 AM on September 9, 2014


I think the thing was more along the lines of, why am I supposed to care if some of these NFL players aren't Rhodes scholars?

But that's a derail.

Nike dropped Ray Rice today.
posted by cashman at 9:24 AM on September 9, 2014


stormpooper that sounds like a reason to be frustrated with the NCAA or the players' educational institutions. Who cares if NFL players can't read at college level?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:26 AM on September 9, 2014


jbickers: From the official Baltimore Ravens twitter account:
Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.
Quit domestically abusing yourself! Quit domestically abusing yourself!

Maybe there's more context to her quote, but as a pull-quote... Sickening that the Ravens put that out there.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was them live-tweeting the joint press conference her and Ray had about the incident.
posted by cashman at 9:28 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I waded into the r/nfl subreddit and they overwhelmingly support Goodell's decision.
posted by futz at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nike dropped Ray Rice today.


Today? Not yesterday? Not months ago? Fuck Nike.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2014


In more positive football news, the Buffalo Bills are set to gain a female minority owner - Kim & Terry Pegula have bought the team (she's Korean-American).
posted by troika at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


It took a cartoonishly vivid, smoking-gun tape before the powers turned against Donald Sterling too. We are so stupid.
posted by klarck at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Today? Not yesterday? Not months ago? Fuck Nike.

Maybe it wasn't today - the tweet made it seem like it was. But in an adweek article updated in the last few minutes:
Though many of Rice's sponsors ended their deals well before the second clip was released, a Nike spokesperson declined to elaborate on exactly when its contract with the Pro Bowl athlete was terminated.
The article also details other advertisers (including EA Sports) who dropped Rice.
posted by cashman at 9:37 AM on September 9, 2014


I feel really terrible for Janay Rice. This is awful; her husband has lost his job and her privacy and agency has been totally disregarded. That having been said, she doesn't have to agree with him being fired in order for his firing to be a good idea. It is perfectly reasonable for the NFL to say "Ma'am, you have clearly chosen to maintain your association with him, and that's fine, but we are not making that same choice. You can have him; we don't want him."
posted by KathrynT at 9:44 AM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]




Asking a battered woman why she didn't leave is just another way to pass judgment on her and excuse her abuser.

Why can't it be a genuine attempt to try to understand? Most of us (I think) would leave after the first time our partner knocked us unconscious. The wife of a pro football player could certainly get a top-notch lawyer to make sure she was comfortable economically. And this happened before they were married, as I understand. So I am interested in her own perception of why leaving wasn't her choice. But I will refrain from asking.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yep, I'm not going to pass judgment on Janay Palmer. I am, however, going to pass judgment on Ray Rice. As should the NFL and the judicial system. The fact that she doesn't want him fired or prosecuted isn't really relevant.
posted by Justinian at 11:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why can't it be a genuine attempt to try to understand? Most of us (I think) would leave after the first time our partner knocked us unconscious.

i recommend watching Why domestic violence victims don't leave or reading the transcript. there's also #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

the fact of the matter is that abusive partners rarely start off with rendering their supposed love unconscious. there's a whole pattern, a give and take, abusive partners are often incredibly loving and kind between episodes. they convince their partner that the two of them need each other, that it's them against the world, that everyone is trying to destroy their love that is just so passionate that sometimes it comes to blows (they also make sure the victim knows that it's probably safer to stay and get hit sometimes than to leave and be killed). it's easy to see the fallacy of this type of love from the outside. it's easy to say that you'd just up and leave. but, the stats on domestic violence, the stories from people who stayed for way too long, the numbers of people dead from it - it all indicates that leaving isn't as easy as bystanders make it seem.

i wish janay rice the best. i hope she has someone close to her that is doing the incredibly hard work of supporting her while slowly convincing her to leave. sadly, this has probably made that job harder.
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Most of us (I think) would leave after the first time our partner knocked us unconscious.

From the linked article: "...most women who are killed by their partners are in the process of leaving or have already left."
posted by Librarypt at 12:01 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mental Wimp, I would invite you to watch Leslie Morgan Steiner's TEDx recounting of her own domestic violence. It's been linked upthread, but she's a Harvard grad, has a Wharton MBA, and her life circumstances may more closely align with the kind of options you imagine Janay Palmer has and should have exercised.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:10 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


i recommend watching Why domestic violence victims don't leave or reading the transcript. there's also #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

Mental Wimp, please do read that first hashtag, if nothing else. Partner abuse is much more insidious than its popular image would suggest.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


That having been said, she doesn't have to agree with him being fired in order for his firing to be a good idea.

KathrynT, I'm really glad you posted this comment. I had a long comment like that drafted that I never posted because I felt like I couldn't find the right words to express the sentiment without sounding judgemental of her, but I think you nailed it.
posted by Asparagus at 12:23 PM on September 9, 2014


Yes, leaving an abusive relationship is incredibly dangerous. The abuser is now furious, desperate to reassert control, and left with nothing to lose. And the victim now has no way to know where the abuser is, no knowledge of what they're doing or what their mood is like, no way to deflect or appease that anger--a terrifying loss of more precious control.

70% of women murdered by their abusers were killed after they had left or were in the process of leaving. It's much like riding the proverbial tiger: once you're on, it's dangerous to stay, but just as dangerous to try to leave. Then too many of the people you'd like to ask for help just shake their heads in disbelief at your stupidity for ever riding a tiger in the first place.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:26 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


So the MRA crowd has chimed in.

It's pretty much as ugly and disgusting of a stance as you might imagine.
posted by el io at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2014


Anyone else cringe/giggle at the MNF broadcast last night? My husband pointed out that the commentators pretty much couldn't say a word without it being a pun on the Ray Rice situation:

-One-two punch
-Cleaned his clock
-That was a big hit

And I was not giggling at what happened to Janay Rice, just that pretty much every play, someone said something and your mind went immediately to that. I giggle for how bad it looks for the NFL, that people can't even be distracted by an actual game. It probably also didn't help that ESPN couldn't talk about anything else all day, including it being the first thing talked about at halftime, before they even talked about the game at hand. Good God, they are the worst.


Also, (again, I believe Ray Rice got what he deserved) Roger Goodell outlined the league's new policy just a few weeks ago right? 6 game suspension for the first offense, lifetime ban for the 2nd offense. Since he gave Ray Rice a lifetime ban on the first offense, won't that make it easier for him to win his appeal (which I'm assuming he will appeal).
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:42 PM on September 9, 2014


at the time goodell said that the policy allowed for stricter penalties based upon the seriousness of the offense. i'd have to look it up again, but it's my understanding that this isn't a policy that has to be agreed upon by the players' union, that it falls under the commissioner's discretion, so i think ray rice would be appealing to goodell who made the decision to begin with.
posted by nadawi at 12:49 PM on September 9, 2014


LizBoBiz: I thought it was an 'indefinite suspension' (ie: 'until this blows over').
posted by el io at 12:50 PM on September 9, 2014


ray rice might have a chance to get back in the nfl. i'll be very surprised if it's this year. i think vick's image rehab is a pretty good blueprint - if ray rice can convince someone like tony dungy that he's a changed man, and he get some intensive therapy, and he does a round of mea culpa interviews, and he donates money and time to dv causes - he might be back by next year. if it's longer than almost two years off, age and ability will start to be questioned. the average length of career for a starter is 6 years, pro-bowl players average about 11 years, but running backs average shorter careers that other positions. ray rice has been in the league 5 years - without the suspension i would have seen him staying 8 or 9 years, 10 if he was satisfied being a backup. with a year or two off of nfl conditioning and the pr issues that will be associated with signing him, teams might not see the point in weathering that for maybe a year or two of good play.
posted by nadawi at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2014


[Michael Vick] has been a dedicated teammate when in the past he was more self-serving.

See, you touch on something that I totally resent - this (at times, borderline racist) idea that part of why the league came down so hard on Michael Vick was that he was not a team player. This is what I was referring to (albeit poorly) when I was talking about "NFL Justice," this Puritanical idea that what the NFL is doing with its players should or could map out to how people should be dealt with in general, that this is an expression of the public's conception of what is "just" or "unjust" while they inevitably sit around the cooler talking about another family's business.

But when you step back and look at the entire situation, this is a mythology that is created for specific players in specific situations that one could cynically describe as being employed for publicity's sake, or to avoid a PR nightmare. But what about on a global level? What is the NFL's stand on criminality within its ranks?

Do you think Ray Rice should never play a down again? Great. Is this because he is guilty of threatening or causing harm to another person? Great. Here's a list of 719 NFL (more than a speeding ticket) arrests since 2000. Ben Roethlisberger is still quarterbacking, he's a team player. Aldon Smith was facing multiple DUI and weapon charges last year and they still let him play in the playoffs. By the way, he's got a great work ethic. Don't even get me started on Ray Lewis. Or Dez Bryant.

So I'm just saying this process killed Ray Rice's career and yet there are equally if not more heinous people playing in the League. I don't feel particularly good condemning Ray Rice. It doesn't purify me. I value the wisdom in this thread, but Janay chose to stand by the husband that cold-cocked her. Her point to some extent stands, because if the media and the public want to clean up the mess in the NFL, they should clean up all of it. This would require retooling the mythology of a "commissioner handing down a punishment in specific situations, and maybe one day you'll be a team player and we'll let you in again." This is so fucking arrogant to me, because it conveniently hides the problem that criminality is rampant within the NFL. It's like the concussion fiasco; it is this thing the NFL just doesn't want to talk about.
posted by phaedon at 1:14 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


As a Steelers fan I support the statement that Ben Roethlisberger is as heinous if not more so an individual as Ray Rice is and shouldn't be playing football. But the public doesn't have access to incontrovertible video evidence of his crime, and unfortunately from the NFL's point of view, that means that they can act like there is doubt about what happened in Georgia.

Also, Janay Rice's decision with respect to her marriage is irrelevant to the question of Ray Rice's criminality or whether he should be playing football.
posted by Asparagus at 1:22 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ok, I see now that he left some wiggle room for mitigating circumstances.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2014


Steve Bisciotti's letter to Ravens fans, recently released on their site. He's the current majority owner of the team. He gives an account of how the events unfolded from the front office's perspective.

This version is certainly more favorable to the team, indicating that they had pursued the video inside of the elevator up until March of this year, and were denied by the hotel and the police. The letter's version is that the Ravens' investigation seemed separate from the NFLs, so if the NFL did indeed see the video prior to its leak, then they (according to Bisciotti) never shared it with the team. I'm not sure that I believe that. Regardless, Rice should have been let go when the first tape was leaked (him dragging her out of the elevator).
posted by codacorolla at 7:29 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


-One-two punch
-Cleaned his clock
-That was a big hit


I think you would have to go back at least 30 years to find a broadcast game NFL game where none of those phrases are said. They are very common expressions used in football, and have been for as long as I have been alive.

So, if you're reading those as Ray Rice puns, it's because *you* are reading them as Ray Rice puns. I can't say for certain that that last one is said literally in every single game, but it's said in at least 95% of the broadcasts.

Since he gave Ray Rice a lifetime ban on the first offense, won't that make it easier for him to win his appeal (which I'm assuming he will appeal).

