So who would have thought that the all seeing, all knowing, all powerful gossip venue, TMZ would turn out to be the Drudge Report of the new Millennium? I mean, seriously, the fact that TMZ outed the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice elevator scene has left Roger Goodell and the NFL with their pants down. TMZ. The group that has spies and eyes everywhere hit both gold and took the NFL down to a new low.
So if you aren't watching the news, on your computer, or social media, Ray Rice was a football player for the Baltimore Ravens. He and his girlfriend, Janay, had a physical argument where he allegedly hit her. We didn't see it. We saw that he was dragging her lifeless body off the elevator at a Casino Hotel in Atlantic City six months ago. It was always a little murky because both the justice system and the NFL didn't act swiftly or appropriately for what actually happened in that elevator. Maybe Janay was drunk and out of control and he pushed her, maybe she hit him first, maybe this, maybe that. There was no indication of the gravity of the situation as now seen on the interior camera view. Janay and Ray said it was both their faults, they gave the NFL all the answers they wanted to hear, and the actions of the justice system is inexplicable. She then married him. Who were we to say? She loved him. He loved her. And then, TMZ released the video of the actual altercation inside the casino elevator.
Have you seen it? It is brutal, shocking, and appalling. I am grateful to TMZ for releasing it. As bad as the video is, we needed to see it. It is irrefutable. It is domestic violence. It happens all too often and all too often it is swept under the rug or forgiven. The NFL and Roger Goodell said they didn't see it. When Matt Lauer said that to Bryant Gumbel this morning, he couldn't contain his laughter. It is laughable. If they didn't see it, they didn't want to see it. They had to know it existed. They are a multi billion dollar organization that has the power and ability to get any videotape from any security system. They aren't naive, like I am. They would've gotten away with their wimpy two game suspension they gave Ray Rice, if TMZ didn't get their hands on this tape. Roger Goodell would've been able to keep his head up after he revised the punishment for domestic abusers in the NFL last week: 6 game suspension the first time and banished from league for a second offense. He stood up and took responsibility for getting Ray Rice's suspension wrong and has a solid plan for he future. What a bunch of BS. Obviously, he must've known this tape was getting released. He tried to get ahead of the game. Roger Goodell, you should lose your job. You care more about football than the life of a woman.
And the justice system who basically gave Ray Rice a slap on the hand. What the hell is wrong with that Judge and D.A.? They have the Jameis-Winston-Florida-State-University-Syndrome. They didn't want to harm the team, take down a star athlete, disparage the Ravens organization. They accepted his cockamamie excuses and apology to his fiancee and sent him to anger management or some such bullish*t thing. It's a disgrace. Remember the eyes of the law are supposed to be blind and balanced. Whoops! That isn't reality. Was it ever? Don't think so.
So, here we sit. Another appalling act against a woman and no one in power that's supposed to help and defend made the right choices. If Roger Goodell and the NFL don't understand domestic abuse, maybe they should take pay cuts and have a team of experts on staff to vet any and all of the bullish*t stories they are handed. It is unconscionable that they all turned the other cheek again. I do think Roger Goodell should be removed from his post. This is a big misfire. The Ravens terminated Ray Rice's contract yesterday as soon as the tape went viral. The NFL Players Association should leave it all be. They can't back him up. They can offer him counseling, but not a job. The Judge and D.A. should be dumped out of office for not pursuing criminal charges.
I am gravely concerned for Janay's safety. She is a typical case study in abused woman-dom. Having a husband with a history of serious brutality, her future doesn't look bright. Publicly shamed, humiliated, and out of work does not bode well for a loving and healthy relationship. Even the healthiest of people find unemployment very stressful on a relationship, but on Ray Rice....
If you didn't see the full video, you really should take the time. It's not just the punch but the aftermath that compounds the brutality of the scene: http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_ekaflcqq/
Sidebars: I'll stay with the NFL, but on a lighter note. Last night was Monday Night Football on ABC. Last night, was also the finale of the summer trash series, Bachelor in Paradise on ABC. Bachelor in Paradise was pre-empted for most of the country, but they still played it in the West. Seriously? Why ABC executives didn't move the finale night to another night so the whole country could watch is shocking. Though they announced a season two renewal for next summer, the ratings had to stink last night. The East coast airing was at 1:45am or some such ridiculous time. Screwed the fans again. Here's to Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys for picking up Michael Sam. Though there was a loud decry from "Christians" in the Dallas area that were going to picket and oppose Jerry Jones hiring of a homosexual football player, it seemed fairly quiet in reality on Sunday. Tonight is America's Got Talent. Getting down to the final twelve acts. Most of them are incredible. It's not too late to give it a chance. Enjoy your Tuesday, wherever you are.
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