Rice suspension overturned
November 28, 2014 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's suspension has been overturned, effective immediately, by arbitrator and former federal District Court Judge Barbara Jones.

Jones's decision was based on her finding that Rice never lied to the NFL or its commissioner, Roger Goodell, who initially suspended Rice for two games for knocking out his then-fiancée and now-wife Janay in a casino elevator. Public reaction was mixed until the security videotape of the Rices' altercation became public, at which point the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL increased the suspension to "indefinite."

Rice and the NFL Players Association (the union representing players) appealed the indefinite suspension, calling it double jeopardy and insisting that the NFL had all the facts when it imposed the two-game suspension. Jones agreed (17-page PDF), saying:
Because Rice did not mislead the Commissioner and because there were no new facts on which the Commissioner could base his increased suspension, I find that the imposition of the indefinite suspension was arbitrary. I therefore vacate the second penalty imposed on Rice. The provisions of the first discipline—those regarding making continued use of counseling and other professional services, having no further involvement with law enforcement, and not committing any additional violations of League policies—still stand.
posted by Etrigan (123 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
First of all, fuck Ray Rice.

Second of all, fuck the NFL. The judge has a point--the NFL only suspended Rice because the video became public and it made them look bad. Hopefully this will make them do the right thing the first time, next time.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:48 PM on November 28, 2014 [72 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.
posted by w0mbat at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2014 [15 favorites]


Oh wow. I hadn't really been following the story, but it never occurred to me that the NFL had already seen that video at the point where they decided a 2-game suspension was sufficient.
posted by 256 at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offences by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

Ideally, he should be both punished by the judicial system and also barred from the NFL for being a terrible person, I would think.
posted by 256 at 6:53 PM on November 28, 2014 [28 favorites]


Everything about this story is depressing and awful.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:55 PM on November 28, 2014 [24 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer.

On the other hand, there's no such thing as a divine right to be an NFL player (or any other employee for that matter). Public-facing employee makes employer look bad? Likely looking for alternate employment. With the exception of Roger Goodell, of course.

Also, fuck Ray Rice.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:55 PM on November 28, 2014 [25 favorites]


In a perfect world, Ray Rice would be man enough to suspend himself from the NFL, but funnily enough, he also proved that he's not man enough.

The dude beat up his wife. The dude beats up dudes as big as him for a living. Mr. Rice, what exactly were you trying to prove?
posted by alex_skazat at 7:04 PM on November 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Rice doesn't have a team to play for. The Ravens cut him. He is a free agent. And it will be interesting to see if any team dares to pick him up. The public relations backlash for that team could be extreme. If nobody bites, then this really doesn't matter in that he will never play for the NFL again.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


His inability to have gainful employment also affect the woman he beat. She's out millions because she was a victim of domestic violence.

Also, fuck Ray Rice.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on November 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


Maybe Dan Snyder will hire him.


Also, fuck Ray Rice.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:11 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Fuck Ray Rice but fuck Goodell just as hard.
posted by Ber at 7:15 PM on November 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


If there's any justice in this world no one will hire Rice again and this will be the end of Goodell's run as commissioner he's been a trainwreck on these issues. And yeah fuck both of them.
posted by bitdamaged at 7:17 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you've been following this debacle, this isn't much of a surprise. The overwhelming evidence is that they didn't make his suspension indefinite because he hit his wife - they were only going to suspend him for two games for that. No, they increased the penalty solely because the video went public. The NFL is an appalling organization.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:19 PM on November 28, 2014 [36 favorites]


This would be bad enough if he was the only abuser in the league. I'm sure the Jets will snap him up first chance they get. Shit like this is but one of a bushel of reasons why I gave up on the NFL.

Fuck the NFL, fuck its enabling attitude toward the worst of what should be civilization, fuck the racist meathead fans who keep filling the racist meathead owners's pockets so that everyone on the field can die slowly every down, fuck those owners for propping up a scam that bleeds hundreds of millions of dollars our of every market it's in, especially those in poor areas that could really use some actual help instead of a minimum-wage hot dog sales gig at best, and yes, motherfuck Ray Rice four ways from Thursday.
posted by chicobangs at 7:19 PM on November 28, 2014 [16 favorites]


And qoute the Raven running back
'Nevermore'
posted by clavdivs at 7:23 PM on November 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offences by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

Depends on the crime. Drunk driving gets you kicked out of a number of jobs, especially those that require you to operate machinery or drive, and drunk driving can be a criminal offense.

And then there's the fact that some people work in places where their employment is "at-will," and they can be fired for any damned reason. Is this fair? No. Is it a current reality for many people? Yes.

If you're an entertainment company, like a major league team, "making us all look bad" is a pretty good reason to let someone go.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:25 PM on November 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


The NFL is as horrid as the police apparatus, protecting their own.

♪♫♫ We can harm whomever we please♫♪
♫♪♫You can't stop us with courts or po-leeeece♪♫
♫♫♪Tra-la-la-la-la ♫♪♫♪♫

Ugh.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:25 PM on November 28, 2014


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

If "refusing to have as an employee = punishing," I have been punished by every single job that has decided not to hire me.
posted by maxsparber at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2014 [14 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

This is kind of silly, just because someone has only been "accused" of molesting children its okay to continue teaching them?
posted by bitdamaged at 7:29 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

What a ludicrously juridical comment.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:30 PM on November 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Hopefully this will make them do the right thing the first time, next time.

Well, no, not really because similar offenses in similar circumstances should get similar punishments. (see Douglas factors. Although they only apply to federal employees technically, the principle would be the same.)

There's only one "first time." The NFL screwed it up.
posted by ctmf at 7:32 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If only some judge could reinstate Tamir Rice... sigh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:33 PM on November 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


There's no moral or ethical obligation to employ wife beaters and other degenerates. If I found out one if my employees beat his wife or kids or whatever I'd fire him too.

BUT I think what might have been meant is that Rice should be sitting in jail somewhere, not fighting for his job. Which I agree with. He beat the brakes off a woman half his size, for God's sake.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 7:34 PM on November 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

Unless this is some principalled stand, then no, sorry, that isn't how reality works.

You can get fired from a mcdonalds burger flipping job for getting convicted for say, theft. Even the most menial jobs often care about that type of thing, and don't even get me started on being hired.

An old friend of mine is currently facing a dr charge(a rather murky one too). We were just discussing how he's incredibly lucky his work isn't going to fire him, and how he's fucked when it comes to getting a new job even if his highest aspiration was mopping floors.

If this is an idealistic "the world shouldn't be that way" post then this is an awkward place to post that. But it comes off as that he should somehow be above what everyone else has to deal with, and piss off with that one.
posted by emptythought at 7:35 PM on November 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


BUT I think what might have been meant is that Rice should be sitting in jail somewhere, not fighting for his job. He beat the brakes off a woman half his size, for God's sake.

That's an incredibly charitable reading. I saw it more, and i'm not trying to be a dick here, as "how is it fare that they basically face double jeopardy in criminal court and at work!" which uh... Yea, no.

The teacher comment above is a good response to that.
posted by emptythought at 7:39 PM on November 28, 2014


DR charge?
posted by Carillon at 7:40 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The NFL is an organzation where men get paid millions of dollars so we can watch them give each other brain injuries. The fact that it exists is an extension of our glorification of physical violence. And Rice's behavior is an extension of that. That's why they protected him. He was just doing what he was supposed to do. Fuck it, the entire NFL should be suspended for life.

What do people think? On the one hand, we have a culture of sanctioned sexism, manifested in various ways. On the other hand, we have a culture of sanctioned violence and brutality, manifested in various ways. And the intersection of those two cultural phenomena is? Can you label that Venn diagram?
posted by xigxag at 7:42 PM on November 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


Goodell's gotta go and I don't get why the owners arent demanding it. I don't believe that "let's let superstars get away with some really horrific shit just cuz they carry the ball well" is the prevailing attitude among owners, players, or fans, *especially* if it is driving fans away from the sport in large numbers. It's long past time to see the NFL seriously crack down on this shit and I think the majority of people working in the NFL see it. Fuck you Goodell, you don't get it, you'll never get it, because ultimately you don't think the moral character of NFL employees matters, right at a time when the rest of the country thinks the moral character of NFL employees matters *a lot*.

In the words of GQ who recently described you as one of the worst people of the year, "You make us feel icky about liking football."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:46 PM on November 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is kind of silly, just because someone has only been "accused" of molesting children its okay to continue teaching them?

Actually this is a pretty good example of why employers shouldn't be allowed to do this kind of thing, because anybody can accuse anybody of anything and a zero-tolerance policy based on mere accusation without some kind of due process makes it real easy for anyone who doesn't like you to get you fired.

Not that this is a defence of Rice, who was videotaped GAAAAAH. But no, this is what trials and juries are for, not some tribunal of employers whose sole motivation is their own pocketbook.
posted by localroger at 7:47 PM on November 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


His job should be irrelevant, as he wouldn't be able to do it when he was in jail where he should be.
posted by Vaike at 7:50 PM on November 28, 2014 [22 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

I'm all for employers severing relationships with employees for committing intentional acts of violence against women, despite the legal question: Jian Ghomeshi, Ray Rice. One time or 50 times, I'm not sure the number matters. It's some serious bullshit that some men keep getting away with, and I'm not sure an employer is obligated to keep enabling that kind of activity via monetary support.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:52 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would have guessed that some team would pick him up, but running backs are a dime a half dozen these days. So there is still a decent chance, but it's probably 50/50 at this point.

I didn't think this would end up costing Gooddell his job, but I can't see him lasting too much longer after this. And by that I mean in NFL, decades at a time commissioner time.
posted by cashman at 7:56 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Ray Rice vindication cancels out the Michael Brown tragedy. The powers that be did this for a reason. Do the math.

Wait, what??
posted by cashman at 7:57 PM on November 28, 2014 [29 favorites]


I don't believe that "let's let superstars get away with some really horrific shit just cuz they carry the ball well" is the prevailing attitude among owners, players, or fans

Well you might be right, but a lot of people don't think so. Some perspective here. My home football team recently signed our quarterback to a contract worth about a hundred million dollars.

Now, he's a good quarterback and by all by all acounts a real mensch who has adopted our fair city as his own in a very meaningful way. He's having a crappy year but he also took us to our first Super Bowl.

But a hundred. million. dollars. Think about that for a few moments. Drew Brees is a fucking talented guy, and he has obviously bought his talent by spending almost every waking moment of his life thinking about the game of football, its strategy and execution and the interplay of talents on his and his opposing teams. But a hundred. million. dollars. How much did Nikola Tesla get for inventing alternating current? How much did Jonas Salk get for curing polio? How much did Pasteur get for figuring out how to treat Rabies? Oh wait, all those guys got nothing but the knowledge that they had benefitted hundreds of millions of people.

I don't begrudge Drew his contract, because that's part of the game he trained to play and it carries a great risk of messing up his body, but there is still something wrong with a world where any football player can pull down 9 figures but the person who invented practically every motor in use on the planet died penniless. I would not be surprised at all if some team desperate to increase their ailing fortunes signs Rice. I wouldn't even be totally surprised if the Saints did it. Because in the NFL, winning is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and that kind of money can turn one's gaze away from a lot of horrible shit.
posted by localroger at 8:01 PM on November 28, 2014 [16 favorites]


Theis is not a vindication for Rice; it's an indictment of Goodell.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:08 PM on November 28, 2014 [48 favorites]


Exactly, Eyebrows. This is a finding that Goodell lied about not knowing exactly what Rice did, and used that lie to justify (a) the original weak sentence; and (b) extending that sentence dramatically. Since the CBA doesn't allow management to penalize somebody for bad behavior once, and then apply a new punishment down the line simply because the first one was bad for PR, the indefinite suspension must be tossed.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:12 PM on November 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


The Ray Rice vindication cancels out the Michael Brown tragedy.

That... that is a joke, yes?

Asshole wifebeater gaining a stupid decision by an idiot judge in no way cancels out a teenager brutally murdered by a racist cop.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:12 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Ray Rice vindication

I think that comment was sarcasm (?) but at any rate, this ruling's not a vindication of Rice but a well-deserved rap on the knuckles of the NFL who were weaselly enough to say they hadn't understood the gravity of what had happened because Rice had misrepresented it. Gross. They deserved it.

Well, I guess it's a little vindication in that the judge concluded Rice had actually been honest from the start in explaining what had happened. But certainly not a vindication of his behavior in the elevator.
posted by torticat at 8:13 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


"This is kind of silly, just because someone has only been "accused" of molesting children its okay to continue teaching them?"

Teachers are licensed by the state and laws governing their investigation upon a report of child abuse are strict and thorough and require multiple layers of outside investigation (police, DCFS) before that teacher can go back in the classroom. All abuse allegations must be reported within 24 hours or any school employee who knew of the allegation and failed to report it to DCFS, from the janitors up through the school board, is subject to criminal penalties for failure to report.

Teachers know they get pulled from the classroom if there's a false report. Its embarrassing, but everyone knows the rules and the police and DCFS are pretty prompt so they can get back in the classroom when the complaint is unfounded.