It's not lifetime yet. First Offense is 6 games, plus or minus, second is lifetime. The CBA specifically says you cannot punish an offense twice.

at the time goodell said that the policy allowed for stricter penalties based upon the seriousness of the offense.

Yes, but there are two arguments.

1) Ex Post Facto: That policy didn't exist before, so you can't apply it to events before.

2) Again, the CBA says you can only punish a given offense once, and you already have done so.

So, if the NFL tries to simply *extend* the initial suspension, it's likely it would be reversed on appeal because of the CBA.

However, what you can argue.

1) New Data: Basically, this is "We charged you with X, suspended you 2 games, new evidence says you did X and Y, and this new suspension isn't for X, it's for Y." In particular, I think they could suspend him for lying to them in the initial investigation, and there's no limit on that.

But, actually, the suspension doesn't matter. Ray Rice is basically antimatter at this point. No team is going to pick him up this year, and probably not next year. That makes him a year older and a year without any playing time. At the next possible time for him to play, he'll be 29 and out of game shape in a position that historically isn't known for longevity. Basically, the clock is going to run out on Ray Rice. By the time he could make enough amends for a team to risk taking him on (like Michael Vick did) he's not going to be able to play his position.

Having said all that, I suspect Goodell will try to leave it indefinite and drop hints to Rice that he should just shut up, take a year, and bust his ass on becoming a better person, or he's never ever going to play again. Image wise, the absolute worst thing Rice could do is appeal that suspension. He might very well win, but he'd also never play again, because everyone would read it as a giant fuck you.

Finally, I need to correct myself. Indefinite Suspensions were illegal in the *previous* CBA. The current CBA, since the 2011 season, allows them. So, theoretically, if they can avoid the appeal on double jeopardy, then Goodell can have Rice suspended for an indefinite period.
posted by eriko at 7:02 AM on September 10, 2014


This version is certainly more favorable to the team, indicating that they had pursued the video inside of the elevator up until March of this year, and were denied by the hotel and the police.

The NJ Attorney General's office has gone on record that they would not have released the tape to the NFL or to the Team, and it would in fact be illegal for them to have done so. The tape was apparently released to the police, to the NJ AG's office for prosecution, and to Ray Rice's attorney. The casino itself would have had a copy. Obviously, TMZ had a copy as well.

Personally, I don't think either the NFL or the Ravens are lying about this. Right now, the cost of the lie would be catastrophic if it came out. I could be wrong, but just looking at the upside/downside, saying you never saw that when it could be proved you had is just very little upside against a whole lot of downside if you're caught.
posted by eriko at 7:14 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]




[Michael Vick] has been a dedicated teammate when in the past he was more self-serving.

See, you touch on something that I totally resent - this (at times, borderline racist) idea that part of why the league came down so hard on Michael Vick was that he was not a team player.


I don't think it has anything to do with why the NFL came down on him. I do think it is a sign of positive personal evolution after the fact that he took his job more seriously.

Do you think Ray Rice should never play a down again?

No, I think he should get a chance to search for a job after some time away like Vick did considering this appears to be a first offense. I think there is a good chance he won't be signed though because even as talented a player as he is running backs are much easier to replace in the NFL than a QB like Vick is and starters at RB have shorter careers. Teams may not consider it worth the PR risk.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:50 AM on September 10, 2014


The NJ Attorney General's office has gone on record that they would not have released the tape to the NFL or to the Team, and it would in fact be illegal for them to have done so.

That's an interesting statement. Because it's evidence in a domestic violence case, I presume, and there's limits on government disclosures in those cases? Because as video captured by a private corp they didn't have any expectation of privacy on that front - the casino could give it to whoever they liked, with the only real limitation being Rice's right of publicity and usually these sorts of places make a big deal, Disney-style, of letting you know when you get there that you're going to be on video and they'll do what they like with it.

So the league, if they really wanted it, could have asked the casino if the prosecutor's office wouldn't share. Any limitations on them would almost certainly run up against prior restraint.
posted by phearlez at 9:11 AM on September 10, 2014


...you imagine Janay Palmer has and should have exercised

"Should" is your word. I didn't make any such presumptions in my statements. Please play fair.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2014


could have asked the casino if the prosecutor's office wouldn't share.

I don't really see why the casino would do that. "Ratting out your high-rollers" is not the rep a casino is looking for, no matter how moral it would be.
posted by smackfu at 1:59 PM on September 10, 2014


Deadspin: Here Are The Questions The NFL Should Answer

Sorry if I missed that being linked earlier.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:59 PM on September 10, 2014


Welp.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 2:04 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boom. Fire everyone.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:05 PM on September 10, 2014




Like cutting Ray Rice, firing Roger Goodell is something that should have happened long ago.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:06 PM on September 10, 2014






so - now what we have is multiple people (who are among the most favorable to the nfl on any topic they report) saying they were told that league and ravens officials saw the tape before ray rice's original punishment was decided, we have at least one of those who heard a pretty exact description of the tape (spun to be favorable to rice), and now we have a law enforcement officer saying they sent the tape to the nfl and a voicemail that backs that up. if you still believe that no one in the ravens or nfl organizations saw the tape, i'd be interested in your reasoning that counteracts these points.
posted by nadawi at 2:16 PM on September 10, 2014


nadawi, a law enforcement official who was not authorized to send it. Otherwise, I think those facts are correct.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:19 PM on September 10, 2014


sure, but that doesn't change that the official did send it as we have verified from the voicemail.
posted by nadawi at 2:21 PM on September 10, 2014


Yeah, I mean, everyone at the NFL who knew about this should be fired. Yesterday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:23 PM on September 10, 2014


My current Facebook status:

I don't blame anyone for feeling differently, but all of this stuff over the past few years has just finally come to a head for me. I think I'm done with watching football.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:24 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, that's Goddell gone. "Worse than a crime, a mistake" that's the Tallyrand quote, yes? It's one thing to turn a blind eye and attempt to have the thing hushed up, it's another to mismanage the cover up so badly --- all the owners supporting him now will doubtless have their own little difficulties to be handled in future, and if Goddell can't be trusted to lift a rug with one hand and manage a broom with the other then he's not their man, no?

Dumb fucks.
posted by Diablevert at 2:29 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


i'd be surprised if he kept his job - robert kraft (owner of the patriots, and maybe one of the most respected owners out of all of them) went on tv to support goodell yesterday saying he knew goodell hadn't seen the tape. i imagine kraft is pretty steamed right now.
posted by nadawi at 2:33 PM on September 10, 2014


Seems obvious they'll be some low-level NFL staffer who is identified as receiving the tape but not showing it to anyone to "protect the league" who will be fired. All the higher-ups will be shocked that someone would do that.
posted by smackfu at 2:37 PM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Boycott all NFL sponsors until Goodell is gone and a new policy is articulated.
posted by uraniumwilly at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


As I posted in the two MeFi-related fantasy football leagues (and all of the other ones I'm involved in), under the title "Goodell Must Go":
In the wake of the revelation that someone at the NFL definitely saw the tape of the Rice assault (and given that they should have seen it before handing down any suspension), I am done with the NFL until Roger Goodell is removed as commissioner, by hook or by crook.

With that in mind, I am benching all of my fantasy teams until I can support the league again.
I'll be boycotting anyone with an official NFL sponsorship as well.
posted by Etrigan at 3:48 PM on September 10, 2014


i imagine kraft is pretty steamed right now.

It's one thing to handle this sort of thing as poorly as the NFL has, but to do so while burning the linchpins of your support network like influential members of the media, die-hard fans who are willing to support you through a scandal as long as you look like you're trying your best, and especially the owners who function as your employers is just stupid. Looking back, that kind of incompetence is pretty much the hallmark of the Goodell commissionership. Remember the ludicrous referee lockout where he couldn't keep the owners from pitching a fit over a third of a percent of league revenues? These are not the actions of a well-run organization.

I mean, almost no one expects large professional sports organizations to be run morally. MLB? The IOC? The NCAA? They're all horribly corrupt and are led by thieves and knaves, but none of them, not Bud Selig, Gary Bettman, or even Sepp Blatter was dumb enough to actually start believing the bullshit they all spew about how great and important their sport is (and by extension they are) except for Goodell, who I honestly think believed that he was bulletproof just by virtue of his office. Hell, he might still believe it for all I know. He's never come off as someone who would let something like a scandal that could lead to his being fired keep him from maximum hubris at all times.
posted by Copronymus at 3:50 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


At this point it seems to me that Goodell is either straight up evil or straight up incompetent, the outcome of either of which should get him straight up fired. My hunch is that it won't happen until the sponsors precipitate it, but I know I'm pretty much done with the NFL and affiliates at this point, almost regardless of Goodell's ultimate fate.
posted by the painkiller at 6:16 PM on September 10, 2014


and now we have a law enforcement officer saying they sent the tape to the nfl and a voicemail that backs that up.

Hello. Ferguson, MO calling? Why are we suddenly trusting an anonymous law enforcement source? One who would in fact be committing a crime if they had done what they said they did?

The statement that the Ravens didn't ask Ray Rice's lawyer to see the tape is much more condemning, in my eyes, because there's a real risk to that lawyer if he lied about it, we know that lawyer's name, and if would have been perfectly justifiable for that lawyer to simple refuse to release the tape to the Ravens if Ray Rice didn't want it released. So, there's no reason for him to say "they didn't ask", when he could say "this is a client-lawyer relations issue and we will not comment."

But Anonymous Law Enforcement Officer? Presumed lying. Period. Indeed, that statement, to me, is the first evidence that maybe the NFL didn't see the full tape.

To be clear, I think they probably did and are lying. But that statement? Not only not proof, it's proof that I shouldn't trust the journalist who published it.
posted by eriko at 6:38 PM on September 10, 2014


sure - the anon leo all by themselves - never gonna believe that - that anon leo backed up by a voicemail from an nfl number indicating they got the tape? which is preemptively backed up by months ago reporters describing the tape from descriptions they got from a source in the nfl? yeah, i'm gonna believe that.
posted by nadawi at 6:42 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I assume the Associated Press did due diligence before saying the voicemail came from an NFL number.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I listened to local sports talk radio in Philly here all day. Not a single host and very few callers seemed to believe Goodell had not seen the video and that if he had not the only conceivable reason was because he was told what was on it and didn't watch so he could have plausible deniability in some form. And also, and this is hindsight for the media for the most part, but it is now gospel that the original video was evidence enough for a more serious reaction. So really, I think we are beyond the point where specific evidence on who saw what when matters. The public has decided against Goodell's handling and even if it turns out nobody at the NFL saw the video everything has already gone too far. The evidence he did have was enough.

You will be able to find tons of examples of sports journalists saying dumb stuff over the next few days, but the opposition Goodell is going to face from the public and the media is going to be overwhelming. I think he is gone. I don't think the next guy is gonna be any better on the whole, but on the issue of domestic violence at least the league is going to start treating it very differently even beyond the changes already announced.

