Society vs. Ray Rice: When Will the Problem End?

Photo is courtesy of Danny Moloshok/Reuters/

Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

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By now, I’m sure that everyone reading this post has seen the video of Ray Rice punching out his wife (then girlfriend) in a hotel elevator. It is horrific. There is absolutely NO justification for what he has done. He is a piece of crap. Let’s move on.

I’m writing about the rest of society tonight.

I’m writing about how horrible we are.

Right now, everyone is going insane over the whole Ray Rice situation and there’s one simple reason why: We have hard evidence looking us right in the eyes.

Everyone has to be upset about Ray Rice’s actions and also the NFL’s response to the incident, because if we don’t, we all look like cowards. Unlike almost any other incident the NFL has dealt with, this time there is hard evidence showing exactly what happened.

No longer are we able to distance ourselves from the situation like we normally do. No longer are we able to downplay the situation by speculating that, “Maybe she tripped or something, that’s why she’s got a black eye.”

Nope, it’s right there in front of us…he punched her square in the face and knocked her out.

The really troubling thing is that right now, there are players in the NFL who are getting a free pass as if they’ve never done anything wrong, only because they got off on a technicality. For example, Ben Roethlisberger plowing chicks in public restrooms (not once, but twice) really doesn’t seem to stick out in anyone’s mind anymore. Everyone acts as though Big Ben has done nothing wrong (at least a bunch of Pittsburgh fans seem to do so every season). This makes me sick!

Is that really what we are as a society? Is that really our determining factor? Are we really willing to say that sexual battery is okay when you’re an athlete, as long as there’s no video evidence tying you to the situation? I don’t think so. I know I’m not.

Either this sort of behavior is wrong or it’s not. There shouldn’t be an escalator here.

Now I fully understand that the NFL can’t just go back and retroactively kick out every player whose name has ever been connected with this sort of thing. I get that. I really do. But doesn’t it seem like more should be done?

I don’t really blame the NFL for the growth of this problem. I blame us, the fans. We keep consuming this product. We keep buying the tickets, watching the games, buying the gear, and playing in the fantasy leagues. If we really were to hit the NFL where it counts, in the wallet, don’t you think it would notice? Sure it would. But are we really willing to do that? Are we really?

The sad truth of the matter is that now, even with hard evidence in front of us, the Ray Rice situation and dozens like it will eventually be swept under the rug. The NFL will keep making millions of dollars because we will keep giving it to them. Apparently it’s just easier for us to look the other way than it is to do something about it.

Do NFL fans really care about Ray Rice? No. As fans, our actions clearly show what we really care about. Do you like what you see?