Tag Archives: Ray Rice

Consistent Consistency

Consistent consistency, among other things, is what I long for but many times seems out of reach in today’s society. My wife enjoys a breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s every now and then, but she doesn’t care much for the hash brown that comes with the meal deal offered on the breakfast menu. Therefore, my loveliness attempts to be at the establishment precisely at 10:30am, during the switch from breakfast to lunch, in hopes of getting french-fries with her meal instead of the dreaded hash brown. Some McDonald’s shift managers will allow her to do this, but others say it is against company policy and will not. That is not an example of consistent consistency.

Inconsistency is commonly found in the world of politics as well. It’s confusing to me when a certain political party is so adamant that their president is not responsible when gas prices are high, under their party’s leadership, claiming our nation’s Commander In Chief doesn’t have any control over the situation. That claim is probably correct. However, those same individuals will gladly blame the president for high gas prices if our nation’s leader happens to be from a different political affiliation than their own. They cannot have it both ways, yet time and time again they use that baseless argument to their party’s advantage come election time.

I can’t help but think of the most recent inconsistent fiasco, that is the National Football League, when pondering consistent consistency or the lack thereof. The Carolina Panthers’ defensive end, Greg Hardy, was convicted in July for assaulting a female and threatening to kill her. There is no video, that I am aware of, but it was an assault nonetheless. Mr. Hardy has filed an appeal and is awaiting trial but continues to suit up, on game day each week, meanwhile Ray Rice is out of a job. Breaking news! Since I began writing this blog…The Panthers’ organization has discharged Greg Hardy from the team’s active roster. He will not be allowed to practice until his domestic violence case is resolved; however, he will continue to receive his weekly salary.

San Francisco 49ers’ defensive end, Ray McDonald, was recently arrested also on domestic violence charges. He is accused of hitting his pregnant fiancée, but the player remains a full-fledged member of the team. NBC sports analyst and former pro, Cris Collinsworth, stated the other night during a 49ers game that regardless of what one thinks about McDonald’s situation he is still a very good football player. The ex-Bengals’ wide receiver then went on to say McDonald should be allowed to continue playing, while the whole process is being played out, since he hasn’t been indicted yet. I was astonished to hear those words coming from Mr. Collinsworth, but I of course agree with his assertion. The overwhelming majority of sportscasters and the media are acting as both judge and jury, in the infinite number of abuse cases now being exposed in the NFL, and denying the accused due process. I guess their justice system denotes that people are “guilty until proven innocent.”

Another case lacking consistent consistency transpired this past week and once again came out of the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings’ hometown favorite and great running back, Adrian Petersen, was charged with felony child-abuse. He purportedly used a switch to discipline his four-year-old son. This adds a brand new twist to the viral discussion on domestic abuse, but it appears to be just as confusing to deal with. The Vikings’ organization quickly dismissed their star player, for one game, immediately after being informed of the allegation. They then brought Mr. Petersen back, for about a minute, before again releasing him from the team’s active roster pending the outcome of his scheduled October court appearance. He is currently on paid leave similar to that of Greg Hardy’s punishment. For those of you now anxiously awaiting my thoughts on corporal punishment you will be extremely disappointed to know I am not going to address that controversial topic in this blog.

I feel I can no longer go on without again mentioning everyone’s favorite subject, Ray Rice, since he deserves most of the credit for starting this entire mess. The ex-Raven has certainly provided me with some material to write about. Mr. Rice was sentenced by the NFL, for his bad behavior, and served half of his two game suspension before ultimately being suspended indefinitely by the League. The Baltimore Ravens’ organization supported Ray, until they no longer supported Ray, before eventually dismissing him from the team altogether. That scenario sort of reminds me of Hilary Clinton’s flip-flopping stance on the 2003 Iraq War. She was for the war, before she was against it, and now has recently criticized President Obama for not wanting to go back into Iraq and fight a winless war. But I digress. The NFL Player’s Association has filed an appeal on Ray Rice’s behalf, and Mr. Rice along with his wife (aka the victim) is considering taking legal action against the League citing “double jeopardy.” That term means being punished twice for the same offense, so I hope he wins. I am not an advocate of most lawsuits, but I am in favor of equal justice for all.

Seemingly lost in the continuing NFL saga were the racist remarks, conveyed via e-mail, by the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks co-owner, Bruce Levenson. The e-mail was sent two years ago, and Mr. Levenson freely admitted his ill-advised actions to the NBA back in July, but it was not made public until two weeks ago. The contents of the e-mail was arguably worse than the words spoken by former Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, just a few months ago. Mr. Levenson apologized, before stepping down, and has agreed to sell his share of ownership in the team. He had no choice! Not that he necessarily should have lost his ownership rights because of his offensive language, but he absolutely needed to step down just to be fair to Mr. Sterling. Bruce Levenson, strangely enough, was one of the most outspoken critics of Donald Sterling after Mr. Sterling’s scandal broke. What ever happened to judge not lest ye be judged?

Many of you may presume, based on my blogs, that I have a somewhat blasé attitude when it comes to racism, domestic abuse, and probably now child-abuse, but I assure you I do not. I’m simply for exhausting all evidence, circumstances, and scenarios of an investigation before sentencing someone and changing their lives forever. You may also be surprised to know I strongly believe in severe consequences for an individual’s proven unacceptable actions. I assure you that you would not want me to be the presiding judge handing down a sentence in your case if you were found guilty.

