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. Rice is facing this new possible punishment only because of the publics outrage and opinion. It 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.
If the NFL was really trying to take a stance against domestic violence than they would enforce a zero tolerance policy—which exists in most work places today. If the NFL does enforce such policy, (even though the owners of each team has their own policies) than it would have to be followed by all the players of all the teams, no exceptions. The league should also wait for criminal conviction before it acts. If a player is found guilty and chargers are pressed than indefinitely suspending him would be a logical choice made by the NFL. However If chargers are not pressed it should not be the employers job to punish; the NFL is not the judicial system.
In Rice’s case his wife is not pressing chargers, so there are many other things the NFL could have do to show they do not condone that behavior. 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 maybe even ensure he does not let his anger get the best of 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.
Brandon Marshall— just one example of the many players still in the NFL who have been involved in domestic violence cases; has been a wide receiver in the league for 8 years; and he has not one but three domestic violence related arrests. However Marshall is considered a success on and off the field; all because he sought treatment, and is now an outspoken voice against domestic violence. Ray Rice also deserves this chance to find help and change his story.