Sunday, September 14, 2014

My friend Oni sent me a message via facebook the other day, and asked me why I had not commented on the events of last week (Ray Rice, the Atlanta Hawks fiasco and Adrian Peterson). I explained to her that between work, being a father and being a husband, I really had not devoted any time to sitting down and stringing together some thoughtful words about what has transpired the past seven days. Even right now, I have an hour's worth of free time to myself since my wife and my son are at the playground. I spent part of that time cleaning the house, part taking a shower and trying to get this flu out of me, and the last part watching football (of course). I decided that the remaining free time I have alone, would be devoted to writing.

The Ray Rice situation really is not one that leaves much for interpretation. Everyone knew that he hit her back in February, just like everyone knew that Donald Sterling was a racist the past 30 years. But TMZ leaked video and audio of Rice and Sterling respectively, and it changed the proverbial game. Folks who had turned a blind eye, were forced to make knee-jerk, yet forceful reactions. Folks who were in the dark, were outraged and jumped on their high horses. Agenda-based folks had (and continue to have) enough ammunition to last the next few weeks. But it should have never come to that, especially with the Ray Rice situation.

Each and every season, NFL players--whether it is in the offseason or during the regular season--get suspended for domestic abuse against their wives, girlfriend, and exes. And each and every time, the NFL basically slaps them on the wrist, so they can get back on the field as soon as possible. In fact, the only way the NFL keeps players off the field for any sustained period of time is for drug use. Domestic violence gets treated as a minor inconvenience. This recent Ray Rice situation will be to the NFL what 9/11 was (and still is) to this country. It'll force the NFL to review all of their processes, and it will probably cause someone (not Roger Goodell who is a made man thanks to the NFL owners who empower him) to lose their job. So if there is any good to be had out of this, it will the changes that the NFL has been forced to make.

But Ray Rice and his wife still need individual and collective counseling to get through this rough time. It isn't for me to say whether they should stay together or not, but you can't endure what they've endured, and just think it'll pass, because it won't without some work. I've gotten into fights with girlfriends and my wife, and I've said some nasty things, I've hit walls, I've yelled at close proximity and I've even grabbed out of anger, but I've never hit a woman. Have I wanted to? Hell yes, just like I'm sure my wife has wanted to hit me, but it isn't worth taking that extra, foolish step, because it changes everything. But once you cross that line like Ray Rice did, you have to pay the price, and he is.

I'm also quite sure that the NFL thought this story would go away, which is why they ignored the tape, and gave Rice a b.s. two-game suspension initially. But this isn't issue isn't going away any time soon, just like the concussion issue, the drug issue and the other problems the NFL is facing these days.

I'm rambling and I'm rusty, so forgive me. I'll tackle the issues of the world tomorrow, when I'm healthier.

No comments: