The article“the N.F.L. Continues to Face Questions Over Video of Ray Rice” outlines all the details of that infamous night in which Ray Rice was involved in domestic abuse. From what is understood, Rice and his then fiancé were both intoxicated and having an argument. The video shows her spitting on him as well as his response—a blow to her face. Was his response wrong? Yes. Should he be punished? Definitely.
The issue is not the fact that the NFL punished him, but more so it is the fact that he was punished for the same crime twice. I may just be a first-year nutrition student, but even I know that is wrong. I believe the courts call it “double jeopardy.” Rice was suspended for two games, which was the NFL’s original rule for such an offense as his. Now, about 6 months later, he is being suspended indefinitely because a tape of this incident surfaced. It makes you question, is Rice’s new punishment because of his crime or is it in response to the publics outrage and opinion?
The NFL now changed their rule to a six game suspension in the case of domestic violence because they want the public to know they do not condone that kind of behavior. In other words, the NFL needs the public to know that they are completely innocent in all of this. So if the rule is a six game suspension, why is Rice facing a lifetime ban? I understand Rice has a job in the public eye, and he is a role model to young children; however banning him from the NFL is not going to solve anything. It will not help take a stand against domestic violence; it will just keep the NFL out of this controversy and all of its drama.
There are many other things the NFL can do; they could suspend Rice for the six games. They could send him to anger management classes or to a therapist. Why not even levy a heavy fine on the guy on top of everything else? That would ensure he would learn from his mistake, and it maybe even ensure he does not let his anger get the best him again. The NFL could support Rice in this time and assist in making him into a better person, rather than just giving up on him and firing him from a job that he has dedicated his life to.
Rice’s punishment is not a result of the NFL’s conscience or deep moral code; it is an effort to save face and keep the public’s respect.