I guess what I mean is, it's a bad comparator.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:15 PM on November 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


The only person I despise more than Ray Rice in this whole affair is Roger Goodell. His clumsy Imperius Rex routine did more to damage the league's credibility regarding domestic violence than Rice's actual beating of his wife did.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:18 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


a stupid decision by an idiot judge

Again--fffm, I don't think you can call her an idiot if you read the ruling. It's pretty clear that Goodell was in full CYA mode when he justified the new sanctions by saying Rice had lied to them, pretty clear that Goodell's real motivation was the public outrage.
posted by torticat at 8:18 PM on November 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


If he is going to play again, he should be forced to play for the Raiders. They don't beat anyone.

I'm so sorry.
posted by 4ster at 8:23 PM on November 28, 2014 [14 favorites]


Yeah, yeah, football, nfl, blah blah, employer responsibility, blah blah.

Why isn't he in jail? Im guessing if I did that to some other dude, I'd still be behind bars.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah Eyebrows McGee the key is that for teachers there is a clear cut due process procedure, and everyone knows how it will go. The nastiest thing about the Rice situation isn't that he is or isn't sanctioned, it's that the whole thing was so ad hoc and arbitrary. The initial sanction should have been much stiffer, and the secondary post-publicity sanction shouldn't have happened at all, the process having run its course.
posted by localroger at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Ray Rice vindication cancels out the Michael Brown tragedy.


I'm guessing joke, but look for it presented seriously in your facebook/twitter feeds because people are the worst.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:27 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


His job should be irrelevant, as he wouldn't be able to do it when he was in jail where he should be.

That goes for Ray Rice, too.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:28 PM on November 28, 2014


"Why isn't he in jail? "

Prosecutors put him in a pre-trial diversion program for nonviolent offenders rather than bring the case. This is probably mostly because he is famous, but sometimes can be because of the complicated nature of domestic violence cases.

Prosecutors basically didn't think anyone was going to come back and question their decision, certainly not with video, and they really screwed the pooch.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:30 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just in case anybody is not familiar with what happened:

Ray Rice was initially suspended for two games by the NFL. Then when this came out in public the NFL decided that it was much more serious (because people complained as they should have)and decided to change their mind and suspend him indefinitely.

Thats what the problem is. They first suspended him for two days and then they arbitrarily change their mind. Had that commissioner been 'a real man' (whatever that means), rice would have been suspended indefinitely to begin with.

I agree with the judge's ruling, in that an employer cannot arbitrarily change their mind. But I disagree with the first decision the employer (NFL) to NOT kick him out forever to begin with.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:31 PM on November 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Prosecutors put him in a pre-trial diversion program for nonviolent offenders rather than bring the case. This is probably mostly because he is famous, but sometimes can be because of the complicated nature of domestic violence cases.

His wife refused to cooperate with the investigation, as well, which is another of the reasons cited for not pursuing a criminal case.
posted by jaguar at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Prosecutors basically didn't think anyone was going to come back and question their decision, certainly not with video, and they really screwed the pooch.

You know. I hear shit like this and Ferguson. And then I hear about how prosecutors can have their careers busted up for "malicious prosecution". And then I wonder why they can't have their careers ruined for actually NOT PROSECUTING.

WTF.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


NFL=0% tolerance for anything less than 100% tolerance.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:35 PM on November 28, 2014


Someday this will be a textbook case of organizational failure, where the police, courts, and NFL all opt for the path of least resistance, and we end up with a wife-beater with hardly any punishment and all of their organizational missteps on embarrassing public display. If just one of these groups had taken their own procedures seriously, it wouldn't be such a hot mess now. I'd also use it with pre-law students as an example of how technicalities and errors can lead to unwanted outcomes; rules and procedures matter!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


His wife refused to cooperate with the investigation, as well, which is another of the reasons cited for not pursuing a criminal case.

This is where my soul died a bit more. Ughhhhhhhhhhh.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The judge was ruling that the NFL, i.e. Goodell was incorrect in assesing an additional suspension and only did so as a result of the video of the brutal assault becoming publicly available.

The judge was ruling on contract law as defined between the NFL and it's players union, not criminal law.

The criminal law verdict as analyzed by ESPN here:
TRENTON, N.J. -- The pretrial intervention program offered to Ray Rice in the assault case involving his wife was granted in less than 1 percent of all domestic violence assault cases from 2010-13 that were resolved, according to New Jersey Judiciary data obtained Friday by "Outside the Lines."
posted by vapidave at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


His wife refused to cooperate with the investigation, as well, which is another of the reasons cited for not pursuing a criminal case.

I realized after posting that I should have contextualized, or not posted, to avoid a derail. It'd be lovely if we could avoid victim-blaming Janay Rice; people stay in abusive situations for all sorts of reasons, many of which have been covered in previous threads about this topic, and outsiders declaring what any abuse survivor should do is never helpful. I'm sorry if my post came across as blaming her. I meant it just as a statement of fact. It is difficult to prosecute crimes like domestic violence without the cooperation of the victim, and the victimization creates a situation in which a survivor is extremely unlikely to have the emotional, financial, and sometimes physical ability to testify against their abuser, which is one of the reasons prosecution and conviction is so low. Without blaming individual survivors, we should however, as a system, do better.
posted by jaguar at 8:46 PM on November 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


ᐧ Any team that signs him cares less about women than they do about winning.
ᐧ Anyone who remains a fan of that team is saying the same.
ᐧ Because he initially gave Ray Rice only two weeks and because the second suspension was overturned, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should be fired. Tonight.

I don't drop f-bombs on the internets. However, I agree with the thread's commentary about Ray Rice and self-procreative activities.
posted by andreaazure at 8:58 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


From what I've seen and read, the police handled the case as well as could reasonably be expected. Once it was handed off to the DA's office, that's where things started going squirrelly. Did Rice receive a Get Out Of Jail card due to his fame? Probably, but as jaguar noted, his wife's refusal to cooperate with the investigation was likely to make prosecuting the case in court that much more difficult anyway. I can easily imagine the DA being reluctant to pursue a high profile case that was going to take up a lot more resources than most aggravated assualt cases and was unlikely to result in a guilty verdict anyway.

As far as the the NFL's internal investigation goes, that was an organizational shit show from word one. From interviewing Janay Rice about what happened while her husband was sitting next to her to the league denying even having posession of the videotape of Ray hitting her (despite the police comfirming that the video had been forwarded to the NFL and being told by the legaue itself that they had seen the video), it was obvious that Goodell was initally more concerned about making the story go away while trying not to drastically hurt the competitive effectiveness of the Ravens.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:01 PM on November 28, 2014


Any team that signs him cares less about women than they do about winning.

