Oh, Ray Rice. Constantly in the news and no one wants to hear any more about you. And yet I am glad he is back in the news. Why? You see we never got to discuss Mr. Rice and his actions back when the story first broke. The case really caught fire just before school was starting and by the time the first issue of The Torch came out it was just a little too late.
We all know the story of how he savagely beat his then-fiance (now wife) in a hotel elevator. We all know how badly the NFL handled the situation. And we all know how he received a two game suspension, and then an indefinite suspension. Now read that last sentence. Re-read it again. Do it one last time as a favor to me.
Alright. Did you see any glaring issues with it? Because I most certainly did. I noticed it back when the NFL handed out the second of two penalties back on Sept. 8. I thought to myself, “That’s odd. I didn’t know you could get charged twice for the same crime.” Surely the NFL must have seen something strange about this. Clearly they have to play by the rules that everyone else, including the United States Court system, don’t they? Apparently not because they went ahead and stuck to their guns.
Rice’s actions after this were predictable. He appealed and rightfully so. He took his case to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), which just like any other union (for the most part) makes sure that those who are protected under said union are treated fairly. The outcome of the appeal didn’t catch many by surprise who came to realize, just as I had, that the NFL did indeed charge him with two penalties for the same crime and on November 28 he won his appeal and is now immediately eligible to be signed to a team’s active 53-man roster.
Am I happy that the man gets to play again? No. No, I am not. He beat someone who he supposedly cared deeply about. I was always brought up never to hit a woman no matter what, so in my eyes this was an unforgivable act. The fact that his wife stuck by his side confuses me, but that is not for me to judge. They are each their own person and their personal affairs are none of my business.
I am happy though that the NFL got caught once again. I swear the people who run that behemoth organization must have a combined IQ equal to a box of rocks. Nothing is ever simple there and anything that can be turned into a public relations nightmare does indeed turn into one. Roger Goodell needs to realize that even though he rules over the biggest sports organization in the country, he is not above the law and neither is the league. You must follow the same rules that everyone else does, and that includes the laws when it comes to sentencing people.
Would I want Ray Rice on my team? Absolutely not. The distraction level aside, a running back that misses an entire NFL season usually loses a step or two and once that happens days are numbered. Maybe there will be a team that will see him as a “Michael Vick,” someone who they can say has turned the page and give him a second chance. If that happens, then so be it.
The bottom line is that the NFL lost again and that makes this writer happy. The season has been entertaining enough, but when you consider the circus clowns doing their act in New York, you might as well hire some acrobats and just become a three ring circus.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Colin Terrill at firstname.lastname@example.org.