I can't imagine the owners are going to stand by him very long, his bungling has turned the first week of the season which should be one of the biggest positive press times of the year into a bad PR shit tsunami and I don't think it's going to fade away until he is gone.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:59 PM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]




NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's father was a senator from the great state of New York. A liberal Republican (those existed then) he spoke out against the Vietnam War, sponsoring the first bill to defund the carnage in 1970, earning "the wrath of Richard Nixon." The response to Senator Goodell by Nixon was so unhinged that looking back it was a sign of the paranoia, the enemies lists, and the secret recordings that eventually did Nixon in. Now the younger Goodell, like his father's nemesis, could see all of his power and privilege crashing down over a tape.
The Beginning of the End for Roger Goodell, by Dave Zirin
posted by nadawi at 8:08 PM on September 10, 2014


Remember the good old days when anonymous NFL sources were just the cowards who didn't want to be publicly homophobic about Michael Sam in the locker room? Didn't know how good we had it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:51 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Regardless of whether the NFL had seen the tape, we know now beyond a shadow of a doubt that they knew the tape existed. If they didn't see it before last week, then Goodell suspended Rice while knowingly missing some of the evidence.

He's either lying or he's incompetent. Either way, Goodell must go.
posted by Etrigan at 2:53 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Looking back, that kind of incompetence is pretty much the hallmark of the Goodell commissionership. Remember the ludicrous referee lockout where he couldn't keep the owners from pitching a fit over a third of a percent of league revenues? These are not the actions of a well-run organization.

How about going even further back. How about burning (burning!) the spygate tapes.

And his labour negotiations go beyond strong-armed to something like shock and awe. New CBA on the horizon? Lock 'em out!
posted by Trochanter at 7:41 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't find this in the thread, so:

What Does it Take to Get Roger Goodell Fired?
Andrew Sharpe at Grantland.
posted by Trochanter at 7:49 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


New entry in the lexicon: "anti-testicular police".

Classy as always, Fox News!
posted by tonycpsu at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2014


I found a lot to agree with in this from Spencer Hall, even though it's largely just inchoate frustration at the owners about how the NFL is run in general: "Roger Goodell was not playing serious courtmaster from the start. He is, by design, a talking PR and marketing piñata. Get angry and hit him, and he belches out caramels and suspensions until your anger is appeased."
posted by Copronymus at 1:25 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Only Thing Unusual About Ray and Janay Rice Is That Anyone Noticed

Saddening statistic from the piece:
Of all the women murdered in 2010, nearly 40 percent were killed by a spouse or someone they were dating, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics....For men who are murdered, the percentage killed by someone they're intimate with hovers at about 2 to 3 percent.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:49 PM on September 11, 2014


Jesus, please don't let Goodell get away with this preposterous excuse:
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t pursue the Ray Rice domestic-violence incident as vigorously as he might have out of respect for Rice’s now-wife, Janay, according to one NFL owner.

In conversations about the Rice case over the summer, the owner said, Goodell privately told other owners that during his investigation, in a meeting with the Rices in June, Janay Rice said she had struck her then-fiancée and that she believed she was partly at fault for the incident. Goodell also said he left the meeting believing that Janay Rice had become unconscious because she had fallen during the scuffle.

After Goodell suspended Rice for two games in July, this person said, Goodell told several NFL owners that he felt it would have been insensitive to question Janay Rice’s story because it would have come across as an indictment of her character. Two people familiar with the commissioner’s thinking, including the owner, said they believe the thoroughness of the investigation, and Goodell’s decision to suspend Rice for two games, both reflected Goodell’s discomfort with challenging Janay Rice’s story.
I mean, seriously? You're going to go with "battered woman says it was her fault, who am I to question that?"
posted by tonycpsu at 1:53 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


And then there's this weirdness. ESPN, you know people are going to get tin-foil-hat on you for being so financially dependent on the NFL, but you don't have to make their jobs easy.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:06 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Goodell is at best the picture of "doesn't get it" here. At best.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:10 PM on September 11, 2014


I mean, seriously? You're going to go with "battered woman says it was her fault, who am I to question that?"

Sadly, I'm mostly just surprised that it took him as long as it did to finally settle on a scapegoat who isn't directly or indirectly paying his salary.
posted by Copronymus at 2:56 PM on September 11, 2014


and lets not forget - that was during a meeting where ray (and maybe his reps?) were all in the room.
posted by nadawi at 4:49 PM on September 11, 2014


Etrigan: “He's either lying or he's incompetent. Either way, Goodell must go.”
“The Goodell-Must-Go Bag,” Bill Simmons, Grantland, 11 September 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 4:56 PM on September 11, 2014


How can the same scandal blow up in someone’s face THREE DIFFERENT TIMES? It’s impossible!

Heh.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:14 PM on September 11, 2014




Heh -- from that Goodell Must Go Mailbag:

Q: So I have to wait for someone Goodell hired to find out if Goodell is lying? I have no reason to think the AP report isn’t true, and for owners to stand by Goodell because he’s made them enough money is terrible.


BS: So you don’t have a ton of confidence in an “independent” investigation led by owners from two of the team’s oldest-run families (the Maras and Rooneys) and conducted by someone who works for a law firm (WilmerHale) that just helped the NFL negotiate a 10-figure deal with DirecTV? And you think maybe it doesn’t look great that the current Ravens president (Dick Hale) spent 30 years working for that same law firm?


Is any offshore gambling enterprise taking stunt bets on the investigation finding that "mistakes were made" but that Goodell and the other executives "acted appropriately"?

I bet the league's lawyers have been feverishly working on the contract that gives the person from the voicemail who confirms receipt and viewing of the tape a golden parachute and prevents her from saying anything else about the matter for 20 years or so after she falls on her sword for Goodell and the league's sake.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:31 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


House of Cards makes me question the Mara's competence at getting to the bottom of any kind of scandal, though The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo says good things about the Rooney's abilities.
posted by Justinian at 9:47 PM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


From @popehat "Shaneen Allen: textbook case for prosecutorial discretion. Too bad DA Jim McClain used up his discretion on Ray Rice. http://t.co/mhsrxRnchl"
posted by phearlez at 6:12 AM on September 12, 2014






it's sadly to be expected. women still tweet chris brown offering their faces up for beating (and attacking rihanna for all manner of awful things). the patriarchy is a motherfucker. and, related, cbs opted to not air a pretaped performance by rihanna that was supposed to run before last night's game.
posted by nadawi at 7:23 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


CBS' James Brown, host of the night's coverage, on the NFL community and violence against women:

"Consider this, according to domestic violence experts, more than 3 women a day lose their lives at the hands of their partners, that means since the night of February 15th in Atlantic City more than 600 women have died, so this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds and to get help, and to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly."
posted by troika at 7:41 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]




bukvich: Female Ravens fans defend Ray Rice: 'I'm keeping my jersey'
Related: Two Michael Jackson fans got IN MY FACE angry when I suggested after his death that I thought he was a pedophile. Both were mothers of young children.

It seems perverse in both cases, but my explanation is that people who could see themselves in an exact parallel to the victim have two emotional-reaction choices: sympathize entirely with the victim, or summon up enough anger to keep those sympathy feelings at bay.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:47 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Psychology here may be beyond analysis. The domestic violence is passed through an observational kaleidoscope when it's celebrities. There are people out there who worship Chris Brown and Ray Rice like they are gods.
posted by bukvich at 9:30 AM on September 12, 2014


CBS cancelled Rihanna's pre-game performance and will have some kind of speech by Roger Goodell instead. WTH?
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:33 PM on September 12, 2014


CBS cancelled Rihanna's pre-game performance and will have some kind of speech by Roger Goodell instead. WTH?

I'm curious about that, because I kept reading that she was pulled because people were upset that she performing before the game, and it confused me. I understand the NFL being embarrassed that there's another reason for people to think about domestic violence, but why would anyone else be upset? Surely that's an PR problem the NFL has earned and should have to deal with? I don't see what's gained by making it that of the two people who have lost work on account of Ray Rice's violence, one of them is a domestic violence victim. Certainly not to push her aside so fucking Roger Goodell can try to save his job.

There might be an angle I'm missing though.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:53 PM on September 12, 2014


A report, not a speech. As it says in the article: "Instead, the network will start with a report from Norah O’Donnell, who interviewed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday."
posted by troika at 1:53 PM on September 12, 2014


Obviously I'm using "lost work" somewhat euphemistically, I assume Rihanna was still paid.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:54 PM on September 12, 2014


Goodell's going to be too busy looking into Adrian Peterson's indictment for reckless endangerment of a child to give speeches today anyway.
posted by Copronymus at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2014


There's more information about what they did air (it was yesterday) in this article.

FTA: CBS decided to change the tone and format of the pregame show, which also included comedy elements, to a more serious one, including a report form CBS News, an interview with the Baltimore Ravens owner, and comments from Norah O’Donnell, who did CBS News’ exclusive interview on the Rice situation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that aired in two parts earlier this week.

Which sounds to me like it wasn't about Rihanna, just a hurried attempt to capitalize on what everyone's talking about. Though who's to say it can't be both?
posted by troika at 2:03 PM on September 12, 2014


Though who's to say it can't be both?

Oh, it was definitely both. If you asked me to pick the exact wrong person to put on an NFL broadcast right now, Rihanna would be at #2 just under Nicole Brown Simpson.
posted by Etrigan at 2:12 PM on September 12, 2014


Man, "let's talk about domestic violence but only when we think it will get us better ratings" is just about the most perfectly awful summary of what has led us to this moment that I can imagine.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:30 PM on September 12, 2014


(That reading may not be fully fair to the NFL and CBS, but frankly, fuck 'em at this point.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:34 PM on September 12, 2014


They were not talking about domestic violence to score ratings points, they were talking about it because to not do so would have made their PR situation even worse. Roger Goodell would definitely prefer not to have the pregame on a national CBS and NFL Network broadcast be about what a huge fuckup he is, there just wasn't any way to avoid it. I can't imagine there will ever be another NFL broadcast he wishes you would watch less.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:38 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Seriously: Brown's commentary (full transcript with additional discussion here) was excellent and on-point. With an audience thinking about it (I mean really – they managed to have a Ravens game to kick off TNF), this was the best message to deliver, and Brown's delivery was powerful.

Meanwhile, the league immediately finds itself in a fresh world of shit with the Adrian Peterson child abuse case. And some football sites are inundated with pro-child abuse messages, which as a parent I find unconscionable.
posted by graymouser at 3:44 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, the league immediately finds itself in a fresh world of shit with the Adrian Peterson child abuse case.

One thing I didn't even realize in the first blush of reporting: Peterson was indicted in Texas. How bad do you have to beat a kid to get indicted for it in Texas?
posted by Etrigan at 3:53 PM on September 12, 2014


Peterson described it as a "whooping" (link contains Peterson's alleged description of child abuse).
posted by graymouser at 4:04 PM on September 12, 2014


Pictures of the injuries from the police report in this article. Kid is four. AP is in big trouble, and the NFL is going even deeper into it.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:07 PM on September 12, 2014


This Peterson thing will get really messy considering it's against the backdrop of:

1. Peterson's infant son being (allegedly, I guess this is still in the court system) killed by an abuser;
2. Ray Rice;
3. Vikings organizational issues (investigation prompted by Chris Kluhe's statements); and
4. Peterson being a superstar.

