DC Trawler

Networks And Stupid People Collaborate To Protect Ray Rice, NFL

Derek Hunter Contributor
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The Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last night 26 to 6 in Thursday Night Football. But the game on the field mattered less than the mood off it.

It was the first NFL game after video of Ray Rice knocking out Janay Rice surfaced, showing the world the brutal reality of what we only, until then, had seen the aftermath of.

The Ravens fired Rice, the NFL suspended him indefinitely, and the fans? Many celebrated him.

You read that right, many Ravens fans, including many female fans, celebrated Ray Rice by wearing his jersey to the game.

The team offered to accept Ray Rice jerseys in trade at their team stores, and many other Baltimore businesses offered products in trade for turning them in. Still, some fans weren’t interested.

Racquel Bailey, a 23-year-old waitress, told the local Fox station, “There’s two sides to every story. I saw the video. That’s their personal business, and it shouldn’t have affected his career. I don’t agree with domestic violence, but she’s still with him, so obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it.”

If stupidity were an Olympic event we’d have a medalist right there.

That’s why the decision by news networks to either stop showing the brutal video, or show it less, is a mistake. People need to see the violent reality that they are passively supporting.

That’s not to say these misguided fools are fans of domestic violence, but it doesn’t really help their case in the way saying you’re a big fan of Idi Amin but not really down with cannibalism.

Ray Rice IS the face of domestic violence, at least right now. And while this country is known for giving second chances, they have to be earned after a penance is paid. Having run for a lot of yards on a series of past Sundays is not a pre-paid penance, it was his job, for which he was paid handsomely.

There are no short cuts on the road to redemption, and past deeds aren’t credits, held to be cashed in when needed. Ray Rice can come back in the future, but that climb will be steep and difficult. The media hiding what forced him into exile does no service to the community, to victims of domestic violence or, ultimately, to Rice himself.

This is an opportunity for society highlight the line we’ve drawn, to educate the Racquel Baileys of the world, and let victims of abuse know we, collectively, have their backs. That they should come forward and we will be there for them. But part of that is facing the reality of domestic violence, not hiding from it.