NFL shows unsettling disregard for morality
When footage of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancée out of an elevator was first released, it was clear that the NFL had made an enormous error in its handling of the situation, especially with how it chose to discipline the ex-Ravens running back.
When the attack initially took place back in March in an Atlantic City casino, all the public had seen on tape was Rice pulling Janay Palmer's body out of an elevator the same way one takes out the garbage — although, I don't think I even take out my trash with that much disregard.
Rice was indicted for aggravated assault but was let off on probation for a year and given a two-game suspension from the NFL. That was, until he became a public-relations nightmare.
Last week, TMZ got ahold of the complete security footage that showed Rice first knocking out the woman and then dragged her like a caveman. The matter has placed league commissioner Roger Goodell under a microscope.
As a knee-jerk reaction to the public's uproar, Goodell implemented a brilliant new domestic-violence policy that suspends players for a mere six games if it's the player's first offense.
The problem isn't simply the appalling leniency that this organization deems appropriate for dealing with violent attacks, but the fact that this is a perpetual issue among some of the NFL's players.
Greg Hardy, a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, was convicted on two charges of domestic assault this past summer. According to police reports, Hardy was said to have thrown his ex-girlfriend into a bathtub, and then dragged her onto a futon covered in assault riffles. He strangled her and then made several threats to end her life.
Hardy started in the season-opener last Sunday.
So when exactly does that new policy come into play? Where is Hardy's six-game suspension? Is there perhaps a fine print somewhere that states that without video proof, the NFL can't possibly do the right thing?
I used to think the NFL just had a poor domestic-violence policy, but Ray Rice's recent media domination has proved to me otherwise. This is no longer an issue about violence against women. This is an issue about the blatant disregard for morality.
Ray McDonald, who plays defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested just weeks ago for similar felony charges.
Police responded to a 911 call from McDonald's pregnant fiancée, who they later found with bruises on her arms and neck.
His team has yet to take any disciplinary actions despite its head coach, Jim Harbaugh, telling USA TODAY that "there is no understanding for domestic violence, no understanding for striking or abusing a woman in any manner."
You say "NFL." I hear "hypocrisy."
As long as no one is paying attention to this organization's lack of ethics, it gets to just sweep everything under the rug.
NFL contracts are not rights. They are privileges and they should be subject to immediate termination when heinous crimes are committed.
When asked if Rice could return, commissioner Goodell said, "I don't rule that out."