Monday, September 8, 2014

Ravens Cut Ray Rice: Too Late!

I woke up this morning to a very disturbing video. I thought I was having a nightmare (Ok..that was a tad bit dramatic but…whatever). It showed Ravens running back Ray Rice “Mayweathering” his now-wife (then fiancé). I watched it several times. Each time getting more and more upset at the leniency Rice had been granted. (And then I got selfish…Upset at the fact that I had to drop Josh Gordon from my fantasy team because he is suspended for the YEAR for smoking marijuana and here this woman beating scumbag is with a 2 game suspension. *I digress*).

This is the incident that brought about a 2 game suspension and support from the Ravens organization back in March. The incident that had Ravens head coach John Harbaugh singing praises to the running back: “He will be part of our team. He's a person of character. The thing that's really important is to be able to support the person without condoning the action. He makes a mistake. There's no justifying what happened. When you drink too much in public, those kind of things happen." That support came on the heels of Ray Rice and his wife meeting with the team and league to tell the story (a watered-down version clearly) and even tho earlier video of Rice dragging Palmer from the elevator had been shown repeatedly there was a “we don’t know what happened in the elevator “reasonable doubt” defense being taken…and it was accepted. BUT now the speculation can cease…..we now have with clear evidence of what happened and seeing Rice deliver the blow puts an end to that rhetoric.

All the support the Baltimore Ravens gave Ray Rice this offseason as he dealt with his domestic violence incident evaporated after TMZ released video of the running back knocking out his wife. That's how powerful the video is. There was no way they could keep Rice around. I guess it was one thing to see video of Rice dragging his then fiancé out of the elevator unconscious and another to actual see how she got to that unconscious state (but seriously…what did they think happened?) That brings me to my “too late”: conclusion. The Baltimore Ravens were more concerned with football and they hoped to sweep this incident under the rug once the NFL handed down the 2 game suspension. They took Ray at his word and spun the story into a “everybody makes mistakes” PR campaign. However, you can’t spin this video and now they (the team and the NFL) have to save face because their initial response was VERY disappointing.

The Baltimore Ravens terminated running back Ray Rice's contract today and minutes later, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (ugh!) announced that, based on the latest video evidence now available, Rice is suspended indefinitely from playing in the league.

Clearly public pressure got to the team. The outrage over Rice was fierce after the video was released. Maybe the Ravens didn't realize how ugly the incident was, although I doubt it considering everyone knew for many months that Rice knocked out his then-fiancée, and it's tough to think the team didn't realize that a NFL running back knocking out a woman was a disgusting act before seeing the video of it.

During initial reports of the impending Rice suspension, Harbaugh addressed the matter at training camp:  "I stand behind Ray (Rice) – he's a heck of a guy. He's done everything right since. He makes a mistake; he's going to have to pay a consequence."

And that consequence may include NEVER playing in the NFL again.

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