I think his career is pretty much over. Even if he's been working out, he's not going to be in game shape, and it's not like he was anything more than a replacement-level running back last season. He's 28 years old at a position where players fall off in effectiveness very quickly, and he showed signs of decline last season (barely 3 yards/carry.) Meanwhile, capable RBs are available around the league that won't cause your team a PR nightmare -- ask the Patriots who snapped up LaGarette Blount off the bonepile and watched him run for 200+ yards.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Er, edit window closed, but this is important:

Fuck Ray Rice.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:26 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thats what the problem is. They first suspended him for two days and then they arbitrarily change their mind. Had that commissioner been 'a real man' (whatever that means), rice would have been suspended indefinitely to begin with.

And just to be more clear, the reason that this is a problem is because there is a collective bargaining agreement between the players and the NFL that demands prompt punishment and strongly implies there will be only a single punishment for each instance of player misconduct.
posted by phaedon at 9:28 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish there was a way to punish abusers without punishing their spouses. Or a way to shut down the NFL.
posted by bleep at 11:01 PM on November 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


The main problem here is organizational. The NFL is controlled by the owners, and they want a commissioner who is afraid to cross any of them, so each can get away with their own stuff (Irsay's drug addiction DUII, for example.)

The solution is to directly attack the commissioner via both lawsuit and criminal prosecution. Can they get Goodell for hiding evidence, or at least for fraud for saying he hadn't seen the video? Something like that. If the commissioner fears the owners, he needs to fear the law more.
posted by msalt at 11:14 PM on November 28, 2014


Maybe Dan Snyder will hire him.

If he's gonna go full Heel, that would be better than renaming the team RedsKKKins
posted by Hoopo at 11:22 PM on November 28, 2014


The NFL sucks. The commission could have suspended him indefinitely if they'd done it the first time, not after the film was made public. But they didn't, so, after the instant replay, the judges uphold the first penalty.

I think the depth and breadth of public indignation is the appropriate vehicle to handle both Rice's football career, and the moral shortcomings of the commission. Concerned fans should boycott Ravens' games. Those whose indignation rises above that should boycott all NFL games.

There. Our national pulse has been taken, and justice will be done. Just kidding.

Loot wins.
posted by mule98J at 11:35 PM on November 28, 2014


Fuck Ray Rice.
posted by casconed at 12:31 AM on November 29, 2014


they should just create a team of bad guys and be more like pro wrestling
posted by Soliloquy at 1:33 AM on November 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


I feel like we should talk about concussions here. Each concussion you get will reduce your ability to think clearly. There are actually at least three injuries when something connects with the skull at high speed. There is the initial impact, and then a second impact when the skull hits the brain. A third impact will occur when the brain sloshes back across the cerebral spinal fluid and hits the other side of the skull.

All of the injuries can cause bleeding in the brain and the loss of brain matter.

If you hit a healthy woman or man enough, they will suffer from impaired judgement, personality problems and general impairment. The impairment is most severe after the injury, but some part of it will last for the rest of their life.

In an enlightened society, NFL players and victims of domestic violence would be in treatment.
posted by poe at 1:55 AM on November 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Any team that signs him cares less about women than they do about winning.

Regardless of what happens here, I think it's pretty safe to say that every NFL team cares less about women than they do about winning. With a select few exceptions, they care less about men than they do about winning too.

Overall, they just don't seem to give a shit about people at all.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:08 AM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Regardless of what happens here, I think it's pretty safe to say that every NFL team cares less about women than they do about winning. With a select few exceptions, they care less about men than they do about winning too.

Far more than winning, teams care about making money. That's why they've all agreed to the various forms of parity (drafting players based on inverting win-loss records, salary cap, the competition committee) that have come up over the years. If any team thought Rice would make them more money than they (and everyone else) would lose, he'd already be off waivers.

Goodell delenda est.
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 AM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


The main problem here is organizational.
It's cultural. We live in a culture that allows men to beat women and we turn a blind eye. We blame the victim. We don't punish the perpetrators. We pretend it was a "mistake" or that it won't happen again or that "she was asking for it" and it keeps happening.

When I told my employer that my ex was abusive I was told "don't let this escalate." They employed him as well and there was never a single second where I thought they'd fire him. I didn't think they'd tell me it was my responsibility to make sure he didn't hurt me at work, but I didn't think they'd do anything to him. I was right. They didnt. My reputation suffered and his did not. No one knows what he did to me and no one cares.

Fuck Ray Rice and fuck our culture that permits and condones violence against women.
posted by sockermom at 4:50 AM on November 29, 2014 [36 favorites]


It's a shame that NFL players don't enter the playing field in the same manner as boxers and professional wrestlers, because if there was any justice in this world Ray Rice would be forced to run out onto the field with 'RC's Mom' by the Dead Milkmen echoing throughout the stadium.
posted by item at 4:58 AM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is a labor law decision. It is a good decision. Probably the only non awful decision related to this case.

The NFL isn't his employer. The teams are. The decision doesn't compel any team to hire him, it just says that under the collectively bargained terms he can no longer be barred from playing.

If this wasn't sports and the issue at hand werent domestic abuse you all would be showcasing this as an example of why unions are wonderful. And you'd be right.
posted by JPD at 5:04 AM on November 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


People shouldn't be punished for criminal offenses by their employer. That's what the juridical system is for.

That is completely self-evidently ridiculous, and yet it gets repeated all the time in discussions of domestic violence and sexual abuse, to the point that one suspects it is often a complaint about these issues increasingly having a serious impact on the lives of perpetrators.

With all of the recent evidence about brain injuries, the NFL as we know it may soon be forced to change significantly, and the criticism of the internal decision-making process that this ruling offers is one more push for change. I only watch football very casually (because it will be on in a bar, or when I go over to someone's house), but I now see every tackle in terms of brain impacts and it takes away what pleasure there is in watching. The tone-deaf protecting of abusive and criminal players doesn't help, and I'm glad that it seems to be an increasingly untenable strategy.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:18 AM on November 29, 2014


Maybe I'm going to be pilloried for writing this here, but I'm not sure I think one horrible apparently uncharacteristic act done in the heat of an alcohol-fueled moment by someone who had previously been considered one of the good guys in all respects, who seems horrified by what happened, who was remorseful and forthright from the start, and who immediately went into counseling, etc., should be defined as a horrible wife-beater for the rest of his life and shunned by both the public and any potential employers in his field.
posted by slkinsey at 6:56 AM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


slkinsey, I'd go with that if he hadn't done it multiple times before, on the record. This was just the time it happened to be caught on tape, and the league couldn't look the other way anymore.

And it's far from an isolated case across the entire league, either. Again, there's tons of documentation on that stuff as well. Rice is merely the dumb schmuck who happened to knock his wife out cold on camera.

