Courts and Sports – How Ray Rice Shows that Athletics and Justice Don’t Mix and Why He Has Grounds for Appeal
The NFL got exposed by TMZ. It failed to react appropriately to domestic violence and, now, has given Ray Rice grounds to appeal his new punishment. The NFL and Roger Goodell need to answer to its utter failures to regulate the violent and criminal lifestyle it condones on everyday except Sunday.
Today this video was released. As a result, the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice from its roster. The NFL put Rice on an indefinite suspension. But wait, let’s replay the recent events to see how we got to this point. It is very telling.
Rewind to February 2014. Rice was arrested following a February 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he “allegedly struck” then-fiancee Janay Palmer. It was announced that Rice was also accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged. Gone. Like it never happened.
May 23, 2014. Ray Rice held a press conference with Janay. Notable comments:
“Failure is not getting knocked down, it’s not getting up.”
“Sorry, I just want to hit on everything.”
Yes, Ray, you knocked her down so that she could not get up and you certainly hit on everything.
The Ravens thereafter sent out a tweet saying, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” Yes, the NFL team publicly said the victim has regrets for being knocked unconscious.
June 2014. Rice met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell ultimately decided to suspend him for two games without pay and fine him an additional game check ”for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.” In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote: ”As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”
July 2014. The media reported that Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL, following his off-season arrest for domestic violence. Rice issues a statement: ”It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said, ”As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”
August 2014. Amidst scrutiny because the NFL only gave Rice a two game suspension, Roger Goodell marches out his underling Adolpho Birch, saying the NFL deserves credit for being the only entity which issued discipline, thumbing his nose at the Prosecutor’s Diversion. Birch literally laughed off the measure of discipline not being severe enough and would not confirm or deny whether he had seen video which was rumored to be pretty bad. Keith Olbermann points out Goodell’s breach of ethics and Birch’s incompetent statements:
Back to Present Day. The NFL is desperately trying to undo the nothing that it did.
Double Jeopardy? It’s not just a Ashley Judd movie. Enter the NFL Player’s Association and the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. Section 4 governs the “double jeopardy” of discipline.
Section 4. One Penalty: The Commissioner and a 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.
Rice was punished by the NFL- a two game suspension. The punishment was done in writing and was partially served. The NFL not only reached a final decision, but publicly justified this decision, as Adolpho Birch did radio show after radio show defending the League and Goodell. Then, TMZ made things bad. Then the Ravens cut Rice. Then the NFL indefinitely suspended him. Call a lawyer, Ray. You have a case. The NFLPA must stand behind you, you coward. You have a case.
That’s the NFL for you. The most violent sport in the world. Not always including Sundays.
OTHER INTERESTING REACTION
Fox News made a reprehensible joke out of it: