Ray Rice? We've got it all wrong

Ray Rice has thrown the sports world into a tizzy and as everyone jumps on board to do the right thing and destroy this domestic abuser and crush anyone who says anything other than burn Ray Rice at the stake, I'd like to take this moment to note that our professional sports leagues are not a justice system.

First, of course I believe domestic violence is a serious issue. I could not contemplate ever hitting someone, nor could I contemplate being in a relationship where someone was abusive towards me. As a country, we should look to see what we can do to stop domestic violence.

The groups of people who hold this issue near and dear to their heart and are already looking to stop it should use the media attention here to rally the troops and get whatever benefit they can.

That said, let's not point our fingers at our professional sports leagues, and let's not get too carried away with burning Ray Rice at the stake. The only difference between Ray Rice and tons of other domestic abusers (take Brandon Marshall as an example who probably has 5-6 reported incidents since entering the league), is that he was caught on video.

We read domestic disturbance or read that he hit his girlfriend, and it doesn't make nearly so big an impact as seeing exactly what it looks like for someone with 100 lbs of muscle mass to lay someone out with a punch. We minimize it when we don't have the video. The only thing separating Ray Rice from Brandon Marshall is a video and the fact that Marshall's been abusive significantly more times.

Is Ray Rice a first time offender? Who knows. I rather doubt it. I doubt that in the first time he ever resorted to inappropriate physical contact with his girlfriend he just happened to get caught on tape. Given how quickly everyone agreed to not press charges, my guess is this has happened before, but who knows.

Should Ray Rice be punished? Yes. By our legal system. That's what it's there for. People are going nuts criticizing the NFL over whether they saw the tape, whether they knew, whether they elected to only give him two games anyway. If the courts can't convict someone why the hell are you expecting the NFL to do it?

Should the NFL do something extra to Ray Rice? Perhaps. They should draft a policy that makes sense. That has some bar for what constitutes "conviction" by NFL standards, and they should apply it evenly to all players.

However, the NFL isn't interested in doing that. They're interested in just following whatever silly public mandate is going on right now to protect their brand. They want the appearance of acting morally, not actually acting morally.

It's not morally correct to craft a punishment specifically for Ray Rice because he's caught on video while some dude on the Carolina Panthers is actually convicted of something worse in a court of law and is still playing until his appeal process plays out.

No one gives a crap about what's right though, they just want to follow through and enact vengeance because they had a visceral reaction to a video.

It's not right to crucify Rice because you've now seen the video showing what you already knew happened. It's not right to end his career while every other domestic abuser has no punishment at all whatsoever. That's not right.

It's not right for the NFL to see all the tapes of Ray Rice and give him two weeks, then come back later with no new evidence and give him an indefinite suspension.

It's not right to craft a policy, then a tape is released showing what you already saw, and then change the policy.

It's not right to punish Rice above and beyond both of the policies you created due to this incident.

I'm as disgusted as the next guy in what Ray Rice did. I'm totally fine if the league wants to ban Ray Rice for what he did. However, if the league is going to take such a stand of becoming moral police, then it should be reflected in its policy. It should then go back and ban every other domestic abuser presently playing.

It shouldn't just decide to follow the public, whom loves a good witch hunt, in whatever mandate they feel is great for today.

But you know what? Maybe it's time to call off the witch hunt on the NFL as well. Maybe it's time to stop expecting employers to act as a secondary justice system. Maybe it's simply not the NFL's job to prosecute players over things we can't convict them in a court of law for. We have a court of law for a reason.

We have amendments in our constitution for a reason. Sometimes the strictness of our court of law sucks. Sometimes free speech sucks. However, both are a hell of a lot better than living in a society where there effectively are no rules except what the public mandates at the time.

That's exactly what world we'd like to the NFL to create, and it's one that I doubt any of us would want to live in.

I'm not defending Rice or his actions. However, it's time to stop pinning this on the NFL as if it's their issue. Where's the outrage at the actual system which is paid to do this kind of work?