But it's heartening to know that even in Texas, and even if you're a superstar, you can't use a piece of wood and beat a four year old until he's bloody and bruised, even if that's what your dad did to you.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:13 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've seen in a few places that those photos of his son's injuries are from a week after the incident.

Commentary online is even worse than usual on this one. What a terrible insight into the American psyche this week has been.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:32 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Either the guys who run Pro Football Talk are ninja moderators, or the photos swung the majority of the comments from "My parents spanked me and I turned out ok"* to "that's child abuse."

*Of course, if you count apologism for child abuse and, in too many cases, perpetuating the cycle of child abuse...
posted by graymouser at 4:36 PM on September 12, 2014


PFT is very, very aggressively moderated.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:41 PM on September 12, 2014


(With what often appears to be a desire to prune down to the worst possible thread, will be nice if they are deleting shitty comments instead for once)
posted by Drinky Die at 4:42 PM on September 12, 2014


Etrigan: “One thing I didn't even realize in the first blush of reporting: Peterson was indicted in Texas. How bad do you have to beat a kid to get indicted for it in Texas?”
It did take seating a new grand jury. The first one declined to indict.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:48 PM on September 12, 2014


Interactive NFL Arrest Tracker

Perhaps it's time for NFL fantasy leagues to incorporate arrest stats into the scoring.

(Sorry, gallows humor. No, I'm not actually advocating doing this. Hamburger. Etc.)
posted by tonycpsu at 5:54 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Haha, with spider graphs even.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:56 PM on September 12, 2014


tonycpsu: “Perhaps it's time for NFL fantasy leagues to incorporate arrest stats into the scoring.”
“The National Suspension League Preview”Olbermann, 03 September 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 6:00 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


jesus those pictures. might i suggest those who are triggered by child abuse just skip them.
posted by nadawi at 6:31 PM on September 12, 2014


All I gotta say is what a way to start a season.
posted by Trochanter at 7:30 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Allow me to break it to you - this is common among a lot of families. What is uncommon is how young his son is. But 7, 8 - through being a teen, I'll tell you right now, as you're reading this, some kid is getting whooped with "a piece of wood". And if you're unfamiliar, it isn't a tree branch as one commonly thinks of a tree branch. It's basically a bendable, live twig. For the unaware, you usually get told to go choose it yourself. Nobody I knew was ever dumb enough to try to bring back like, a blade of grass and think you could get away with it. You brought it back, you got whooped with it, and you cried and it hurt.

Aside from the particulars, I'm sure most people are familiar with spanking. I'm sure people are aware there used to be actual paddles in schools that school teachers and principals and PE teachers would use to spank children. Peterson's kid is too young.

It's going to be interesting to see where this goes. I usually dismiss people that talk about events and discussions being an unfair attack on the black community, so I'm waiting to see what gets said in the coming weeks. I'm sure in recent years it has trended down, but do you remember this post? Yeah, that era was full of rough times and happenings, and whoopings were part of it.

If AD gets jail time over it, there is going to be a lot of discussion. The only thing I think most who have no problems with whoopings (again, this is a common thing) will say, is that 4 is too young.

Like Trochanter, I can't think of a time when there were this many sports stories of this nature. From this, to Peterson, to Pistorius, to the Hawks owner to Danny Ferry, to Greg Hardy - it's just coverage on ESPN unlike anything I've seen over the years.
posted by cashman at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]




CBS Article:
According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face.” The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.” He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”
Okay - punching in the face is a no. Hitting in the face is a no. They keep stressing on ESPN that Adrian has been completely forthcoming with information, so I want to see what he says in response to his son saying Adrian hit him in the face.
posted by cashman at 9:43 PM on September 12, 2014


you don't have to break anything to me - i'm well aware of what switches are and how common they where when i was growing up. the severity of the marks on that boy is not a normal or common whooping - it's not just his age, but the intensity.
posted by nadawi at 10:08 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


It was the cribbage board in our house, a couple of whacks on the ass when Dad got home. What an awful anachronism. I don't even treat my dog that way.

Dad loves Cribbage, and rarely loses. He taught me it later -- he's really masterful, and shameless about taking points that lesser players overlook. I only play it when I'm visiting and he breaks out the board. I've never beaten him.
posted by notyou at 10:27 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Regardless of where you stand on corporal punishment, spanking does not raise welts, draw blood, and leave scrapes and lacerations.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 AM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]




Regardless of where you stand on corporal punishment, spanking does not raise welts, draw blood, and leave scrapes and lacerations.

Or generally involve at least one blow to the testicles.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:03 AM on September 13, 2014


For me it was an actual belt, and it often left bruises, and sometimes welts, and I swear I even remember those welts bleeding a bit on at least one occasion.

In fact, I mentioned the discipline I received as a child on a previous Metafilter thread regarding the Texas family court judge shown beating his teenage daughter.

I honestly did not think that my father's discipline had affected me so much, beyond perhaps contributing to (a) my mixed opinion of the man (and I have many, many other justifications for that), and (b) my determination to never have children of my own.

...until I mentioned it in conversation with my VA therapist, who is a fucking angel, and who I will mourn to no end when she moves to the far northern tundra of the Dakotas in a few weeks. The therapist did not hesitate to name it abuse, and when she saw I was ambivalent about that label she challenged me: were the whippings I was given effective?

My first, reflexive answer was as follows: Given the way my life has turned out, then obviously not at the quantity or severity that I experienced. If you're going to go the way of whipping life lessons into your children, you'd better whip them at least as hard as I was whipped, and whip them at least as often.

How fucking wrongheaded is that? How fucking toxic?

If you ever whip your kids, be aware that bruises and welts are not the only marks you'll leave, and that those other marks may not fade so quickly.
posted by The Confessor at 8:41 AM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also -- and I apologize for my focus on this subject -- my father was very concerned that no one outside the family ever see the bruises and welts he left.

You weren't allowed to wear shorts for a few days after a whipping, because then other people would see the marks, and they might not realize that they were given in love.

In retrospect, I am morbidly amused by the parallel to the warnings given to victims of familial child sexual abuse.
posted by The Confessor at 8:49 AM on September 13, 2014


I have to say, I really do not understand the articles comparing the arrest rate for football players compared to other men their age. Let's compare the NFL arrest rate to similarly situated millionaires.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:02 AM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Chris Brown shares his advice for Ray Rice:
“I think it’s all about the choices you make,” Brown told MTV News’ Sway Calloway on Thursday (September 11). “With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past – not knowing how to express myself verbally and at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they are.”

“So I think help is great,” he added. “I still talk to my therapist twice a week, and it helps me to…if I’m frustrated and I’m dealing with something, to vent and say what I’m going through so I can hear from an actual clinical person, ‘this is how you should react,’ or ‘it’s good to feel this way because feelings, emotions, and energy are supposed to come and go. It’s not supposed to stay there, you’re not supposed to keep it inside, because it’ll bottle up and you’ll become a monster.’”


“To Ray, or anybody else — because I’m not better than the next man — I can just say I’ve been down that road. I deal with situations and I’ve made my mistakes too, but it’s all about how you push forward and how you control yourself.”
When Chris Brown is giving you anger management tips
posted by cashman at 2:04 PM on September 13, 2014


Hannah Storm just ended the latest sportscenter with a commentary on the state of the NFL. I'm sure the video will be around soon. She talked about how she was excited to kick off the opening week of the NFL but then she spent it instead covering the horrible Ray Rice video. She said her daughter is doing her first fantasy football team and Hannah was facing questions about why wasn't Ray Rice in jail, why can't the NFL control their players? And then she finished up by stressing that the NFL - all parts of it - needs to take action on this, asking "what exactly does Zero Tolerance mean?"
posted by cashman at 7:04 AM on September 14, 2014


Hannah Storm commentary video.
posted by cashman at 8:19 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cris Carter: My mom was wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum: this.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:21 AM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]





Cris Carter: My mom was wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum: this.


Cris Carter. So right on this.

My fellow Minnesotan with the horns, the purple zubaz and the braids? So wrong.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:44 AM on September 15, 2014




WHAT!!!????
posted by futz at 9:23 AM on September 15, 2014


He got indicted once, and he got benched for one game. Seems fair.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 9:26 AM on September 15, 2014


Etrigan, we just need a veteran sportscaster with the guts to go full Cato the Elder and finish every broadcast with "Furthermore, I believe that Roger Goodell must be fired."
posted by graymouser at 9:53 AM on September 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


"That was a beautiful pass by Peyton Manning to put the game away, and Roger Goodell is an incompetent who has dedicated himself to preserving and expanding the dangerous tolerance of abuse, both by and of players, in the NFL."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:24 AM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Simmons has been on this for a long time. Pretty much all of Grantland. Maybe not always calling for Goodell's head, but calling him the worst commish in any sport ever.
posted by Trochanter at 10:25 AM on September 15, 2014


Etrigan: “Goodell delenda est.”
graymouser: “Etrigan, we just need a veteran sportscaster with the guts to go full Cato the Elder and finish every broadcast with "Furthermore, I believe that Roger Goodell must be fired."”
“The NFL Got The Tape, Goodell Must Be Fired”Olbermann, 10 September 2014

Et cetera…
posted by ob1quixote at 11:56 AM on September 15, 2014




From the Viking's statement in rm317's link:
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process.
No mention of his obligation to his children. Hmmm.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2014


To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.
In other words, "Let's face it -- there's a good chance he'll get injured and retire before the trial, so we're going to squeeze what we can out of him now and suspend him when he's less useful."
posted by Etrigan at 12:14 PM on September 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm... conflicted about the Peterson thing. I disagree with many of the points made in this post, and ertainly, a multi-million dollar athlete isn't an ideal poster boy for the kind of person whose life can be ruined by denying them the ability to work for a living until they have their day in court, but I do see due process as an vital component of our system of jusice, and when people are being sanctioned outside of that system for charges they haven't had a chance to defend themselves against in court, bad things can happen.

My gut feeling has been that the NFL and the team shouldn't let AP play, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to reconcile that with my distaste for employers administering justice based on their own whims / corporate values.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:39 PM on September 15, 2014


I'm... conflicted about the Peterson thing.

I have the same issue with it that I do about the Rice debacle -- if you're going to have a knee-jerk reaction, don't come out after your knee has jerked and then say "We're going to allow for due process." It's not like no one has ever been arrested in the NFL before. They should have an idea of how to handle it, or at least not act like they're taking a principled moral stand when it's clear they're collectively running around like the proverbial beheaded chickens.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 12:52 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


AFAICT, they haven't really done any kind of flip-flop on Peterson the way they did with Rice, though.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:54 PM on September 15, 2014


Peterson has admitted enough already to be worthy of punishment.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:59 PM on September 15, 2014


Peterson's statement today:
"My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.

I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.

I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.

I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.

I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.

I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.

I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person."
posted by cashman at 1:07 PM on September 15, 2014


Drinky Die: Peterson has admitted enough already to be worthy of punishment.