Also, how many times does someone have to punch their wife until they're unconscious before someone says something? Twice? Four times?
posted by chicobangs at 7:12 AM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


slkinsey, I'd go with that if he hadn't done it multiple times before, on the record. This was just the time it happened to be caught on tape, and the league couldn't look the other way anymore.

Do you have a cite for that? I haven't seen anything on Rice being involved in any previous incidents.
posted by Etrigan at 7:21 AM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Maybe I'm going to be pilloried for writing this here, but I'm not sure I think one horrible apparently uncharacteristic act done in the heat of an alcohol-fueled moment by someone who had previously been considered one of the good guys in all respects, who seems horrified by what happened, who was remorseful and forthright from the start, and who immediately went into counseling, etc., should be defined as a horrible wife-beater for the rest of his life and shunned by both the public and any potential employers in his field.

Do you know anything about domestic violence offenders? What you're describing is exactly how a huge majority of abusers justify their actions (alcohol) and publicly react to weasel back into their partners' good graces. It's so common that the "Honeymoon Phase" is included in the standard Cycle of Abuse model.
posted by jaguar at 7:46 AM on November 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


It's been an open secret. But sure, if you want to believe that the first time he ever raised a hand to his fiancee was captured on tape, then you go ahead.
posted by chicobangs at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's been an open secret.

Well, that certainly explains why it hasn't been on the Internet.

But sure, if you want to believe that the first time he ever raised a hand to his fiancee was captured on tape, then you go ahead.

Requesting proof of an assertion is not the same thing as denying that assertion.
posted by Etrigan at 8:06 AM on November 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Interestingly (to me, anyway), Jones was also the presiding judge in US v. Windsor, which ended DOMA.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:06 AM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do you know anything about domestic violence offenders?

Do you know anything about people who have had a bad but never repeated lapse in judgment and self-control?

I've known any number of good people who have done things that might make them look like terrible people if that were all you ever knew about them. But people make mistakes in life, and I've learned not to throw stones from my glass house. I would suggest that you think about the worst thing (or worst-seeming thing) you've ever done, imagine that thing captured on video and becoming part of the national news cycle, then think about what some people might decide about your nature and character as a result and they would be right about you.

There is an insufficiency of evidence to say whether Ray Rice is an otherwise good guy who did something bad or an abuser.
posted by slkinsey at 8:13 AM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not even dogs get a free bite anymore. He became an abuser when he abused his now-wife. I couldn't possibly comment as to when he became such a person, but the seal's been broken.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 AM on November 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Do you know anything about people who have had a bad but never repeated lapse in judgment and self-control?

Seeing that video tape also makes me think very strongly that was not the first time. There was no remorse as he was trying to drag her out of the elevator by her leg. That's a hard heart, right there. I'd be cradling my wife and calling for help, not treating her like a non-person piece of property.

Also, when people get caught in public for a bad infraction, I think it's statistically unlikely it was a first time. People are more restrained in public with their vices, and they are more conscious of them, as they don't want to get caught. They get lazier as time goes by, especially if there's a power dynamic at play, because they are used to getting away with it.

This isn't an argument for certainty, but I'm okay treating this as if it's likely not a first-time office, based on its severity.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:26 AM on November 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


If I punched my partner unconscious, I hope to hell people would be making negative judgments about my nature and character.

That's not an "oops." There should be negative consequences from that, more than just therapy (and I say that as a therapist). I did not in any way say that Rice was unredeemable, but I will strongly push back against any assertion that he should not be held accountable for his actions.
posted by jaguar at 8:27 AM on November 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


There is also the fact that his partner is staying with him and defending him, which would be fairly unlikely, in my mind, unless he had been tearing down her own self-esteem with abusive and controlling behavior already. Abusers very rarely start with physical abuse, let alone physical abuse that severe. When the relationship is at the point where both partners think a knock-out punch is acceptable within the context of the relationship, that context is likely extremely abusive.
posted by jaguar at 8:29 AM on November 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


Ironically, the NFL('s PR firm) has something to say about "he was drunk" and "it was just the once."
posted by dirigibleman at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


You know. I hear shit like this and Ferguson. And then I hear about how prosecutors can have their careers busted up for "malicious prosecution". And then I wonder why they can't have their careers ruined for actually NOT PROSECUTING.

Yeah, prosecutors having their careers ruined over malicious prosecution isn't really a thing either. In fact, because of qualified immunity, it's nearly impossible to get a prosecutor fired, or even disciplined by the Bar, for even the most egregious job-related conduct. There are prosecutors who have willfully hidden evidence that showed they were prosecuting innocent people, and the real perpetrators went on to rape and murder people in the meantime, and those prosecutors got to become judges and won awards for their zealous protection of the public. This is nothing. Absolutely nothing, in the grand scheme of malfeasance or nonfeasance or whatever when it comes to prosecutorial discretion. Whatever the prosecutor did or didn't do in this case, or in any other case, and whatever the public thinks he should or shouldn't have done, I'm pretty confident that his career is going to be just fine. That's the way our system of justice works.
posted by decathecting at 8:44 AM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


it's absolutely amazing to me sometimes just how far some will go to excuse abusers and downplay violence against women. no, ray rice isn't a good guy who just oops knocked his fiance out. he should be reinstated, but he's an abuser, full stop.
posted by nadawi at 9:02 AM on November 29, 2014 [15 favorites]


I don't know if it's been said before in the thread, but "FUCK RAY RICE!" I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:05 AM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


chicobangs: It's been an open secret. But sure, if you want to believe that the first time he ever raised a hand to his fiancee was captured on tape, then you go ahead.

Didn't you say "on the record"? If these things were enough of an open secret that you knew about it, then I would imagine you could point to at least a blog post, discussion thread, something predating the incident that comments on this. This is actually something I would like to know about. I admit I haven't followed the case all that closely, but this is the first I've heard about this "open secret."

Absent any such evidence, I couldn't say whether this was the first time for him or not. What I can say is that I know plenty of people, including myself, who have done isolated things in the course of a long life that were neither representative of their character nor indicative of their behavior either past or future. They were, in fact, things that just happened in the heat of a moment or as a result of a momentary lapse. A major difference is that these things weren't caught on video and made part of the national news cycle.

I'm one of those people who believes we're all capable of murder in the right circumstances, but doesn't think that makes us all fundamentally killers.

Sticherbeast : He became an abuser when he abused his now-wife. I couldn't possibly comment as to when he became such a person, but the seal's been broken.

By this standard, any spouse who had way too much to drink and fell into the wrong person's bed a single time should be branded with an "A" for life, anyone who told a single meaningful untruth is lifelong liar, anyone who ever spanked a child while still angry or said something deliberately hurtful during an argument is fundamentally an abuser, anyone who has ever represented another's idea as their own is a plagiarist, etc. I guess you've led a very clean life if you're willing to own the worst things you've ever done as representative of your character. Most of the rest of us can think back to at least a few things we're not proud of and would hope wouldn't be held as representative of who we are as people.