Almost none of the ideas I've read discussing this whole thing actual make any attempt to help domestic abuse in a meaningful way. It's the NFL trying to protect itself and the public going on a witch hunt. And you know what? I have no better ideas either. Some problems are really hard to solve. If they weren't they wouldn't be problems anymore.

I'm glad awareness is being brought up on the issue of domestic violence. I hope something good comes from that awareness, but whatever actions are taken need to be taken evenly and sensibly. So far, that's not what's happening, we're just on a witch hunt.

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  • The world is an unfair place, and I’m sure all of us at one time or another have gotten the short end of the stick. It’s kind of like driving down I-90…probably 90% of the traffic is exceeding the posted speed limit, but only 1 out of every 1,000 cars that goes by actually gets stopped by the police. That one driver has behaved no worse than anyone else, but it just happened to drive by while the cop was watching; simply a case of bad lucky.

    Aside from Paul George, I doubt anyone would condone Ray Rice’s behavior. His actions were both immoral and illegal, and rightly should have severe consequences. I work for a small company, but have no doubt whatsoever that I would be fired immediately if my name popped up in the local news for bad behavior. No respectable business wants their name associated with this type of situation. I also don’t blame the NFL for distancing themselves from Rice, however I absolutely agree with Doug concerning the extreme hypocrisy of punishing Rice at this level of severity, but basically ignoring the known, questionable acts of many other players in the league.

    That being said, it takes a certain type of character to play professional football, and to be able to bring the necessary type of intensity and aggressiveness to the game. When you’re dealing with these types of individuals, I think you must have some amount of tolerance for certain types of questionable behavior. The NFL fan base is also accepting and understanding of this reality, as long as the bad behavior is not shoved in their face, as it has been with the Rice situation.

    So what is the NFL supposed to do? If they are going evenly distributed this harsh punishment evenly, then they just suspended half their workforce, and decimated the quality of their product. Do nothing, and they have a media/PR shit storm. As unfair as it is, I think the NFL is taking the only reasonable action…manage the high profile problem with swift and definite action, and brush everything else under the rug, until someone makes a stink about it. Ray Rice just happens to be the 1 in 1,000 this time around.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    I don't think half the work force is involved in domestic abuse complaints do you?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not domestic abuse specifically...but I am considering any type of questionable activities (i.e. DUI's, drug use/distribution, illegal firearm possession/use, night club incidents, rapes and other sexually abuses, gang involvement, dog fighting, etc.). I'm also not suggesting all these things are on the same level, or deserve the same severity of punishment. But it does occur, and probably involves a good number of players (maybe not half, but I was just making a point). Where do you draw the line as to what activities get punished or simply ignored? From the NFL's standpoint, these decisions are clearly based on the level of public knowledge, and the corresponding level of public interest /outcry. Hypocritical yes...but also an apparently acceptable approach from all side (NFL, Fans, Media).

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    I don't think 50% of the NFL is involved in all of the things you mentioned there either.

    And I agree, the NFL is punishing guys based on public knowledge, hypocritical and lousy, but generally accepted by all sides.

    I just don't like that.

  • Doug, I agree with you about almost everything Bulls, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

    First of all, while I support the idea of equal punishment for all players based on a clearly defined set of rules, we have to remember that the set of rules the NFL had in place for domestic violence were followed—they were just a dumb set of rules. Basically, the policy seemed to be that the commissioner reviewed the incident and then made something up. In this case, Goodell reviewed the evidence, took 5 months to reach a decision, and then decided to pretend like he never saw the elevator footage and issue a two game ban.

    It's important to remember, people were already pissed about that. The before and after the elevator ride footage was enough that you could guess what happened. Still, there was some degree of ambiguity. You had Rice's lawyer throwing out hypotheticals about a fight going both ways that Janay started, you had the Ravens saying they stood by their man, you had Janay saying she stood by her man.

    Well, the inside-the-elevator footage removed that ambiguity. Only one blow was thrown and then afterward he reacted with an attitude of "where do I hide the body" as opposed "oh my god what have I done is my loved one alright?"

    Goodell, in his wisdom, decided that now he was going to pretend like this was the first time he'd seen that video. So using the thin fiction that the NFL somehow had this new video evidence, it increased the ban. People act like the interior footage changes nothing, but it does: as I said, it removes the ambiguity. If the NFL truly hadn't seen it before, they were right to do what they did. (Of course, I think it's basically an open lie, and Goodell is just covering for screwing it up before, creating the witch hunt issue you described.) Again, the "rules" the NFL had were basically that the commissioner would decide what to do based on the evidence and the totality of the circumstances. The NFL is at least claiming that the evidence changed, so their punishment changed.

    The NFL was also right to review and revise it's domestic violence policies to make the rules both harsher and more transparent (no more commissioner discretion, which caused so many problems). Though of course, there are reports of plenty of loopholes in the new policy, so we'll see how well they executed on the idea.

    Finally, with regard to sports leagues becoming secondary justice systems: I think that is the wrong way to think about it. Being in the NFL or NBA or etc. is a privilege, not a right. It's not just any other job, it is a high-paid, high-prestige, high-visibility job that many many other people would gladly take. Considering that, I think it is well within each team's and each league's rights (both legally and in the more informal sense of rights as fairness) to hold league members to a higher standard of conduct. These rules should be clear on their face and fairly applied, of course, not just made up after the fact and retroactively applied. But they should still exist. The criminal justice system is meant to only punish those who are definitely guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a way, you could think of sports leagues as another form of civil liability, where more likely than not can result in some form of punishment. And as I said above, I think that is fair.

  • In reply to Sitnah:

    I agree with most of what you said, and I don't think much of what I wrote disagrees.

    My problem with Rice is that his punishment is not fairly or evenly applied. He was punished more severely than even the second set of new rules for domestic violence which were created AFTER his incident.

    First, I don't think the NFL should be punishing guys based on rules they create after an incident, second I don't think they should be upping his punishment because of public reaction.

    At some point, Rice will sue the NFL, and he'll almost certainly win [and should].

    If the NFL wants to ban Rice altogether, then I'm all for it, but it should then ban Brandon Marshall who's transgressions have been documented many times not just once. It should ban the guy on the 49ers or the guy on the Panthers (the second of which was convicted of more severe abuse in a court of law).

    They are only applying a punishment to Rice because of public reaction, and that's crap IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    A while back my wife complained, accurately, that I was being unfair with her. I teasingly replied, "I don't think you understand how double standards are supposed to work!"

    So she slugged me, semi-playfully! We both knew we were kidding around, altho there was an issue that I needed to address and did. Not a case of domestic abuse, unless it was a trivial one.

    It shows, however, that most of us are prone to double standards - at times. This is imperfection, a/k/a sin, and we can never totally free ourselves of it, tho we should keep trying.

    This problem grows as people get more power. If Ray Rice had been a physical whimp and his wife had been a toughie like Laila Ali or Ronda Rousey, I suspect he would have been more restrained.

    If our psychological makeup allows us to be objective, we can see the same problem, abuse of power, in the Presidency, Congress, and Supreme Court of the USA. This will only get fixed under the Kingdom of God.

    We all need to strive for justice, not because a video camera is on us, but because our conduct can come to define what we are as a human. That can have eternal consequences because the Bible says, "The LORD loves justice." (Psalm 37:28)

  • In reply to rustyw:

    So, what about Ray Lewis?

    Ray Lewis is born again Christian. Will he get what he deserves when he dies?

  • In reply to Granby:

    Of course. Romans 14:12 proclaims, "Each of us shall give account of himself to God."

    Many who seemed to get away with sins in this life, including murder, really will not get away at all from God's justice. Those who abuse others have a far greater problem than a worldly court or a sport commissioner.

