L'affaire de Rice

Has anyone besides me grown sick and tired of the Ray/Janay Rice brouhaha, which is sensationalized in the media—print and broadcast—on practically a 24/7 basis? Apparently not, at least not with the National Organization of Women, which has just called for National Football League head honcho Roger Goodell to resign immediately or—if possible—retroactively.

Now...let me get this straight. Ray and Janay, his significant other at the time, got drunk, got into a fight, made a terrible scene, with poor Janay out like a light from probably hitting her head on an elevator rail after Ray backhanded her after she spit in his face. This means that Goodell should resign? What could he have done to stop that from happening short of chaperoning the 20-somethings when they party?

I watched the tape. On their way walking (staggering) to the elevator, Janay seemed to hit Ray in the head (or tried, in her shape). In the elevator, she came at him but couldn't have harmed a hair of his head. If sober, he probably would have laughed it off. Instead, he introduced her to unconsciousness for a short time and handled her like a sack of feed. In doing this, he was dead wrong and there is no excuse for his striking her. Most fathers teach their sons that it's always wrong to strike a female.

So...there are civil laws to deal with assault and battery and Ray should probably have been arrested. As it was, he had to weasel out of some kind of legal problem. Rice copped a plea bargain, with the condition that he participate in some kind of anger-management thingy. He and Janay decided to get married (they already had a child, presumably his), so why not?

Goodell, soon after the mess happened, suspended Rice for two games, which meant the forfeiture of some $500,000, leaving him with only $3,500,000 of a $4 million contract to live on this season. The marriage was a big deal for Janay since if the marriage breaks up and she hires one of those tough female divorce lawyers she stands to collect more than “her part.” However, all the income is gone now account Rice's indefinite suspension.

Shepard Smith of Fox News wondered the other afternoon if the spat wasn't a reflection of some sort of cultural change...I'm not kidding but still laughing. This stuff goes on every day and has for centuries, the culture notwithstanding. And...since when does a third party like the NFL have to do what law enforcement is mandated to do, i.e., handle assault and domestic-violence cases? Goodell is no more responsible for Rice's behavior than the man in the moon.

It's not disputed that Janay was beating up on poor Ray (or trying, in her shape) but somehow the NOW nags consider that to be her right. Anyway, the president and the Pentagon directed last year that women are to be placed in combat now, another way of saying that they are fair game for violence from any quarter and should be able to protect themselves, notwithstanding that this directive represents stupidity of the nth degree. Poor Janay furnished the proof.

The NFL as well as other sports conglomerates like the NBA and major-league baseball are known for their extensive corruption. Expecting them to ride herd on their athletes is the same as expecting the Mafia to discipline its “soldiers” in the area of domestic problems or crime. Assault, rape and everything in between are fairly common in professional sports. The leagues are interested in handling high-profile abuses just like the Catholic hierarchy tries. First, sweep them under the rug. If that fails, make a big deal of punishment, real or imagined.

NY Jets backup quarterback Michael Vick spent nearly two years in the Big House account conviction on federal charges of conducting dog-fighting. He's back in the game. Again...it's wrong for a man to strike a woman. But if he should strike a dog...

And so it goes.
Jim Clark