I make these examples just to point out that another possible way of looking at it would be to say: We know he has committed an abusive act which in and of itself may or may not mean that he is a habitual abuser.

jaguar: If I punched my partner unconscious, I hope to hell people would be making negative judgments about my nature and character.

That's not an "oops." There should be negative consequences from that, more than just therapy (and I say that as a therapist). I did not in any way say that Rice was unredeemable, but I will strongly push back against any assertion that he should not be held accountable for his actions.


Someone I know once shoved another person hard in a drunken argument when that person got in his face. The other person went to the ground and broke some teeth. Both parties were appalled at what had happened. There were consequences, of course. I believe there should be consequences for Ray Rice and that he should be held accountable for his actions. I believe those consequences could be severe, but predicated on what is known to have happened and not on what someone many times removed might suppose additionally has happened. To be clear, I would have no problem with a lifetime ban from the NFL and some jail time based on what is known to have happened.

That said, I don't presume that I know Ray Rice's fundamental character or the nature of the relationship between him and his wife based on what little I know about that single incident. I don't consider the person I described to be a fundamentally dangerous or violent person, and I don't believe that the fact that the two parties are still friends is a sure indication that some ongoing pattern of abuse must have preexisted the incident I described. If there is meaningful and reliable historical evidence of a pattern of abuse between Rice and his wife, that of course changes things.
posted by slkinsey at 9:22 AM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


You are ignoring the way in which domestic violence works. Leaving out that bit of context makes a big difference. There are gender issues in terms of earning potential, physical size, gender-based societal teaching about masculinity and femininity, and societal messages about how women should forgive, along with other things, that come into play in gender-based violence that don't come into play in a bar fight. There are issues of family pressure, financial constraints, custody issues, and the ugliness of divorce and custody fights that come into play in intimate partner violence that don't come into play in a bar fight. There are issues of public relations, lawyers, pressure from very rich organizations, and scandal-loving journalism that come into play in a situation of a rich public figure hitting his wife that do not come into play in a bar fight.

Basically, this situation does not resemble a bar fight, except extremely superficially.
posted by jaguar at 10:06 AM on November 29, 2014 [29 favorites]


Not really surprising. Professional violence men and the leeches who sap money from them and the public cannot be great people or even halfway decent moral arbiters. Fuck the NFL, organized commercial sports, and all the violence men who absorb undue fame and influence.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:18 AM on November 29, 2014


That said, I don't presume that I know Ray Rice's fundamental character or the nature of the relationship between him and his wife based on what little I know about that single incident.

Maybe there's little that you know about that single incident but there's a lot that other people can glean from that video based on patterns of how domestic abuse tends to work. Not to mention the basic fact about humanity that a non-violent person doesn't slug another person unconscious and then drag them away by the leg. For contrast look at the other video of Solange Knowles attacking her brother-in-law in an elevator. That's pretty obviously a frustrated person, who maybe had too much to drink, lashing out in a way that's not appropriate or good but also a heat-of-the-moment reaction and unlikely to actually do lasting damage. These two videos aren't the same.
posted by bleep at 10:33 AM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


That said, I don't presume that I know Ray Rice's fundamental character or the nature of the relationship between him and his wife based on what little I know about that single incident.

I do, at least enough. He's the kind of guy who in a moment of frustration can punch his wife in the face and rather than go oh my god, what did I do and try to help her, he'll make a half-assed attempt to drag her out of the elevator in a demeaning way and flop her on the ground, face down, while she is unconscious. He kicks her a couple of times to try to get her to wake up. He's not delicate with her at all, caring nothing about her modesty, while tripping over her more than once as he tries to clean the scene up. You know why he's careless? He's thinking about himself in that moment, rather than caring about her welfare.Think for a moment of the tragic pictures of a husband or father carrying his hurt wife or child lovingly in his arms after they are injured and desperate for them to be okay. Now think about Rice standing around going oh shit and then pulling his wife out of the elevator and dropping and then moving her around like she's luggage.

Character is in large part what you do (that people can see), or are capable of doing (which people sometimes see) in a given moment. That's enough for us to pass judgment on his actions and claim that we do know something definitive about him, and that something is enough. All the hidden parts, sure, we might not be able to see. But 1) that doesn't matter, because we've seen enough of it; and 2) I actually suspect it is uglier than we've seen, so it's probably to his benefit if we actually don't speculate further.

I realize that all of this has nothing to do with the official reason for reinstatement and if the reversal was warranted, but it's a good opportunity to discuss the character issue in relation to employment. Lincoln once had a quote that said that you can test someone's character by seeing what they do with power. I think Rice's problem is that he's been given too much of it, both career wise and relationally, and it's exposed something ugly about him. He's not beyond redemption, but I don't think the answer to his problems is to give him back the keys to his kingdom as if we can't say anything about it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2014 [26 favorites]


The commissioner is hired by the owners to run, protect and promote the league. As long as fans are streaming into the stadiums every week and 14 out of 15 of the fall's highest rated tv programs are nfl games and they have a multi-billion dollar tv deal, yeah, I don't see them caring one scant bit.

Why? Because if you think Ray Rice is the first time the NFL has understated, underplayed and under disciplined actions like this, you haven't been following the NFL for very long. There are scumbags on every team like Rice, he just happened to do it in view of an elevator camera.

This too shall pass. Tomorrow fans will go to the game and watch on TV and buy jerseys and keep shoveling money into the NFL mill. Rice will get signed by a team. If Michael Vick can find a home over something that rightfully or not generated as much if not more rage, Rice will find a home too. ESPN will have a touching sit down interview, maybe with Janat by his side. He'll donate money to a women's charity and do some public speaking about domestic violence. There'll be a few protests but NFL mouthpieces will remind everyone how much breast cancer awareness the NFL does.

Maybe that'll work out for the Rices, but you won't hear about the hundred other Janay's in the league who are beaten but aren't beaten in front of a camera and now know that if they speak up, their husband or boyfriend stands to lose millions.

But hey, football is on.

Fuck Ray Rice, fuck Roger Goodell. I love football but fuck the people so blind to the engine of misery it has become. Fuck the NFL mouthpieces like Peter King who have tried to soft shoe this issue away from the commissioner. Between this, CTE, youth injuries, PEDs, and communities practically bankrupting themselves to build concrete cathedrals, and to say nothing about the cesspool of college football....its hard to still love football
posted by splen at 11:15 AM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


> ....its hard to still love football

This incident and the way it's been handled was the straw that broke the NFL camel's back for me. I haven't seen a game all year, apart from one that was playing in the background at a party. I missed it the first few weeks, but after that it got easier and easier to forget about it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:34 AM on November 29, 2014


By this standard, any spouse who had way too much to drink and fell into the wrong person's bed a single time should be branded with an "A" for life, anyone who told a single meaningful untruth is lifelong liar, anyone who ever spanked a child while still angry or said something deliberately hurtful during an argument is fundamentally an abuser, anyone who has ever represented another's idea as their own is a plagiarist, etc.