    However, we all need God's forgiveness, and that is available. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) But there are conditions to this gift, and one is true repentance. That means change, from the inside out, not mere lip service.

    We live in a society that tends to excuse people of power more freely than the rest of us. We should all live like God sees everything we do, because he really does! Especially those with power in one arena or another need to remember this.

  • Yes, the tape makes this way worse. 2 games is not a sufficient penalty, but if you look at Brandon Marshall and other players who have had the same issues, I think it's probably in-line. It's not like any player has been banned for 8 games for something like this - not counting Vick. Hell, Rothlisberger got about 4 games (I think) for being accused of Rape with a young girl in a the bathroom of a bar and that's pretty bad.

    It's sad that the video made our society realize how horrible domestic violence can be, but sometimes that's what it takes. I think that because of the Ray Rice video that from now on fans will not just blow off domestic violence as nothing. I know I won't.

    And, how Rice is not doing jail time is beyond me! I can see how the NFL only suspended him 2 games given that legally he only got a slap on the wrist.

    I have no problem with the NFL opening up the case and suspending him indefinitely. The league is a business and I can't imagine cheering for a guy like Rice, can any of you?! Watching him spit on his fiancé and punch her in the face and then kick her around on the ground was just sickening.

    So, yes, seeing it on tape makes it much worse - it really does. Rice got what he deserved. His ass has been kissed as an athlete, but athletes can do anything they want and get away with it.

    IN OTHE NEWS - IS D.ROSE REALLY THAT BAD??? OMG. I watched the game yesterday and he was terrible. I thought Doug was being too hard on him, but I really think that he's completely lost his game. He looks awkward on offense. Can't shoot. No good passes. He just looks out of it. I've been a huge Rose fan, but I'm officially very worried. He can't score at all! He looks fast and quick, so I just can't figure out what it is... he was the MVP of the league and looks great physically, but he's nowhere near the other guards.

  • In reply to Granby:

    A picture is worth a thousand words.

    A video may be worth 10,000 words!

    If it helps to correct a problem, that is great.

  • fb_avatar

    Stick to the Bulls, and NBA basketball. Right, wrong or inclusive a professional athlete is not a person, but a public commodity. Anything seen on video or heard on audio relates to him as an athlete, and is subject to popular opinion.
    The NFL is slowly losing its' luster and the next generation is shifting their interest towards other sports. In 10 - 20 yrs the NFL will be like Boxing.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Michael, you are WAAAAAY off base in terms of the NFL going the route of boxing. The NFL is not losing it's luster at all. Yes, as fans we will demand harsher penalties for crimes, but the game is stronger than any other.

    Do I want my kids playing it? Hell no! I won't even let my little kids play flag football in case they like it.

    But, I'll watch some other poor bastards bash their heads in for entertainment because they get paid good money and choose to play.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I think that is why the Roman Empire collapsed.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That is an inciteful observation, BigWay.

    In fact, Genesis chapter six gives one reason why God brought the Flood in Noah's time - violence!

    Perhaps we need more self-examination, and I certainly include myself as having that need.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    I agree that anything is view to public opinion.

    I'm only asking the league to pick a lane. Either be the moral police and stand up to it or don't.

    I suppose they have picked a lane. Simply react to whatever the public reacts to regardless of whether it's fair, sensible, has precedent, or anything else.

    I think that lane sucks.

  • Aside from the obvious - no place for domestic violence anywhere period - this story has been completely turned on his head and the media attention being on the NFL is misplaced.

    This case is crime of domestic violence - between a couple in their personal lives off the football field and not related to football operations/business. Those primarily responsible for bringing justice in this case are the police, prosecuting attorneys, and court systems - NOT the NFL. As in cases such as these, the NFL should allow the police investigation and legal process to run its course in a matter such as this, then take action based on evidence found from the police investagation and legal process and set their own punishment/justice for suspending a player for violating their Conduct policy.

    What has happened is that the police, attorneys, and court systems have all failed in bringing justice. Ray Rice should be in jail for his actions but through legal posturing and side agreements was let go with basically a slap on the wrist. The NFL then levied a 2 game suspension based on the domestic violence case based on Rice's contriteness, Janay's plea on behalf of her husband, and because precedent didn't call for anything more. In past cases, NFL suspensions for domestic violence was 1-2 games or it was reduced to 1-2 games or no games at all. The difference in Rice's case was that this was a high profile player and there was a video involved. But I think the NFL gave Rice a 2 game suspension based on how they've historically handled domestic violence cases. You may argue that 2 game suspension is small for a domestic violence charge and you'd be right and Goodell even admitted as such. The new 6 game for 1st offense and NFL ban for 2nd offense is much better.

    But in all that i've described thus far, I dont find fault with the NFL. Unless we came to know that the NFL ran interference with Janay Palmer's testimony that didn't allow the prosecuting attorney to go after Rice or interfered with the legal proceedings somehow, I dont understand what was wrong with what they initially did. They are not responsible for bringing criminal justice in this case yet the NFL has clearly been villified here while the prosecuting attorneys and police have gotten away scott free. Why? Where is the outrage?

    If I was Roger Goodell, I would have clearly outlined the following:
    * NFL not responsible for criminal justice in criminal cases involving personal or non-football related events
    * NFL Investigation of Ray Rice in line with previous NFL investigations of domestic violence - getting police and legal evidence and then make call on penalty/suspension. If elevator tape was not provided as part of police and legal evidence, then NFL not responsible for not going after it because NFL hasn't gone after such "more" evidence in past cases.
    * Evidence of a video tape or multiple video tapes does not impact or change the facts of the event.
    * Levying of 2 game suspension was in line with what was historically given for domestic violence cases - Admittedly this was wrong and a change needs to be made. Introduce new rules.

    This all being said, Goodell and NFL did screw up by
    1. Lying about the 2nd video tape. This has taken the attention of the fact that police and prosecution failed and placed it squarely on Goodell not being forthcoming and honest about his viewing of the tape. The second tape itself was terrible to watch but the fact is we knew what happened when we watched the first tape. Two entered into an elevator only one exited consciously and Rice testified to Goodell that he hit her. If thats the case, why did the evidence of a 2nd tape matter? Why lie that you didn't see it? Just to somewhat make up or rationalize the paltry 2 game suspension? Doesn't make any sense
    2. Rashly and stupidly overreacting to public sentiment by suspending Rice indefinitely. Makes no sense to go from 2 games to indefinite. If anything, it would have been better off having left the 2 game suspension and allow the Ravens to just cut him. Anyways, no team is going to touch Rice for a while and by making the suspension greater, it again only validated the need of more evidence (2nd video tape)

    These two screw-ups have made Goodell look dishonest and not know what he's doing. The change in suspensions has made him look like he's just flying by the seat of his pants or just going with what the public says - both that undermine his ability to be decisive and be a strong leader.

    But when I hear the masses go after the NFL and that the NFL has a "domestic violence issue" or the NFL promotes domestic violence, its completely misplaced. Bottomline, Goodell deserves the criticism he's going under because he's done a terrible handling this situation. He may lose his job and if its found that he was dishonest or part of a cover up, he should. But for me, this entire story is about the flaws in the legal system that allow a guy like Rice to get away with no jail time. If Rice ends up with 60 day jail time for this crime, then we're having no discussion about a 2 game suspension. But because a 2 game suspension was the only real punishment levied against Rice, people got upset because the punishment came well short of the crime committed. While the NFL should have revised their policy long ago, they are not responsible for bringing social and moral justice. Thats why we have police, attorneys, court systems and laws in this country. An NFL suspension should be an additional penalty or price that is paid not the primary or sole, as it was in this case.

  • The irony of a sport that promotes violence that hits (pun intended) home Jessica Simpson coulda figured that out.

