The entire video footage, of the elevator incident involving professional football player, Ray Rice, and his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, was finally released to the public yesterday. The majority of people who were lending their support to Mr. Rice, and championing his effort to learn from the experience, apparently have now abandoned ship after viewing the TMZ footage. The Baltimore Ravens organization immediately parted ways with their talented running back, and the National Football League’s Commissioner, Roger Goodell, suspended him indefinitely. I suspect Ray’s former supporters are now surrendering to peer pressure and for what they surely perceive as being politically correct. I have never been a proponent of that. I just like to stick to the facts.
I have watched the TMZ footage over and over and over, and in my mind absolutely nothing has changed. What did everyone think happened in that casino elevator anyway? I had envisioned Mr. Rice pummeling Ms. Palmer, like a prizefighter defending his title, prior to viewing the recent video; therefore, I was not nearly as shocked by what had actually transpired, as so many people apparently were, after observing the updated footage. The video is somewhat grainy, but as far as I can tell before the couple even gets into the elevator the NFL star appears to spit on his then fiancée (some might call that an assault), and she returns the favor with a slap to his face. Ray then has Janay cornered, once inside the elevator, and I’m not quite sure what’s happening at this point.
Mr. Rice is obviously in Ms. Palmer’s face and it looks as though she raises her elbow and turns her head to one side. What, if any, punches are thrown at this time I can’t honestly tell from the video. However, The Baltimore Press has also viewed the TMZ footage and says at this juncture they strike each other. Ray then moves to the other side of the elevator, and Janay either walks or rushes towards him. This is when it’s clear that the ex-Raven punches her in the face and she hits her head on a railing while falling to the ground. Not a pretty sight. The results of the situation certainly could’ve been worse, but regardless he should not have punched her.
That being said, I adamantly disagree with the League’s decision of changing Ray Rice’s two game suspension into being suspended indefinitely. Even if retroactively adjusting someone’s punishment, for their previous behavior, was legal then the three-time Pro Bowler should be suspended for six games at most. That is the NFL’s recently enacted policy for first time offenders. Modifying the player’s punishment, for the same incident after he has already been sentenced, is equivalent to negating the sentence of someone already serving time in prison and increasing their penalty in order to comply with a new and different set standard. Should an offender, who has served his time, be sent back to prison if the punishment for his past behavior becomes harsher in the future? I think not.
The NFL Commissioner is evidently a bit flaky and grasping at straws, trying to appease public opinion, instead of doing what’s right. Let me be perfectly clear. I am not a fan of Ray Rice or the Baltimore Ravens (even less so now), but I cannot get past the fact, and probably never will, that Janay Palmer chose to marry Mr. Rice after the violent incident. It stands to reason, if the current punishment prevails, with Ray now out of a job he will likely be spending more time at home with his “victim.” He will also have a significantly lower income to support his new bride with. Is that really what society wants?