Last night Arizona Cardinals’ backup running back, Jonathan Dwyer, was arrested on you guessed it…aggravated assault charges. He is accused of head-butting his wife (breaking her nose) and then punching her in the face the very next day. The incidents happened in July. The Cardinals’ organization dismissed Mr. Dwyer from all team activities for now. Hold onto your hats folks. I think we’re just getting started separating the thugs in the NFL from the respectable players in the League. The National Football League has been a safe haven for abusers, drunk drivers, drug users, and numerous other criminal activities, for quite some time now, regardless of what the NFL Commissioner may claim to the contrary. It appears the NFL opened up a can of worms when they decided to publicly take an active role in denouncing domestic abuse. A good cause, no doubt, but pretty soon there won’t be enough professional players left to fill every team roster in the League.

There is probably only 1 Kurt Warner type for every 50 Ray Rice types, employed by the NFL, and that’s disheartening. Warner’s caliber of character is second to none and something the fans could always count on. The future Hall Of Famer’s gentle nature was the same before, during, and now after his time on the football field, and he is a fine example of consistent consistency. That is exactly what I am longing for whether it’s discipline in the NFL, a politician’s stance, or even the McDonald’s french-fry policy. Consistent consistency.

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The Injustice To Ray

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?


The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

As I was recently pondering some headline news, and being the stalwart fan of old westerns that I am, I noticed a correlation between those newsworthy happenings and the movie title, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. I suppose Clint Eastwood, the star of the classic western, could even be thought of in that same manner. He has proven to be a good actor, director, writer, and musician over his extended stellar career. On the contrary, Mr. Eastwood has made what I perceive as a couple of bad career decisions lately. Lending his talents to a reality television series, Mrs. Eastwood & Company, in which he is now divorcing the show’s main star, Dina Eastwood, and talking to an empty chair, at the 2012 Republican National Convention, is not his best work. Clint Eastwood’s personal life, with his numerous failed relationships and unsuccessful marriages, and with his notable history of infidelity and womanizing is downright ugly. Still, the multiple Oscar winner remains a favorite of mine, along with Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford, and I’ll take the abilities of those aging superstars over the new breed of young actors any day of the week.

Speaking of stars, the National Football League recently suspended the Baltimore Ravens’ talented running back, Ray Rice, for two games. He allegedly punched his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the face during an elevator ride at a casino sometime last February. The only video footage of the incident, made available to the public anyway, is that of Mr. Rice dragging the seemingly unconscious Ms. Palmer out of the elevator. Many people have been extremely critical of the player’s evidently lenient punishment, especially the media and many women’s organizations, but I have no problem whatsoever with the sentence handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. I don’t think any of us should. The police say the couple attacked each other, the “victim” did not press charges against the NFL star, and she even chose to marry him after the incident, so who are we to come to her defense and demand that more be done. Besides, any additional football games, Ray Rice could be suspended from, would only further reduce his income which is ultimately used to support his now wife (aka victim). The Ugly.

Let me be perfectly clear here. I was properly raised to never hit a female, and I never have. Today’s world is very different though, and some women have no second thoughts about getting into a physical altercation with a man. If a woman truly desires equality then she should never be able to place her hands on her counterpart, in a threatening manor, as well. When Inspector Harry Callahan (aka Dirty Harry) is confronted by an abusive female lunatic in the movie, Sudden Impact, he has no qualms about punching her smack dab in the face. I must admit I find that particular scene in the movie to be quite amusing, and dare I say that his actions were justifiable. We don’t precisely know what happened, in that casino elevator back in February, between the Ravens’ running back and his fiancée, so I think we should all just leave the presumably “happy couple” alone. The Bad.

James and Lois Garner, on the other hand, were undoubtedly a very happy couple. Their incredible 58 years of marriage sadly came to an end with the passing of Mr. Garner on July 19th, 2014. The couple’s lengthy relationship was a rarity in today’s society and absolutely unheard of in Hollywood. James Garner left behind a substantial film and television career, and he coincidentally starred with the aforementioned Clint Eastwood in the movie, Space Cowboys. The beloved actor will forever be remembered, by me at least, as Jim Rockford of the hit TV series, The Rockford Files . The private investigator with a criminal past was a different type of heroic character found on television, but Mr. Garner played that role perfectly. Rockford was irritable, somewhat brash, and a remarkable con artist, and let’s not forget about his unregistered gun, hidden in the cookie jar, or that gold Pontiac Firebird he drove the crap out of. However, at the end of the day the cranky P.I. inevitably listened to his conscience and cared deeply for those nearest and dearest to him.

The Tavis Smiley Show recently aired an interview with James Garner, from approximately a decade ago, and I have a newfound respect for the man (not just the actor) that he was. He said respect and commitment to each other was the successful formula behind his extended marriage to Lois. He also joked that the reason he keeps getting up and going to work, instead of retiring, is because his wife keeps getting up and going shopping. Mr. Garner was on Tavis in part to promote the release of the movie, The Notebook. I’m usually not a fan of “chick flicks,” but I might be willing to give the film a chance since the actor spoke so fondly of it. Just don’t tell my lovely wife… in case I change my mind. I would venture to say James and Lois Garner never once struck each other during their long-lasting marriage. The Good.