I don't understand how you could equate any of those things with the kind of thing Rice did to his wife. You generally don't get a long-term public reputation for that stuff because they are on a completely different scale of severity. Have you seen that video? Lying, adultery, plagiarism, "saying something deliberately hurtful"... none of that even compares to the violence and utter lack of respect with which he treats his wife. It's incredibly disturbing to me as a woman that you'd equate the way he severely beat his wife with that class of infractions. Violence against women is not a minor infraction. Once you calibrate your examples accordingly, his reputation makes a lot more sense.
(And actually I do think some people would agree that striking a child in anger does make that person abusive, but that would be a derail here).
posted by dialetheia at 11:48 AM on November 29, 2014 [21 favorites]


Here is Janay Rice's version of the story
posted by humans are superior! at 12:18 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here is Janay Rice's version of the story

Janay Rice, In Her Own Words

Oh god.
posted by cashman at 12:31 PM on November 29, 2014


Janay's version of the story is really important. She needs to tell her story. It is good to have a document of how she views the situation. Her reality matters.

I say this as a survivor. The things I wrote down were incredibly helpful to me. They provided documentation for me when I was questioning what was really happening.

This woman's life is likely a mindfuck right now. I'm glad she is telling her story.

I said to him, "I don't think I should have seen that."

He said, "me either."


That says it all.
posted by sockermom at 12:33 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


By this standard, any spouse who had way too much to drink and fell into the wrong person's bed a single time should be branded with an "A" for life, anyone who told a single meaningful untruth is lifelong liar, anyone who ever spanked a child while still angry or said something deliberately hurtful during an argument is fundamentally an abuser, anyone who has ever represented another's idea as their own is a plagiarist, etc.


Really? That's not the standard we apply to other things.

Rape someone once, and you're a rapist. Murder just one single person, one time, when you happened to be drunk, and you're a murderer. Molest just one child and your a child molester.

Why shouldn't people that beat children and women not be 'brandished' what they are; abusers.

Also, drunk and later remorseful isn't an excuse for abuse, it's part and parcel of abuse.
posted by el io at 12:39 PM on November 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Additionally, abuse is essentially about stripping someone else of their agency. Giving Janay the agency to tell her story is a good thing. It should be encouraged. I may hear very familiar things in her telling - things that make me personally feel deep in my bones that yes, that is an abusive situation - but the fact remains that her reality matters and is the only one that matters.
posted by sockermom at 12:50 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


her reality matters and is the only one that matters.

Her reality is the one that matters for her. As consumers of the sport of football, there are a lot of other parts of reality that we can and probably should consider. I hope for the best for her, but honestly, fuck Ray Rice and fuck Roger Goodell and fuck the whole lot of people who built the system of covering up football violence (by players and to players, like the concussions). That includes the folks who choose to completely ignore how the sausage that is Monday Night Football is made because they don't want to ruin their fun.
posted by immlass at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2014


By the way, there's going to be a lovely confluence of shitstorms as soon as an NFL player identifies the drugs/shots given out by his team's doctors (much of which is done w/o the player fully understanding the ramifications) as a mitigating circumstances to his state of mind when committing such a heinous action.

At that point you will literally see lawyers' eyeballs spinning in their sockets, coming to rest on "$"
posted by splen at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wrote "oh god" because I was afraid to see statements like:
"Mr. Goodell seemed to be a really reasonable and caring guy and wanted to make sure other people would learn from our mistake."
And generally other statements like the ones she's made in previous months, where it turns out everyone, including her, is the bad guy, not Ray. She was angry at the media, pissed at fans and others who talked about it (in that instagram post), and urging those close to her to not watch:
"I sent out a text to everybody close to me: "The video's out. I would ask you not to watch it." I know some of them probably did."
She was upset at the Ravens for releasing him.

I just hate that it seems the anger she had for Ray came and went and it seems at the same level or less than what she has exhibited for a multitude of parties that essentially did nothing that wasn't understandable to her, and certainly didn't violently attack her.

Basically, it just seems like the environment around her, if it wasn't catering to abuse before, certainly is now. I love that she shared her view of everything - my "oh god" was at knowing there was a good chance there would be things in there that pooh-poohed Ray's part in it and made the bad guy everybody but him. It's just kind of sucky to see.

"He and I both know it was wrong. It's been made clear to him that it was wrong. But at the same time, who am I to put my hands on somebody? I had already apologized to Ray, and I felt that I should take responsibility for what I did."
posted by cashman at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2014


Basically, it just seems like the environment around her, if it wasn't catering to abuse before, certainly is now. I love that she shared her view of everything - my "oh god" was at knowing there was a good chance there would be things in there that pooh-poohed Ray's part in it and made the bad guy everybody but him. It's just kind of sucky to see.

I think the part that was hardest for me to read was when she said that he spit in her face before the punching happened, which you don't get from the videos. Spitting can be a form of battery in many places, but it communicates such a vile act of contempt and lack of love that it's heartbreaking and almost beyond my understanding. Spitting in the face of someone I was going to marry, whom I considered my beloved? Following it up by knocking her out? My mind reals with any sort of a justification to paint him in a positive light, regardless of who it's coming from.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:19 PM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I remember reading that Janay had been crying when she came to and said to Ray Rice,"How can you do this to me, the mother of your child?" And she knows what he did was psycho, disrespectful and unforgivable.
posted by discopolo at 4:02 PM on November 29, 2014


A lot of support here for insta-banning players found to have committed domestic abuse.

I will only remind you of this previous thread in which an article suggested the threat of bannings (and subsequent demolition of their shared family income) dramatically reduces reporting of domestic abuse.

I do not know what to do with that information. But it deserves mention that the equation isn't really this:
player commits abuse -> player gets banned ->player suffers and gets comeuppance
...it's this:
player commits abuse -> player gets banned -> player suffers and gets comeuppance, family suffers with him, other players' wives see this and opt not to disclose they are being abused, keep getting beaten
I certainly don't think there's a way to feel good about not banning these guys. But it certainly bears mention, even repeating, that this solution likely results in more battered women.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:02 PM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


But it certainly bears mention, even repeating, that this solution likely results in more battered women.

I don't think that follows. It very well may result in fewer abused partners reporting the abuse; I'm not sure it ends in more partners being abused.

