The Opinionated Spectator…NFL and Ravens driving away from Rice wreckage

Alexis PNC Park Final
Alexis Sara Cobb

When my father was teaching me how to drive, he would say indecisiveness will get you killed.
These people are following your lead through the signals you give them. If you are indecisive with your signals, there can and will be a fatal collision. I thought he was being extreme at the time. Trying to scare me into using my turn signals but he was correct. Indecisiveness when you are driving is dangerous. I just never thought his lesson would be applicable for the NFL as well.
The National Football League should be celebrating opening weekend of the regular season. We should be discussing how our fantasy leagues are doing after the first week and adjusting for injuries. We should be talking about the GAMES! Instead, we are discussing Ray Rice and the infamous elevator incident once again.
TMZ sports released another video surveillance of Ray Rice and his then fiancé, Janay Palmer. When the second video of the incident surfaced, the video showed him hitting then his fiancé, people were outraged all over again. It’s repulsive and upsetting. But even though it is video footage, we already knew this incident had taken place.
Ray Rice hit the female. What did you think happened in the elevator? Now that we have seen it with our own eyes, is this somehow different than before? We had seen Rice dragging the female out of the elevator in the original video. Roger Goodell had taken the initiative to suspend Ray for two games. It was a deplorable, weak decision but that was the decision Roger Goodell made.
Had Goodell used proper judgment in giving Rice a harsher punishment in the first place, then seeing the video wouldn’t have bothered me. I, along with so many others, would have looked at the video and said, “That’s why you will be sitting at home for the entire first half of the season. To think about your poor decision making! You need to take lessons from Jay Z on the appropriate behavior of how to act when a female hits and lunges at you. At no point, is it okay to hit her back. No and no.” But, instead I had to acknowledge that he would be eligible to play within the next 8 days.
After viewing the video, the Baltimore Ravens have fired Ray Rice and the NFL, i.e. Roger Goodell, has suspended him indefinitely. Rice had already pled down from aggravated assault. How does seeing the video make his actions different? More punishable? How? He committed the act and deserved significant punishment originally. Now the Ravens are circling back and FIRING him.
So, let me get this straight. The woman he was with suffered the physical abuse, suffered the media backlash of her marrying the man that she loves, and now she has to suffer with her husband being unemployed. How is that justice? The point is to punish the man for his actions not to eliminate his opportunity to provide for his family.
I understand why the Ravens would want to fire Rice. I don’t agree with it but I understand it.  It’s a business decision.  Having a prominent player on film hitting a female doesn’t make their organization look good. However, when they had gotten that soft penalty from Goodell, the organization could have suspended Rice with additional games on their own regardless of Goodell’s punishment. The Baltimore Ravens didn’t give him any additional punishment. They greedily nodded and thought about how he would help them win games. Now they are distancing themselves faster than Usain Bolt can get to a finish line. It’s hypocritical.
Although his firing is bothersome, that is not what I find most at fault. Goodell just suspended Rice indefinitely from the NFL. Wait a second, how does that punishment fall in line with his new flawed personal conduct policy?  It doesn’t. Even if Roger Goodell wanted to be clever and say, in the light of the new video evidence, I am suspending Rice 6 games from the NFL. That I could have lived with. I could argue that Goodell is being consistent with his new personal conduct policy.
But suspending him indefinitely? That’s unfair. Once again, the league is listening to the public outcry and acting accordingly. Give Ray Rice a timeline. Let him serve the suspension. Don’t punish Rice because you didn’t punish Rice and well now, he should be punished.
Roger Goodell, when you are the person driving, if you are indecisive with your signals, there can and will be a fatal collision. In this case, Ray Rice’s career and ability to provide for his family is lying in the wreckage.
(Two Sources for this story was TMZ.com and AP)
Alexis Sara Cobb may be reached at:  alexiscobb@ascexec.com or (724) 561-8082  Follow her on Twitter: @alexissara

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