  • I am pretty sure that his wife had a lot(everything) to do with why he wasn't prosecuted. She was protecting her livelihood(not just his), and still is as she is probably the strongest voice out there arguing against the NFL's punishment.

    I bet Ray Rice is allowed back into the league next year. She will probably have a private meeting with Goodell begging him to reinstate him. Not sure if he will find a team willing to take him, however. It will be interesting to see if the black fan base still supports him like they did with Michael Vick.

  • Thankfully I've "given up" pseudo intellectual longer then the universe discourses on societal developments as my new year's resolution so I'm afraid I'll have to keep my views on what I think is a symbol of a larger, troubling issue brief(ha, ha, ha.. continue to infinity). Social commentary, be advised.

    Doug, I think you've hit the nail on the head. The twitter "witch hunt of the day," in this case the furor over(what should have been directed at the botched prosecution of sport's figure Ray Rice by the courts really), but also the NFL's aka Roger Goodell's initial two game suspension which IMO was a joke, has kind of a mob rule feel that is unsettling at best.

    Twittermania is simply a sign of the times we're living in as basically we've become a nation of distracted prisoners of the moment engaged in a revolving tirade of the latest "outrage." It conjures up old movie images of the Roman coliseum where the emperor would give a thumbs up or thumbs down verdict to a hysterical, bloodthirsty crowd. Rarely was there a reprieve and things seem no different today. "Sorry Ray, it's a thumbs down. You too Rog. I'm afraid even rich white guys become expendable when they f-ck things up this badly. $40 Mill per for mystery tapes??!! Buh-Bye."

    Any judicial system, be it state courts or federal(as opposed to the NFL or Twitter), that allows a spouse to knock their wife(or husband) out cold without jail time(barring true self-defense such as a weapon being yielded, previous physical attacks, or said spouse hurting someone else in the family physically) of any kind is justice in name only. Yet nobody aggressively pursued this botch job of a prosecution. Hmm, wonder why that is? Cough - NFL. (whisper) "Money".

    If there's one thing we've learned it's this: we know, cough - O.J., cough - largely white wealthy America quite often get off the hook through powerful connections and wunderkind loophole millionaire lawyers that regular folks can't pay for. Money buys freedom from and IMPUNITY towards justice. Pay for play is what America has become all about.

    Right now NFL players who stand convicted of death threats, physical abuse i.e torture are romping across fan filled stadiums and more importantly OUR big screen HD windows of supposed escape from all this madness. Why? M-O-N-E-Y.

    Question: Has there ever been a more greed centered era of American life as their is today with conglomeration of business to the point that basically professional sports has become wired into The Grid so to speak of a giant co-op run by a select group of mostly rich white guys who now include the "media" because they too are all getting a piece of the pie. NBC, ABC, ESPN, TNT, TBS, Comcast/NBC, Fox they are ALL in. And not just our own country's power drunk, hyper elite, but richest of the rich dudes(and some women too) from other countries are buying in as well. Goodbye shared American culture of truth and freedom. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    Impartiality, independent watchdogs of reform do they even exist anymore? Sorry, no. Only approved show trials of cases so screamingly over the top that they become fuel for Twittermania. "The Commissioner," seriously? If that refers to hired henchman Roger Goodell an enforcer if you will for the owners of what has become one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment juggernauts in America, the NFL, maybe we should call him The Axe only now he fittingly may be the one on the chopping block.

    I'd love to be privy to some of the "newsroom" discussions at ESPN/ABC/Disney/U.S. Congress.. of what over the top profit grabs and player violent crimes we grudgingly HAVE to report on. And in what PR light can we minimize the damage to the product and thus ourselves. "Well, we all make mistakes(just not felony assaults and vehicular homicides)." Or, "I have to LIVE with this for the rest of MY LIFE(not the victim)." You can feel the remorse and not self-serving pity, can't you?

    Meanwhile the shock and awe of broadband cable TV and internet enables an all powerful elite consortium to exist in relative silence through sheer distraction. A laser-like consolidation of corporate power the likes of which J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller could only dream of. In essence the censoring of America has commenced and the global economy is the better for it. Right? I mean, that is the rationale(if any is even needed at this apathetic point) isn't it?

    Ray frickin' Rice?? Really? Twitter and Facebook. Broadband TV and internet. Bread and circuses. And everything went just fine with that so why worry? Let's just keep blathering on about the parade of scandal and "stars" and pay no attention to the man over behind the curtain. Our own social networks of "friends" extends so far. Facebook you magnificent bastard!! The Selfies Age has begun.

    Government aka mega corp. monitoring offices: Tweet, "Roger Goodell never reviewed the tape?! What??" "You guys so kicked Lanphier's ass(pick a high school) blah, blah, blah(to infinity)."

    Control room reporting: "Yep, their off The grid."

    Corporate elites: "How sweet it is!"

    Bluetoothing, texting, Sirius radioing, Googling, GPSing, humanity.. dying.

  • There is no right to any job. Anyone can be fired for just cause. when your private life turns public and damages your employer's brand, they have every right to get rid of you, whether you are Ray Rice or John Doe. People are fired from companies for way less than what Ray Rice did. Why is there this tendency to give pro-athletes open doors to come back? They are no better than anyone else.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    I agree there's no right to any job.

    However, the NFL practices both ex post facto and double jeopardy on Rice. Giving him a penalty they made up about his problem after he had it and basically convicting him twice on the same crime (giving him two games then upping it because the public was mad).

    Either way, I'm okay if the NFL wants to ban anyone who's involved in a domestic abuse issue. Just don't pick one guy to throw to the wolves. Either try to really clean up the issue or don't.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The NFL and Roger Goodell set a very bad precedent when they left the door open for and welcomed back Michael Vick. This is the real problem. They have no standards of behavior. Neither to the corrupt sports writers who enable players and the NFL. Some, like Mike Lupica, are already surrounding the wagons to protect Goodell.

    The NFL needs a policy. It also needs to strictly enforce that policy. The message must go out- no talent is to great to get banned for life.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    I disagree. Michael Vick lost what 50 million? 100 million dollars? and went to prison for a couple years.

    If anyone has paid his debt to society it's Michael Vick. Not that I condone dog fighting, but his real punishment for doing it was probably greater than what 90% of the rapists or pedophiles will face once you factor in loss of income.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It would appear that, due to the video, that is exactly what the NFL is doing. Like it or not the video is there, &, yes, it would make a difference in a court of law, also.
    As for going back & banning past offenders, in which there are many, that makes absolute no sense. Punishments, over the years have evolved, & are evolving for drugs, domestic violence, racial comments, etc.
    How far do you want to take this purging?
    Maybe kick guys out of the hall of fame for racially insensitive comments about Jackie Robinson?
    Personally, I think our think our systems of laws, has failed. Almost all these cases are dropped, or with counseling overturned.
    As for Marshall. I was opposed to the Bears picking him up. But, I have to admit, he has been a model citizen &, apparently has changed his life around.
    Good for him.
    Which brings another question into affect.
    How about a mental illness due to some chemical deficiency?
    Ideally, the best place to handle this problem is the justice system, but it has failed.
    I think, Rice will be back in the NFL. Indefinite, is not permanent. That said, he was so bad last season I'm not sure any team will want the negative press.

  • just saw the video of Noah throwing out the first pitch at Chicago's other baseball team's park. Ladies and gentlemen Joakim Noah throws like a little girl, and not the one from the little league world series either.

    I just cannot believe how bad so many of these professional athletes are at throwing out the first pitch. I never played any sport at even the collegiate level other than Rugby, but I can at least look the part when shooting a basketball, pitching or hitting a baseball, throwing a football, hitting a tennis ball, swimming, bowling, you name it, what the hell is wrong with these guys. Maybe they really are not world class athletes.

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