What did we learn from the Ray Rice video? Nothing

nflWhy did it take the video from inside the elevator showing Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee Janay twice, knocking her out on her feet, her then hitting her head on a guardrail before dropping to the ground, for public opinion to turn so severely against Rice, against the Baltimore Ravens, against the NFL?

Dumb question. It still hasn’t turned.

“I don’t condone hittin women or think it’s coo BUT if SHE ain’t trippin then I ain’t trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!”

That’s Indiana Pacers star Paul George, from his pedestal as newly-beloved basketball icon, mainly out of pity for the gruesome injury he suffered getting ready for the FIBA World Championships.

“I’m sorry, I think this woman is off her rocker. I think she’s lost her mind. That’s right, I said it.”

That’s ESPN squawker Stephen A. Smith this week on the horrible afternoon talk show First Take, skewering National Organization of Women president Terry O’Neill, one of many calling for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resign for his handling of the Rice matter, and in the process further tarnishing the reputation of his employer, which to its credit has done an overall good job covering the Rice story this week, after having its reporters carry water for the NFL for the preceding several months.

“There’s a lot worse that happen in households. It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say.”

That’s boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, serial batterer not only of opponents, but of women, offering up that commentary while trying to sell his upcoming pay-per-view fight, assuming in the process that what he had to say would help push sales for what promises to be another non-event, given how he ducks opponents with an actual shot at beating him.

“There’s two sides to every story. I saw the video. That’s their personal business, and it shouldn’t have affected his career. I don’t agree with domestic violence, but she’s still with him, so obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone should just drop it.”

That’s Racquel Bailey, a random Ravens fan, at last night’s game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh, who you can only hope doesn’t end up on the wrong side of whether or not domestic violence is a big deal, and have police and prosecutors drop it like she and others among the legions in Bawlmore who defiantly wore Rice jerseys to last night’s game want their hero back so that we can put the focus where it needs to be, namely, on our favorite football teams winning football games.

These are all people who saw the video, saw Rice hit his fiancée, hit her again, saw him drag her out like a sack of potatoes, unconcerned, who saw the NFL, the Ravens and Rice force the fiancée, when she became his wife, sit at a table beside the man who did that to her and apologize for making him do it, who made her feel like a victim not when all of that happened, but when his contract was terminated, and he lost his job.

This Ray Rice moment could be a learning moment for us, but right now what we’re learning is how much we still don’t get it.

– Column by Chris Graham


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