NFL Claims Ignorance of Video. Also Gravity and Spacetime

Earlier this year, video emerged of Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiance — correction, the fiance he had beaten unconscious — out of an elevator. The NFL, in their wisdom, decided to suspend him for a whole … two games. The Ravens kept him on the team. After all, once you’d won two superbowls with a guy involved in a double murder, what’s a little wife-beating among friends?

Today, the other shoe dropped. TMZ released a video from inside the elevator, showing Rice beating his fiance. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely and the Ravens cut him. I guess they finally have a “context” for a player dragging his fiance out of an elevator after beating her unconscious. Both are saying the never saw the new video before.

I’m not convinced.

I’m not sure if they knew about the video or not (TMZ is hinting that they did). But even with the video, they don’t know anything today they didn’t know yesterday. The only thing that has really changed is the optics. We’ve gone from knowing Rice beat his fiance to actually seeing it happen. Ta-Nehisi:

The NFL claims that it had never seen the video before today. But the video that was already out there, along with the reporting, was bad enough. The idea that it took today’s release to understand the gravity of things is insupportable. You don’t become a sports and entertainment juggernaut through absent-mindedness.

The NFL claims they want to crack down on their violent image. But they never seem to really follow through. They claim they want to stop brutal hits on defenseless players. But dozens of hits go unpunished every week. They just occasionally pop up to fine one that got on ESPN. A couple of years ago, they came down very hard on the Saints for paying bounties to defensive players who injured other players. Last year, another scandal erupted when it turned out that several members of the Dolphins offensive line, notably Richie Incognito, were engaging in brutal bullying of their fellow players. In both cases, there were whispers that this sort of thing was widespread. And while the NFL came down hard on the guilty parties, they didn’t really dig too deep into the NFL’s culture.

Ray Rice is not the only player engaging in a little recreational wife-beating. The league should have made an example of him. But they didn’t; not until it got to this point. This makes me think that their attempts to clean up the league are just window dressing — a way to silence the game’s critics without making any real changes.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    Maybe someone should show demcorats what abuse of women really looks like, and this video sure does that, so idiots like Debbie W. Shutlz won’t accuse people that don’t want the stupid shit demcorats use to pander to low information voters of being abuse of women and get away with it.

    And yeah, while this stuff is absolutely despicable, the truth is that men seem to be on the recieving end of physical abuse from women, and that comes from women admitting they do this shit themselves, far more than the other way around. I am reluctant to admit this, but my ex actually was in the habit of losing her cool and taking swings at me. Of course, she knew I wouldn’t retailiate, because I was raised better and knew how to control my anger, specifically because of the martial training I have.

    This shit where we give a pass to women but freak out when a man does it, is prevalent (and not just limited to violence of any kind). The attitude that because women are the gentler sex, their abuse is somehow less of that, and that real guys would not or should not care, has worked against those of us that see the political agenda the left has of making all men predators and evil.

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  2. InsipiD

    The NFL claims that it had never seen the video before today.

    Getting in the elevator with an OK girlfriend and dragging an unconscious one out a few floors later just isn’t enough evidence that he caused something bad to happen in between.

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  3. Xetrov

    And here’s ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, also from July:

    We saw the TMZ video of what happened outside—when he was dragging her out unconscious—but inside, I’m told from those who have seen the video, it wasn’t pretty. In fact, she attacks him—we don’t know the reason why—and he strikes her, strikes her hard. And her head—according to the sources I’ve spoken to—struck the rail inside the elevator and she was unconscious.

    Which is exactly what today’s video shows.

    Privately, top reporters were told in no uncertain terms that the video existed, that the NFL had seen it, that it showed Janay Palmer acting violently toward Rice, and that, if released, it would go some way toward mitigating the anger against him. One of the league’s most devoted mouthpieces described the video for us on an off-the-record basis, going off what his sources had told him. The implication was clear: If you saw this video, you’d know why Rice only got two games.

    Now that the video’s out, the NFL and the Ravens are reversing course.

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  4. Xetrov

    Getting in the elevator with an OK girlfriend and dragging an unconscious one out a few floors later just isn’t enough evidence that he caused something bad to happen in between.

    it’s actually not. You’ve never seen a drunk person pass out? Or fall down and hit their head on their own?

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  5. TxAg94

    I suspect if they really cracked down on all the things we say we want them to crack down on there won’t be many players left at the end. A lot of people say that with the excuse that it’s a violent sport by nature and we can’t expect these players to be able to turn that violence on and off. That sounds suspiciously like they’re saying these guys are all base animals and are too dumb to know right from wrong. Whether that’s true or not I do think we foster a system where these guys have been insulated for so long from any responsibility for their behaviors that the result is the same. They may know right from wrong but there’s never been any punishment for doing wrong, and more often than not feelings of reward, so why bother with any restraint.

    I’m not a football fan so I really don’t care one way or another. I do find it interesting to see the excuses that come out when most people who are football fans have to balance their personal moral standards against possibly seeing their favorite team lose a valuable player. Of course this is not an isolated case. Of course it would probably shock us to know what many of these guys get away with. Of course the right thing to do is express shock and say we want accountability. I’m just not sure most people really actually want that.

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  6. Xetrov

    I’ll say one thing – I’d much rather the NFL take care of it internally than Congress get involved and start holding hearings on systemic spousal abuse in the NFL (e.g.: Steroids in Baseball, which was an asininely stupid waste of tax payer money).

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  7. InsipiD

    it’s actually not. You’ve never seen a drunk person pass out? Or fall down and hit their head on their own?

    Sure, and they don’t particularly resemble the ones that have had the shit beat out of them, either.

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  8. Technomad

    Considering all the criminals, woman-beaters and thugs that already play in the NFL, for them to come down hard on Ray Rice is kind of hypocritical. Read Pros and Cons—The Criminals that Play in the NFL sometime.

    A lot of it starts when the players learn that as long as they can deliver on the football field, the schools they go to will shield them from the consequences of their crimes. Add in getting suddenly rich, a lot of “ghetto attitude,” and mind-altering substances, and you have a recipe for trouble.

    If OJ Simpson could still play ball, the NFL would welcome him back once his little visit to Nevada was done with.

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  9. Biggie G

    Nothing will really happen. The NFL thinks it’s the government. There is a scandal, you mete out a small punishment and say the union rules (laws) only allow for that. When it blows up you cut loose a minor functionary. You then fight it for a few weeks until it blows over. The NFL doesn’t actually ever change anything. The outrage will die down, Ray Rice will cry on TV and get a new job with another team and we will keep giving them our money, What else are we going to watch, soccer?

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  10. hist_ed

    I am really sick of hearing about this. It is one incident-a rich spoiled guy smacked his wife around. While that is awful behavior and he should be charged (was he?), it happens a lot. The fact that this guy is a football player doesn’t matter.
    I don’t think the NFL should do much beyond suspending him Why is it a football league’s job to educate us about wife beating? Time to move on.

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