Yes, but isn't it better to let that punishment come from the legal system rather than letting an employer decide willy-nilly what offenses merit punishment?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:13 PM on September 15, 2014


I think it I would prefer it that way, but the league and the teams have put themselves in the position of judging their employees because they feel it reflects poorly on their image if they don't. In that context, waiting when you already have enough information to act is just cowardly.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:35 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I guess I'm coming down on the side of making the right move for the wrong reasons.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:47 PM on September 15, 2014


Adrian Peterson is represented by Rusty Hardin. That fucker like never loses.
posted by bukvich at 1:47 PM on September 15, 2014


I don't understand why the NFL doesn't have a rule like every other organisation: employees are suspended with pay while under criminal investigation.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:18 PM on September 15, 2014


Deadspin dissects the absurdity of the Vikings response.

The team knew this was coming and can see the evidence, none of which is being denied at all by anyone. Peterson's only defense is that he doesn't think it rises to the level of abuse. If the Vikings are willing to let a jury decide for them, then they don't get to claim a moral principle, as they have.
posted by Etrigan at 3:19 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


“CoverGirl Ad Becomes a Protest Tool Against NFL's Roger Goodell,” Neha Prakash, Mashable, 15 September 2014

Sadly their hashtag is "#GoodellMustGo" not "#GoodellDelendaEst."
posted by ob1quixote at 4:39 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh Jesus Christ it's getting worse.
According to KHOU 11 in Houston, the second case against Peterson, which has not yet resulted in criminal charges, arose after he administered a “whooping” to another four-year-old son by creating a head wound that reportedly left a scar over the boy’s right eye.
posted by Etrigan at 6:42 PM on September 15, 2014


“The National Freefall League” Part 1 [5:15] Part 2 [4:45]Olbermann, 15 September 2014

Goodell Delenda Est.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:21 PM on September 15, 2014


Vikes are going to have to deactivate him. That "his head hit the car seat" thing looks suspect. At this point with 3 different young children of Adrian's that have been injured, there's no way you can have him play on Sunday. At this point, take him off the team until the case(s) are finished. Nobody in the world aside from idiot rabid fans are going to seriously be upset over the long term when there are multiple children with suspect injuries.
posted by cashman at 8:53 PM on September 15, 2014


It's a typical failure of leadership that the NFL isn't handling the Peterson issue at the league level. Of course the team is going to make the avaricious move and try to play him: that's what businesses do and the NFL is as cutthroat as they come.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:02 PM on September 15, 2014


I don't understand why the NFL doesn't have a rule like every other organisation: employees are suspended with pay while under criminal investigation.

I'm guessing it's a consequence of the misconduct occurring outside of the workplace and because teams and the league would really, really rather not have players suspended.

I'm not too familiar with organizations that suspend employees with pay pending criminal investigation and disposition for crimes that occur outside of the workplace. Every organization I've either worked for or had as a client would suspend employees with pay only when the misconduct was work-related, during the pendency of a much shorter workplace investigation. Crimes that occurred outside of the workplace resulted either in no action, or termination only in the event that the process interfered with the employee's ability to work, and in the rarest cases, immediate termination. The NFL is (somewhat) unique in that it will discipline players at all for infractions that occur outside of the workplace.

And of course the teams and the league are generally incentivized to not suspend players because fans want to see their team's players playing, not in some legal limbo that can last for months or a year or longer while a non-work-related criminal incident is investigated and adjudicated.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:16 PM on September 15, 2014


It's a typical failure of leadership that the NFL isn't handling the Peterson issue at the league level.

Give it a couple of days. There's now an allegation floating around about yet another child of Peterson's. The league's knee won't be able to keep from jerking much longer.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 4:37 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


employees are suspended with pay while under criminal investigation.

He makes around $750k per game. So suspending him with pay until there is a criminal verdict is incredibly expensive to the team.
posted by smackfu at 6:48 AM on September 16, 2014






I think it I would prefer it that way, but the league and the teams have put themselves in the position of judging their employees because they feel it reflects poorly on their image if they don't.

Yeah, I imagine it's not a common opinion around here but I personally would be okay with the league taking a consistent stance of "what happens off the field is not our business." But they have made this Hero Warrior garbage part of their shtick and want to be the All-American inspiration to millions blah blah blah. If you're going to claim you're worthy of admiration then you get to have it pointed out when you act in ways that aren't admirable, thereby claiming that those actions are okay.

He makes around $750k per game. So suspending him with pay until there is a criminal verdict is incredibly expensive to the team.

That seems to be the language they speak most fluently. Perhaps if there was more skin in the game they'd avoid signing shitty people and expend some time and money on preventing this sort of thing (as opposed to on avoiding it becoming public.) But I take the point that they're not going to allow a system of repercussions that might cost them, the organizations, that much money.
posted by phearlez at 8:39 AM on September 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


That seems to be the language they speak most fluently. Perhaps if there was more skin in the game they'd avoid signing shitty people and expend some time and money on preventing this sort of thing (as opposed to on avoiding it becoming public.) But I take the point that they're not going to allow a system of repercussions that might cost them, the organizations, that much money.

I dunno that $750k is all that much money, to an NFL organisation. TV rights alone are about $3 billion a year, IIRC, and that's before tickets and merch. I suspect that the pressure is the other way --- the prospect of the Vikings having another terrible season without their best player might keep fans at home, $100 replica jerseys unbought, and I suspect that that's worth a lot more than $750k to the Vikes, per week. Peterson is probably the difference between them making the playoffs and not, and that's real money.

On the "avoiding signing shitty people" front...I am honestly of two minds about that, in a way. A number of years ago I read a short non-fiction book where a journalist tracked a number of young women trying to get involved with boxing. One of the girls in the book was a bit of a hothead, got in trouble a lot at school, not a happy or a stable home life...when she was boxing, she was getting in a lot less trouble. The ring gave her a safe outlet for the anger and aggression and general emotional turmoil she was feeling, a place where those qualities could be channelled in a positive way. It's a role boxing has often played in the lives of young men, and one I'd argue football does as well. Past a given amount of athletic talent and good genes, excelling in a sport at that level requires intense desire, as well. And I can't help but think that perhaps a lot of the young men out there who want it bad enough to make it are those who need it most, for whom football provides a structure and a support network, and yes, an outlet for aggression, that they would otherwise be releasing in much more harmful ways.

Look at the case of that lineman in Miami last year, the one who quit rather than take locker room bullying --- both his parents were college professors. He by all accounts was a bright guy with plenty of other career options he could pursue. He didn't need football, and so he left. I don't think it's just a matter of "weeding out a few bad apples". There's a lot of Venn diagrams you can draw between the qualities that make you a good football player and the qualities that might get you in trouble in the real world.
posted by Diablevert at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2014


It's not just the money really, it's that the league has a salary cap. When one of your highest paid players can't go you are investing a big part of your allowed budget on nothing so it's kind of a competitive double whammy.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:21 AM on September 16, 2014


they'd avoid signing shitty people

It's a nice theory, but does it really apply here? Ray Rice had a sterling reputation before this happened. Or check out this story from 2012 about Adrian Petersen which calls him "squeaky-clean".

Whatever you screen on, these guys would not be filtered out.
posted by smackfu at 9:22 AM on September 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Well, now the NFL will pay attention: Radisson has dropped its sponsorship of the Vikings, specifically citing the Peterson situation.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 10:16 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah Adrian Peterson always seemed like one of the best guys in the NFL to me. Total shocker.
posted by sweetkid at 10:48 AM on September 16, 2014


Whatever you screen on, these guys would not be filtered out.

NFL Football Player?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:34 PM on September 16, 2014


Radisson has dropped its sponsorship of the Vikings,

Peterson wasn't exactly the problem. The problem was the Vikings did their reinstatement news conference with their team studio backdrop which prominently features the Radisson logo. Oops! I bet if they had put blank purple swatches on top the Radisson logo for that one presentation everybody would have been cool.
posted by bukvich at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why the NFL doesn't have a rule like every other organisation: employees are suspended with pay while under criminal investigation.

The answer to that is "It's not in the CBA." Because the NFL is a protected trust, the labor laws are different, and there's a contract, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, that specifies what may or may not be done to a player. It runs 254 pages plus appendices [pdf].

Want to know why you can get fined for wearing the wrong thing on your uniform? Article 51, section 2(b). Want to know why they can wear bizarrely colored shoes and glove? Article 51, section 2(a), which is also why those shoes and gloves can be bizarrely colored, but not have logos on them other than league approved ones.

Article 42 covers what the club can do to discipline a player, and Article 46 covers what the league can do. Along with the CBA are the policies that the NFL/NFLPA have agreed to, the Personal Conduct Policy being the one you want here.

In both the PCP and the CBA, the NFL may fine, suspend or banish, but since it doesn't mention inactivate, that means the NFL cannot force a player to not play and still be paid by the club.

The *club* can choose to do so, like Minnesota did with Adrian Peterson last week, by simply putting the player on the inactive list, but the NFL can't. To give the league the ability to do so would require both the NFL owners and the NFLPA to agree to do so, like they did last week with the NFL Drug Policy. I can't find the new one online -- it may not have been posted, given how recent it was agreed to.

So, if the NFL wants to force AP to not play, they can suspend him, but they can't currently suspend someone with pay, unless and until the CBA and PCP are changed.
posted by eriko at 1:46 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and AB, FedEx, Marriott, and CoverGirl have all fired warning shots at the NFL. These may look meek, but these are clear "We do not like this, and you will either fix this or we will walk" messages.
posted by eriko at 1:51 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Amheuser Busch might be the NFL's single largest sponsor. Google does not instantaneously return an accurate list.
posted by bukvich at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2014


Re: the $750K, the issue is not that the owners are stingy as such - it's that player salaries are basically Monopoly money, in that you only get so much of it with which to play the game, no matter how rich or poor you are in real life. An NFL team can only spend $133 million a year on players, so if you're wasting $12 million of that on a guy who just sits around giving you bad PR, that's a huge competitive disadvantage.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:51 PM on September 16, 2014


Adrian Peterson placed on NFL exempt list by Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings have reversed course on Adrian Peterson, putting him on the NFL's exempt/commissioner's permission list until his child-abuse case is resolved, which bars him from all team activities, the team said in a news release early Wednesday morning.
posted by cashman at 5:07 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The NYTimes article on this makes the point that Peterson's first court date is scheduled for some time in October, and that he may not have this resolved this season.

I'm curious, in a case like this, does this mean he can't work out at the team facilities?
posted by OmieWise at 6:45 AM on September 17, 2014


does this mean he can't work out at the team facilities?

I'm pretty sure the answer to that is yes.
posted by cashman at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2014


I'm curious, in a case like this, does this mean he can't work out at the team facilities?

Not automatically. The NFL Exempt list means you cannot play, and you are not part of the 53 man roster. Being on the list alone doesn't disqualify you from practice. Both Michael Vick and Tanard Jackson were place on the Exempt list, and they were able to practice.

Minnesota, not the NFL, has chosen to also bar him from practice and team activities. I would assume this means he's not allowed into team facilities, but he may be able to use them when the team isn't present. However, except for games and travel to/from road games, the team is going to be there during the season, so I suspect it's effectively, if not actually, an outright ban.

Since the Exempt list is a roster clearing move, Minnesota can acquire another player for the 53 man eligible-to-play roster, either from a practice squad -- any of them *except* the Atlanta Falcons, you can't pick from the PS of the team you're about to play -- or off the waiver wire or street. If they pick a PS player, they will have to carry him (and pay him) for at least three weeks on the 53 man roster.

The reason for the "Commissioner's Permission" is that it is a roster clearing move. Deactivated means that you can't play, but you're still on the roster. Injured Reserve clears you from the roster, but means you can't play for the rest of the year, except for preseason injuries, you can then designate one (and only one) as returnable after 8 weeks. Almost all moves that clear a roster spot means the player who was moved off cannot play again that year.

So, you get a case like this, where a player is going to be gone for some time for the good of the team and the game, yet might clear their name. You can ask the League to allow you to Exempt them, which is what MN did. The league agreed, so they moved AP onto the Exempt list.

Also, like IR, this list means you're paid. The team can fine him up within the limits of the CBA, but otherwise, this is suspended with pay.
posted by eriko at 8:26 AM on September 17, 2014


Yeah Adrian Peterson always seemed like one of the best guys in the NFL to me

Both Ray Rice and AP were considered class acts until the footage came out. This wasn't like Ray Lewis, who always seemed like a not-nice human being. Both AP and Rice were very active in the community, ran charities, and generally seemed like decent people.

Then again, I remember Brendan Marshall, currently with the Chicago Bears, who was by all appearances a complete shithead. Then he (and we) found out he had Borderline Personality Disorder and started getting treatment. Since then, he's been remarkably not a shithead, has been very active in raising the profile of the disease and raising money for it.

So, if it turns out that what we're looking at is a mental health issue, then I deeply hope that it's discovered, effective treatment has been found, and that they can lead happy and productive lives. If this is the case, I have no problem with them coming back.

If I were going to condemn people on the basis of mental illness, I'd be the first one to go. And our *courts* don't do that, for a very good reason.
posted by eriko at 8:40 AM on September 17, 2014


Also, like IR, this list means you're paid. The team can fine him up within the limits of the CBA, but otherwise, this is suspended with pay.

NFL.com says teams can choose whether to pay players on the Exempt List, and that Minnesota has made the choice to pay him.

To loop around to the original story, the NFLPA has formally appealed Ray Rice's suspension on the grounds that it's double jeopardy to say "Two games, no, wait, infinity games," and demanded an independent arbitrator because the Commissioner (who must go) will be a witness.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on September 17, 2014


Just to chime in (and because I love Cato the Elder's tactic so much):

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:03 AM on September 17, 2014


part of the appeal, at least from things i've been reading, is to prove that nfl knew of the severity and had the tape when they set the first punishment. it might not get rice reinstated automatically, but it will help his return by proving to the other owners that he didn't lie - that he was forthright and following all the suggestions of his superiors.

also, while ap will get his regular pay, it's my impression that the bonuses that come from suiting up every game, yardage goals, touchdowns, etc are lost - this is the difference in nfl contracts that are usually reported as "99 million dollar contract, 50 million guaranteed" - he'll get his guaranteed money for the year, but nothing else.

goodell must go. i hope ab and others don't let up.
posted by nadawi at 9:13 AM on September 17, 2014


To loop around to the original story, the NFLPA has formally appealed Ray Rice's suspension on the grounds that it's double jeopardy to say "Two games, no, wait, infinity games,"

I was afraid of this, but the CBA is badly written here. We have Article 46 Section 4, the One Penalty clause. "The Commissioner and the Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner's disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct."

This is why Baltimore released him. They couldn't add any punishment they wanted to, because the league already preempted. They can release, because all NFL contract allow release at any time.

The question is can the NFL itself punish someone twice? The name of the clause suggests no -- "One Penalty", but the language of the clause, while prohibiting the club and league from doing so, doesn't explicitly forbid the league itself from doing so. The NFLPA's assertion is no, they can't, and that was agreed to, but the wording of Article 46 Section 4 doesn't explicitly bar that.

Furthermore, the NFLPA is required, by law, to handle this grievance and do what they can to aide Rice in overturning this. Because this is a collective bargaining situation and the NFLPA is the player's representatives, they have to. The NFLPA has both a fiduciary and a legal obligation to do so.

So, when you see the NFLPA doing this, realize this is exactly the same as "you have the right to an attorney", the NFLPA is in effect an attorney on retainer, and is required to do this. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure they, in the abstract, do not want the NFL to have the power to make punishments worse on the fly.

I'm also pretty sure they were praying that Ray Rice wouldn't ask for an appeal, but once he did, the NFLPA is very constrained in how they can act. They have to argue for reversal.
posted by eriko at 9:18 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


eriko: I'm also pretty sure they were praying that Ray Rice wouldn't ask for an appeal, but once he did, the NFLPA is very constrained in how they can act. They have to argue for reversal.

Yeah, you can't fault the player's union for sticking up for its members, and the good news (from their perspective) is that the NFL's Keystone Kops handling of the situation has given them plenty of cover to appeal based on things like impartiality and the appearance of a conflict of interest, both of which were known problems with the NFL's enforcement apparatus long before any of this happened.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:29 AM on September 17, 2014


I saw it said that because his original suspension hadn't yet ended, that it was in effect adjusting his penalty, not punishing him twice for the same thing. I honestly haven't dug that deep into it because regardless of what their rules are, if the nfl wants him to play, he'll play, and if they do not want him to play, my guess is he won't sniff the field.

At this point there has been so much coverage that a lot of people have done that annoying thing where even if someone is a ridiculous jerk who deserves punishment, an extended period of scrutiny leaves people somehow feeling sorry for them. Rice is there now, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him on a roster before the playoffs start.
posted by cashman at 9:42 AM on September 17, 2014


Agreed that the NFLPA is doing the right thing here -- the league shouldn't be able to "bid up" penalties based on public reaction. And their demanding an arbitrator is going to get the real sequence of events (When did the NFL see the tape? What other evidence did they use to make each decision?) into the record.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]




from nubs link:

And integral to that notion of American masculinity is violence. Football is our culture’s great spectacle of violence, our version of the gladiatorial games of ancient Rome. You can see signs of football’s celebration of amped-up manhood in the pageantry of our own bread and circuses: the military jet flyovers, the Built Ford Tough commercials, the shiny uniforms, the amplified crunching sound of hard hits, the big-knotted ties, and the pregame show special effects that seem like something out of Transformers 12. You can see it in the silver gladiator mask that Terrell Suggs wore during the pregame introductions when the Ravens played the Steelers last Thursday. But those are only symptoms. Get rid of the truck commercials, get rid of the gun salutes, and you’d still have the violence on the field. Get rid of the gladiator mask, and you’d still have Suggs.

The picture of Suggs in his gladiator mask is pro. Does Goodell read Grantland?
posted by bukvich at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2014


Fantastic piece, nubs. Highly recommended reading.
Men have worried that masculinity was under threat for as long as football has been around. The sport as we know it, after all, began during an era and in a class so nervous about decline that there was a condition, neurasthenia, to describe men’s anxiety. The easiest way to prove you were a man was to adopt an attitude of aggression.
A few days ago before this article came out, this finally coalesced for me. The impassioned speeches in Ray Rice's defense that I saw and insistence that this is some kind of witch hunt against him made me realize that a good amount of men view this as an attack on masculinity itself. It's so stupid. But that is indeed what is happening (that they think this).

But that article is so much more than this little excerpt, and I again recommend it.
posted by cashman at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2014


Does Goodell read Grantland?

Depends -- is public opinion for or against him having read it?

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 10:50 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Due Process: A Real Thing
The NFL has (rightly or wrongly) set the maximum punishment for a first domestic violence offense at 6 games. Rice's NFL punishment shouldn't exceed that. While what Rice did is far, far worse attempts to suspend him for more than that are comparable to MLB's indefensible season-long suspension of A-Rod. The idea that allegedly lying to Roger Goodell could merit as much or more punishment than the underlying offense of knocking a woman unconscious is farcical on multiple levels, and the potential for abuse is very real. The Ravens can release Rice, of course, but apart from the 6 suspended games at most they should pay him his signing bonus.

The NFL does use due process disingenuously, but it's a real value. To be clear, what process is due is not necessarily the process that's due in a criminal trial. In Greg Hardy's case, even if his jury trial counts as a de novo hearing under North Carolina law, a conviction in a bench trial is sufficient for the NFL to suspend him. If a player is being suspend[ed] with pay, like Adrian Peterson, I think credible allegations are sufficient. But if the NFL wants to suspend players without pay for off-the-field actions, waiting for the legal process to play out is not unreasonable. And the penalties should be specific and preferably collectively bargained.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:54 AM on September 17, 2014


the nfl has not set the max penalty at 6 games - that's the starting penalty. goodell was very clear that extenuating circumstances could increase the 1st offender penalty.
posted by nadawi at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2014


nadawi, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you're talking about the new policy Goodell has announced, not the policy that was in effect at the time these incidents occurred.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:25 AM on September 17, 2014


the nfl has not set the max penalty at 6 games - that's the starting penalty. goodell was very clear that extenuating circumstances could increase the 1st offender penalty.

Or decrease it, per Goodell's letter:
Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant.
(emphasis added)

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on September 17, 2014


nadawi, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you're talking about the new policy Goodell has announced, not the policy that was in effect at the time these incidents occurred.

There wasn't a specific policy in place at the time. The Personal Conduct Policy just said (and I believe still says):
Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension, or banishment from the League and may include a probationary period and conditions that must be satisfied prior to or following reinstatement. The specifics of the disciplinary response will be based on the nature of the incident, the actual or threatened risk to the participant and others, any prior or additional misconduct (whether or not criminal charges were filed), and other relevant factors.

Unless the available facts clearly indicate egregious circumstances, significant bodily harm or risk to third parties, or an immediate and substantial risk to the integrity and reputation of the NFL, a first offense generally will not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding (or until the investigation is complete in the case of noncriminal misconduct).
posted by Etrigan at 11:28 AM on September 17, 2014


OK, so it was Calvinball before, and it's Calvinball after. Nevermind, then.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:31 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers has been placed on the Exempt/CP list or took a voluntary leave of absence, depending on who you listen to. Hardy has been convicted in a bench trial with "reasonable belief" as the standard, he now moves to a jury trial with the usual standards of proof required.

Head Coach Ron Riviera acknowledged that the "changing climate in the NFL" led to the decision (however it was actually implemented.)

It seems we have fallen into a new standard. If you're charged in a DV case, you get Exempt/CP until the case resolves. But we still don't have a real standard for conviction, and do you treat a plea-bargain to avoid conviction as a conviction?

Hardy is playing as a franchise tagged free-agent, which makes his salary for the year guaranteed, so directly cutting him won't save the Panthers any money.
posted by eriko at 2:38 PM on September 17, 2014


And next up:

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was just arrested for domestic violence over an alleged altercation with his wife.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:25 PM on September 17, 2014


Probably a good time for anyone else with an arrest / conviction hanging over them to get it out in the open now so it gets lost in the shuffle.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:34 PM on September 17, 2014




I saw someone link to this part of a fansided article about the Jonathan Dwyer arrest:
"If Dwyer is shown the door, the Cardinals would be able to call on practice squad running back Chris Rainey to fill Dwyer’s spot on the 53-man roster. There is one problem, however. Rainey has previously been released from a team because of a domestic violence incident.