That article was also speculation, not based on studies, and that speculation seemed to have come from current players' wives (the pronouns are a bit ambiguous), who have a vested interest in the system as it is. The article describes a state of thinking about abuse within the NFL as mirroring the general culture's views on abuse decades ago, when "keep it quiet" was the norm for everyone, and I don't think changing the culture toward holding abusers more accountable has actually made abuse worse today.
posted by jaguar at 4:10 PM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's not exactly what I got out of the article. It was less about "keep it quiet" as some kind of dated attitude about abuse and more because of the thorny practical concerns faced by women who are loathe to rob their children of the wealth and subsequent opportunities afforded them by their husband's career. It's not hard to understand. You come from an urban or rural environment with limited opportunities. You've been staying home with the kids instead of pursuing your own career. If you report your abusive husband, the money stops, and you're a single mother with no career. Instead of elevating your kids in the socioeconomic strata from your background, you may end up dropping them lower. This is a choice abused women in all kinds of situations have faced since time immemorial, but it takes on an amplified level for NFL wives suffering abuse.

The thing you have to ask is whether there is a way to hold these men accountable without causing such consequences for their families that women opt never to report in the first place. Because disincentivizing reporting is not a good outcome. Or, if you like things explicit, the satisfaction we feel seeing Player A shamed and robbed of his career as consequence for his abuse may not be worth it if it encourages the wives of Players B and C to take the abuse and remain silent.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:07 PM on November 29, 2014


Nubs linked an article Grantland did on some of the previous domestic violence incidents that NFL players have been a part of: "Together We Make Football. On the NFL’s dark, intractable history of domestic violence."

It's devastating. Sweeping it under the rug obviously has not been working. And more than just affecting those in the NFL, this affects the attitudes of men in general. If anyone sees these things and surmises that it's just a few neanderthals or that football players are just so used to violence and it's mainly just them - nope. There are so many guys out there that echo these attitudes and presumably repeat them and live them, that sending a staunch "you do this, you're done" message is almost paramount at this point.

Charles Barkley made a joke on national television, aided by Kenny Smith, about keeping women 'in their place'. Why don't you buy your woman a watch, Charles? Charles replied - "because there's a clock on the stove". These ridiculous attitudes aren't underground. They aren't anomalies. And the often times hypermasculine world of sport helps these things thrive and ultimately a lot of guys who watch this stuff take these messages in.

So anyway, it needs to stop. The message has to eventually be "do this and you're done". It has to get to a point where the jokes aren't laughed at by your fellow studio mates when you say them on national television, but instead you are relieved of your position. In the long run, I think that will have many more positive effects on the situation, than negative.
posted by cashman at 5:40 PM on November 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


You guys hear about ex-Rams center Jason Brown?
A NFL player has left behind his $37 million contract in order to do something he has never done before: become a North Carolina farmer.

According to CBS News, St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown quit football to be a full time farmer and now is on a mission to feed the state’s residents who are hungry.

Brown purchased 1,000 acres of farm land and has started growing crops like sweet potatoes and cucumbers.

“My agent told me, ‘You’re making the biggest mistake of your life,’” Brown told CBS. “And I looked right back at him and I said, ‘No I’m not. No I’m not.’”
posted by gwint at 7:03 PM on November 29, 2014 [18 favorites]


It was less about "keep it quiet" as some kind of dated attitude about abuse and more because of the thorny practical concerns faced by women who are loathe to rob their children of the wealth and subsequent opportunities afforded them by their husband's career.

But that's true of many domestic violence situations. My abuser was a doctor with way more earning potential than I will ever have, and I was pretty much unemployed while he was abusing me. Due to the divorce, I pretty much had to turf the professional connections I had spent years building. Given that financial abuse, control, and isolation is something many abusers do, that's going to be true for many abuse survivors.

I think that article conflates "What makes sense for any one individual abuse survivor" with "How the system should work," in large part because it's based on interviews with players' wives. And "rehabilitation!" sounds great, and I wish it were great, but it's not -- there's very very very little evidence showing that even the best-run DV offender programs change behavior over the long-term. A culture that believed women, and empowered women, and supported women, however, I think has a much better chance of making a difference than one that enables abusers.
posted by jaguar at 9:38 PM on November 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


just came here to add -

also fuck Ray Rice
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 6:50 AM on November 30, 2014


localroger: " Some perspective here. My home football team recently signed our quarterback to a contract worth about a hundred million dollars."

And contracts like that are why cable bills have gotten out of hand. I don't want football. I don't give a rat's ass about football. I still have more than 25 sports channels in my cable package that I can't get rid of, and must therefore pay for. ESPN and the NFL are robbing Americans blind to pay these insane contracts.

(Also...fuck Ray Rice.)
posted by dejah420 at 7:17 AM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


But that's true of many domestic violence situations.

Absolutely true. And I did say as much.

"rehabilitation!" sounds great, and I wish it were great, but it's not

I completely agree. That was easily the least convincing part of the article.

I do think there's a vital takeaway though: that thinking bans solve the problem is probably overly simplistic. We have to find a way to do more for these women and their kids. What that would be, I do not know... some kind of mandatory insanely punitive prenup? Some kind of fund? I honestly do not know.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:21 AM on November 30, 2014


dejah420 that is a really good point. See also the scam, "no football team for your city unless you build us a spiffy new stadium."
posted by localroger at 7:34 AM on November 30, 2014


ESPN and the NFL are robbing Americans blind to pay these insane contracts.

Feeling better and better about being a cord-cutter.
posted by immlass at 8:00 AM on November 30, 2014


Not to derail, but I'm of the opinion that blaming player contracts for the cost of NFL fandom is tantamount to drinking the owners' anti-labor Kool-Aid. The teams sell the tickets to games, the cable and satellite packages, and the merchandise for as much as the market will bear. The players are paid salaries commensurate with the revenue this generates. The idea that lowering salaries would lower costs for fans is a silly one. It would put more money in the pockets of owners.

If you want the NFL to stop being expensive, stop paying what they ask with a smile on your face and a pennant in your hand.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:49 AM on November 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


I wasn't paying much attention, but I think all the CBS talking heads just came out in favor of re-signing Rice.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:12 AM on November 30, 2014


The players are underpaid. Full stop.

The lack of guaranteed contacts is arguably even worse than their underpayment.
posted by JPD at 9:55 AM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yup, lower labor costs = bigger profits for the NFL's billionaire owners. Aaron Rodgers makes a lot of money because so many people are willing to pay money to watch him play AND he belongs to a union that's made sure he doesn't get screwed -- it's not the other way around!
posted by leopard at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I will never, ever, EVER understand why so many people think the players - in any sport - are overpaid, but don't give a shit about how much the owners are raking in.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:17 AM on December 1, 2014 [7 favorites]


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