Two weeks after the buzz and public outcry surrounding the announcement of the NFL’s 2 game suspension of Ray Rice for domestic violence we have…SILENCE. I remember several television and radio commentators being adamant that the NFL was alienating its female fans because of this limited punishment and perceived lack of concern for domestic violence. Well, just two weeks later, the media seems to have its own lack of concern. You’d never even know that there is yet another player on trial for domestic violence, one who will most likely be playing this fall because he got his trial pushed out past the season. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2130177-greg-hardy-trial-latest-news-updates-on-panthers-des-domestic-violence-charge
During the Ray Rice media hype, I kept wondering: What made the media (and thus the public) react to this case of domestic violence? It’s not new. This has been going on for YEARS and the NFL’s policy has always been incredibly inconsistent. I came across an article by Chelsea Cristene on the topic from October 2013. According to this article, last fall there were TWENTY-ONE TEAMS with at least one player carrying domestic violence charges. http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-nfl-and-domestic-violence/
As a woman, I appreciate that the media decided to “stand up” for women, but where have they been in the past and where are they 2 weeks later? My observation: It wasn’t about women or domestic violence at all. It was about comparison. It was the fact that Cleveland’s WR Josh Gordon is facing a year suspension for drugs, and the fact that no punishment has yet been handed down to Colt’s owner Jim Irsay for his pending court case on felony drug charges. I am more than disappointed that the media was focused on comparing suspensions and wasn’t taking this opportunity to say “enough” to domestic violence.
I’m actually offended that the media used the video Mrs. Rice’s abuse as the target of their ratings and now has not only forgotten her, but every other victim. Something MUST be done to help all violent people deal with their anger and intensity. Further, we cannot put aside this issue; the media has an obligation to society to continue to put focus on these cases until more is done. The NFL has an opportunity to lead in this area, but it will not do so until there is constant and continued pressure from the media and fans. If the Rice video didn’t do it, what will it take? Until we all stand up and say “ENOUGH” to violence – against anyone – this is not going to stop.
Additional story on athletes & violence: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bad-sports-violence-by-athletes-off-the-field/