The NFL and the players need to get their act together. Fast."
posted by cashman at 6:23 AM on September 18, 2014


Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was just arrested for domestic violence over an alleged altercation with his wife.

The Cardinals immediately deactivated Dwyer, which means he doesn't dress or play, but he can't be replaced on the roster. Placing on the Exempt/CP list requires the league to sign off on it, deactivating can be done by the team unilaterally.

He may well end up on the Exempt/CP list, but he's not there yet. Given that the arrest happened last yesterday afternoon (and after 5PM EDT.) I'm not surprised that he hasn't been exempted yet.

To their credit, the Cardinals took action almost immediately -- they got word late that afternoon and had the announcement out before 5PM PDT. Basically as soon as they got word. The longest part was probably writing the press release.
posted by eriko at 11:40 AM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


eriko, thanks for all the detailed knowledge of eligibility rules you've brought to these threads. Very valuable.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:45 AM on September 18, 2014




Goodell is having a news conference today at 3pm (in 25 minutes). He's expected to address domestic violence issues and the personal conduct policy.
posted by cashman at 11:35 AM on September 19, 2014


Press conference at 3pm on a Friday is ALWAYS a good sign.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by troika at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


A Whole Lot Of Ravens Fans Turned Up To Exchange Their Ray Rice Jerseys

I gotta say, that really warms my heart. There's a lot of problems with the world and how we react to domestic violence, there's a shit-ton of sublimated misogyny, etc. But I am really encouraged that so many people are going to take a position on violence against a woman that they'll show up and spend their time this way.

Yeah, you can look at it from all sorts of cynical perspectives and some of them will be true. But as far as I am concerned it can be a lot of followers joining the crowd and still be a net good for the purposes of moving the window.
posted by phearlez at 11:50 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Live Stream
posted by cashman at 11:57 AM on September 19, 2014


I can't imagine Goodell will take questions after this (whenever it finally starts), but I'd love to see it happen.
posted by cashman at 12:10 PM on September 19, 2014


Oh - he said he will take questions. News conference just started.
posted by cashman at 12:16 PM on September 19, 2014


He's taking questions. This will wendell.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:16 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


i read a statement saying the nfl was partnering with dv hotlines, making way to hire 75 more full time agents in the next couple weeks, along with other support. for all the shittiness and half measures, that actually seems like a good step. i've always gotten so frustrated at the turn the field pink when focusing on abuse or mental illness would make a lot more sense for them.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


i still think that the changing of the domestic violence protocol was because goodell knew the tape (which he either saw or purposefully opted to not see) was coming out in a manner of days. it was done then to give him the cover to say 'we knew we were wrong even before we had this new info.' he's such a fucking snake.
posted by nadawi at 12:31 PM on September 19, 2014


"we hired an independent dude (who is super duper close to the nfl and to the ravens and is really not independent at all) to help us cover this up...i mean, to give me cover to not answer your questions...i mean to find the truth, yeah, that's it."
posted by nadawi at 12:42 PM on September 19, 2014


Well that was wild. Some guy entered to Goodell's left. You couldn't see him. Security grabbed him up as he said something like "What? I'm Benji?" Then he started screeching "WHAT? ...WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? DON'T TAKE ME TO AN ELEVATOR!!! DON'T TAKE ME TO AN ELEVATOR!!"

(making a commentary on the Ray Rice thing if anyone is wondering)
posted by cashman at 12:52 PM on September 19, 2014


that was really weird.
posted by nadawi at 12:53 PM on September 19, 2014


oh fuck you goodell - she is not questioning the integrity of the director of the fbi -she's questioning the appearance of impropriety and he's not the current director of the fbi, he's a guy being paid by the nfl.
posted by nadawi at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


And overseen by a couple of Goodell's most loyal owners. So yeah, pointing to Mueller as independent, outside guy is laughable. I wish the reporters had pressed him more on that.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:01 PM on September 19, 2014


cashman: “Well that was wild. Some guy entered to Goodell's left. You couldn't see him. Security grabbed him up as he said something like "What? I'm Benji?"”
“Protestor Invades Goodell Presser, Screaming About An Elevator,” Timothy Burke, Deadspin, 19 September 2014
Update: Apparently this is some moron from the Stern show.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:12 PM on September 19, 2014


besides a dude who thinks that goodell giving up some of his power is a huge personal concession, espn seems to think goodell utterly botched that whole statement and q&a. i wonder how the nfl network is spinning it...
posted by nadawi at 1:15 PM on September 19, 2014


“NFL Week 3: Peterson, Picks, and the All-Outrage Mailbag,” Bill Simmons, Grantland, 19 September 2014
Editor’s note: We made the mistake of holding this column for one hour because we thought Roger Goodell might actually say something interesting, thoughtful or sincere in today’s days-too-late press conference. I left my thoughts on my Twitter timeline as that wretched, defensive, unconfident mess of an ordeal unfolded. We knew it might be bad, but THAT bad? The only thing that press conference was missing was the camera panning over to Jon Lovitz dressed as Michael Dukakis, then Lovitz shrugging and saying, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.” The best part was when Goodell admitted that he never thought of resigning — not once, not at any point. Really? Not once? Not one time??? He’s the most overmatched professional sports commissioner we’ve ever had. But hey, we knew that already. Time for my column.
P.S. Goodell Delenda Est
posted by ob1quixote at 3:23 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Roger Goodell's press conference felt like watching Ike Turner perform 'Luka' at Lilith Fair

The guy who interupted the press conference was Benjy Bronk, head writer of the Howard Stern Show. He's done stuff like this before.
posted by The Gooch at 3:26 PM on September 19, 2014


New problems: Rice case: purposeful misdirection by Baltimore Ravens, scant investigation by NFL
"Outside the Lines" interviewed more than 20 sources over the past 11 days -- team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives and associates, advisers and friends of Rice -- and found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night.

After the Feb. 15 incident in the casino elevator, Ravens executives -- in particular owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome -- began extensive public and private campaigns pushing for leniency for Rice on several fronts: from the judicial system in Atlantic County, where Rice faced assault charges, to commissioner Goodell, who ultimately would decide the number of games Rice would be suspended from this fall, to within their own building, where some were arguing immediately after the incident that Rice should be released.

The Ravens also consulted frequently with Rice's Philadelphia defense attorney, Michael J. Diamondstein, who in early April had obtained a copy of the inside-elevator video and told Cass: "It's f---ing horrible." Cass did not request a copy of the video from Diamondstein but instead began urging Rice's legal team to get Rice accepted into a pretrial intervention program after being told some of the program's benefits. Among them: It would keep the inside-elevator video from becoming public.

For its part, the NFL -- which in other player discipline cases has been able to obtain information that's been sealed by court order -- took an uncharacteristically passive approach when it came to gathering evidence, opening itself up to widespread criticism, allegations of inconsistent approaches to player discipline and questions about whether Goodell gave Rice -- the corporate face of the Baltimore franchise -- a light punishment as a favor to his good friend Bisciotti. Four sources said Ravens executives, including Bisciotti, Cass and Newsome, urged Goodell and other league executives to give Rice no more than a two-game suspension, and that's what Goodell did on July 24.

Most sources spoke with "Outside the Lines" on the condition of anonymity, citing the NFL's just-launched, self-described independent investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the former FBI chief, which is being overseen by John Mara, the New York Giants' owner, and Art Rooney II, the Pittsburgh Steelers' co-owner. Mara and Rooney are close confidants of Goodell's. The interviews, viewed together, paint a picture of a league and a franchise whose actions -- and inaction -- combined to conceal -- or ignore -- the graphic violence of Rice's assault. When evidence of it surfaced anyway, the NFL and the Ravens quickly shifted gears and simultaneously attempted to pin the blame on Rice and his alleged lack of truthfulness with Goodell about what had happened inside the elevator.
And that's only a small piece of the full article.
posted by cashman at 4:34 PM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


That's a great article, and it confirms the narrative that was apparent when the elevator video came out -- everyone in the Ravens front office and NFL headquarters either A) knew exactly what had happened, or B) actively avoided knowing and took steps expressly designed to let them say "Well, we tried, oh well," if the truth ever came out.

As much as it's ashes in my mouth to say it, John Harbaugh is one of two people who come out of this story looking at least halfway decent:
Although the grainy video [the video that was released first, from outside the elevator] did not show what had happened behind the elevator's doors, the images horrified Ravens coach John Harbaugh, according to four sources inside and outside the organization. The Super Bowl-winning coach urged his bosses to release Rice immediately, especially if the team had evidence Rice had thrown a punch. That opinion was shared by George Kokinis, the Baltimore director of player personnel, according to a fifth source outside the organization but familiar with the team's thinking.
Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 5:24 PM on September 19, 2014


Without looking to excuse any acts of domestic violence at the hands of NFL players past, current, and future, here's yet another profession that would benefit greatly by this same microscopic examination of DV complaints. By some sort of outside organization. Because quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:36 PM on September 19, 2014


That ESPN report is brutal if it's accurate. Unnamed sources and all that. This is the worst for the powers that be:

Minutes later, Rice's phone buzzed. He could scarcely believe what he was looking at-- back-to-back text messages from Bisciotti. Rice read them aloud so everyone in the room could hear them:

Hey Ray, just want to let you know, we loved you as a player, it was great having you here. Hopefully all these things are going to die down. I wish the best for you and Janay.

When you're done with football, I'd like you to know you have a job waiting for you with the Ravens helping young guys getting acclimated to the league.

Rice was flabbergasted. One minute Bisciotti and the Ravens were essentially calling him a liar, the next Bisciotti was quietly offering him a job? Rice took a screen shot of the message, but Jakobe reminded him that anyone could send the text and simply change the name in the contacts to "Steve Bisciotti" to make it appear it had come from the Ravens owner. So Rice deleted Bisciotti's name in his contacts and took a second screen shot of his phone, leaving only the message and the cellphone number. That way there could be no denying who had sent it. "I saw the text; [friend] Courtney Greene saw the text; and Ray actually read it out loud to us," Jakobe said. "I saw it probably more than anybody." One of Rice's friends provided the text's content to "Outside the Lines," which confirmed through two independent sources that the number listed belongs to a cellphone regularly used by Bisciotti. A few days later, after thinking about it more, Rice told friends he believed Bisciotti was suggesting that, as long as he kept quiet and stuck to the story that he had misled team officials and Goodell about what had happened in the elevator, the Ravens would take care of him down the road. He felt incredibly insulted.


It's conspiracy. It's coverup. It's Elevatorgate.
posted by bukvich at 10:47 AM on September 22, 2014


That's a pretty weak attempt at bribery/coverup. Bisciotti could have easily called him and said flat-out "Keep quiet, stick to the story, and I'll take care of you," with no record besides the existence of a phone call (which would have been totally in-line with a team cutting one of its marquee players). Not that we can attribute a fantastic amount of intellect or forethought to anyone in the Ravens organization.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 10:55 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow. I don't know if any of you guys listen to the BS Report, Bill Simmons' podcast, but boy does he ever go off on Monday's show. Love it.

He compares it to the destruction of the evidence in the Spygate issue:

"This Ray Rice thing's much worse, but, it still has the same elements of that last one. Of him, he has a buddy who owns a team and he's trying to make something go away as fast as possible."
posted by Trochanter at 9:56 AM on September 23, 2014


"...he's trying to make something go away as fast as possible."

THAT'S Roger Goodell.
posted by Trochanter at 9:57 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ta-Nehisi Coates: No, Hope Solo Is Not 'Like' Ray Rice
posted by tonycpsu at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Coates, incidentally, gave up on football two years ago (after Junior Seau's suicide) because of the brain-injury issues. He speaks specifically of the NFL and Sundays, so I don't know whether he's also given up on college football, but he went to Howard, which is not a football powerhouse, so he might never have gotten into it the way people generally get into their alma maters' programs.
posted by Etrigan at 2:02 PM on September 23, 2014


Etrigan: ...so he might never have gotten into it the way people generally get into their alma maters' programs.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 5:02 PM on September 23 [+] [!]


FTFY.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:08 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've been known to say that if you mute the TV and don't read the headlines, CNN and ESPN are indistinguishable. It looks like that similarity is more than superficial as it happens that their reporting on this story was full of problems.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:19 PM on September 24, 2014


I wouldn't say "full of problems." It's certainly a significant mistake to make on such an important story, but it was a very long piece, and the Ravens have only been able to refute the one accusation about Rice being promised a gig with the team.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:27 PM on September 24, 2014


Wow: ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for rant about Goodell.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:29 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's only a couple of minutes of him calling Goodell a liar (very very probably true) and him saying Goodell has no integrity (which seems an indisputable TRUE FACT). And ESPN says Simmons isn't maintaining ESPN's high standards?

I wonder if they are going to go after the Outside the Lines writers who paraphrased a text message when they had the verbatim.

This is like the Elizabeth Warren report: the first commandment if you want to be an insider is never dis an insider.
posted by bukvich at 7:40 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]




Wow: ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for rant about Goodell.

For one week longer than the NFL's first-offense domestic violence suspension.
posted by phearlez at 7:49 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


lord_wolf: “Wow: ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for rant about Goodell.
Wow. Who are all the scaredy-cats that make these decisions at ESPN? They are just as bad as leaders as Roger Goodell.

Goodell Delenda Est.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:52 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]




ESPN should have pretended not to have the Bill Simmons tape for 5 months. #FreeSimmonsGerry Duggan
posted by ob1quixote at 8:05 PM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


Stupid move. They should just leave Grantland off in its own little corner. If anybody's going to win ESPN a Pulitzer it going to come from there. Really stupid.

But, I think the dare Simmons put out there is part of it.

I found that rant really refreshing. And he did a really good piece on the NFL owners a while ago.
posted by Trochanter at 8:19 PM on September 24, 2014


I did think Simmons was treading pretty close to libel land, though.
posted by Trochanter at 8:40 PM on September 24, 2014


Note that Simmons' suspension is three times longer than the one Stephen A. Smith got for saying that some women provoke their abusers.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:27 PM on September 24, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is pretty obviously a result of pressure from the NFL. AKA the "Playmakers Effect".
posted by Drinky Die at 1:22 AM on September 25, 2014


I doubt it's due to overt pressure from the NFL. ESPN already knows which side its bread is buttered on.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 3:40 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


As refreshing as Simmons' comments are, I suspect this move is in direct response to ESPN being afraid about losing league access/privileges more than anything. Sports journalism and the sports they cover have a strange, awkward relationship at times. (Just like political reporters and the politicians).

Good for Simmons. Someone needs to call out the BS going on. And him getting suspended may perversely get the situation more coverage, rather than shutting it down.
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]




The anonymous LEO now says they sent the tape addressed to NFL security chief Jeff Miller who is currently categorically denying having ever received it.

I am absolutely, positively, 100 percent certain of two things:
1 -- Some female NFL staffer received it, watched it, called the LEO back to confirm its arrival and the terribleness of its contents, and then destroyed it without ever letting anyone in a position of responsibility with the league see it.
2 -- Monkeys are currently flying out of my ass.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 7:23 PM on September 25, 2014


The inside scoop on the Simmons suspension.
posted by Trochanter at 8:12 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Trochanter: “I did think Simmons was treading pretty close to libel land, though.”

It was not even remotely close to libel as defined in the United States. Libel is speech that is knowingly false and intended to harm. The only thing – literally the only thing – Simmons said about Goodell is that Goodell is a liar. How is that a knowingly false statement? For that to be libel, Simmons would have to have secret knowledge of what happens at the NFL behind closed doors, and would have to furthermore know that Roger Goodell always tells the truth and is telling the truth right now. That seems more than a little far-fetched.

Saying "I really think you're lying right now" is not libel. Even saying "I'm dead certain this person is lying right now" is absolutely not libel. Saying "I'm dead certain this person has bodies hidden in his basement because he is a serial murderer" can be libel if you know they're actually not a murderer and you're clearly doing it just to hurt the person you're accusing.

But we have plenty of reasons to believe Roger Goodell is a liar. The evidence is stacking up daily. There is no sense in which saying "Roger Goodell is a liar" comes close to libel, because when we say Roger Goodell is a liar, we're speaking the truth as far as we can discern it.
posted by koeselitz at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay, I didn't know about the "knowingly false" thing. I thought it was just "untrue" and "harmful".
posted by Trochanter at 10:15 AM on September 26, 2014


It's untrue and hatful for a private citizen; the standards are higher for a public figure, which Goodell would certainly meet the criteria for in this circumstance.
posted by Diablevert at 10:44 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Harmful, not hatful. How is that even in this phone's dictionary? Gah.
posted by Diablevert at 10:54 AM on September 26, 2014


Dialevert - The Smiths, I would assume.
posted by koeselitz at 11:07 AM on September 26, 2014


This is heading out into the weeds, but the thread is older so perhaps it's not so bad. Libel is a per-state issue, which is why you have this crucially important historical case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan which was initially argued many states away from where the NYT sells its advertising & it was an advertisement that was at the crux of the case. That's also the case in question where the malice standard for public figures shows up.

There's also a question for libel of whether a word necessarily is viewable as factual or opinion. I think there was a case not long ago about whether the word skank had any intrinsic meaning. There's a small set of stuff that is defamatory per se - usually something about criminal actions, the idea being that we accept that being called a person who breaks the law is obviously and inherently harmful to your reputation. In some states the code included allegations of infidelity or homosexuality as per se violations as well. Wikipedia just gives a single categorization/enumeration of per se but my recall from class was that only criminal actions were for-sure across the board in all 50 states.

So "liar" or "lying" here, when we're not talking about sworn testimony, seems almost impossible to call anything but opinion. That doesn't mean it's slam-dunk considered okay in this usage. I happen to disagree, but media critic Eric Wemple thinks it's not something you should say if you can't substantiate it. I think that makes the word essentially unusable since how do you ever "substantiate" that someone remembers something, for example?

It's implausible to me that anyone could see the Rice video and not remember it but unless you demand video of someone seeing the video how would you ever prove it? Maybe Goodell just doesn't give a tin fuck about women so that video is something he could view without it being any more moving to him than a Hardees commercial.

tl;dr - Liar is almost certainly an obvious statement of opinion here and therefor legally impotent for libel purposes when a public figure is concerned.
posted by phearlez at 11:18 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


What's really chilling is the gaping, elephant-in-the-room hole in the coverage/comment/mention, of the Simmons issue at ESPN and Grantland. If you think about it, it's pretty bad. All these opinion heads can just be shut down.
posted by Trochanter at 6:51 PM on September 26, 2014


ESPN Has a Problem With Women, Ben Collins, Esquire, 26 September 2014
When faced with standing behind an employee or (as an ESPN anchor put it) "an enabler of men who beat women" who oversees a $15-billion partnership with the company, ESPN chose the money.
P.S. Goodell Delenda Est
posted by ob1quixote at 1:23 AM on September 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Just came here to repeat:

Goodell Delenda Est.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2014




ESPN Has a Problem With Women, Ben Collins, Esquire, 26 September 2014

I'm not sure there are 11 people on the face of the Earth that I'd want to hear discussing domestic abuse less than the likes of Berman, Dikta, Gruden, Tirico, Stuart Scott, and Ray fucking Lewis. Hell, as obviously bad a choice as Ray Lewis is, at least his crimes were directed toward men, unlike Mike Tirico's alleged stalking/sexual harassment in the 90s. I guess I should be glad they kept Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless out of it.

It's also a reminder that one of the ways the NFL got itself into this place was with the enthusiastic cooperation of the likes of ESPN. It probably is easier to believe your own hype about how important and righteous you are when there's a whole industry functioning as a massively amplified echo chamber for you.
posted by Copronymus at 8:39 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]




tonycpsu: That ESPN Domestic Violence Panel You Keep Hearing About Isn't Real
One hopes that Collins will print a retraction. Although when you think about it, it actually makes more sense the way ESPN tells the tale. Of course they weren't going to have any kind of panel discussion about domestic violence, exclusively male or otherwise. Why would they? Fans are sick of it, or so Goodell hopes. Thus Collins' story is both in error and somewhat accurate.

Goodell Delenda Est
posted by ob1quixote at 3:05 PM on September 29, 2014


so, this is likely to be a shit storm by morning : Husain Abdullah was penalized for falling on his hands and knees and praying.
posted by nadawi at 8:58 PM on September 29, 2014


The NFL has issued a statement clarifying that the penalty should not have been issued.

According to Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d), "Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground." Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah is a devout Muslim who said if he ever scored a touchdown he was "going to prostrate before God in the end zone." "However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play," NFL spokesman Michael Signora told ESPN's Ed Werder.
posted by troika at 7:46 AM on September 30, 2014


i'm frankly shocked they went with the right pr move today. i was expecting them to quibble about the slide.
posted by nadawi at 8:32 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they're starting to use the Costanza Principle.

"Sir, we've gotten some bad press about flagging a Muslim player for excessive celebration."
"Fuck them! We're an American sports league, and we never apologize or second-guess the referees publicly!"
"So, we're going to apologize and blame it on the refs?"
"Yeah, that sounds good."

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 8:50 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Etrigan: I think they're starting to use the Costanza Principle.
NFL Misses Chance With FCC DecisionOlbermann, 30 September 2014


P.S. Esquire did finally print a retraction and has updated the Collins piece to better reflect the facts.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:57 AM on October 1, 2014




Well, he's got something in common with the former PM of Italy and the former ambassador from France -- high marks in the "WTFpeopleactuallylivethisway?" contest.
posted by notyou at 11:23 PM on October 6, 2014


How Two Florida Schools Handled Sexual Assault Allegations Against Their Quarterbacks. In related news, the Gators' quarterback controversy has ended.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:44 AM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


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