Rice Suspension Overturn Reveals A Lot About NFL
[su_right_ad]Earlier this week, an arbitrator overturned Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL for knocking his wife out. The arbitrator clearly indicated that Rice deserved the suspension but that the NFL, which initially gave him a two game suspension, blew it with its first punishment. They couldn’t then go back and change it according to the ruling. The NFL’s argument clearly showed that they don’t take domestic abuse seriously and increased the suspension only because of public outcry.
In the arbitration, the NFL claimed that Rice misled them by saying that he only “slapped” Palmer, and that she had “knocked herself out” on the railing, rather than that he had knocked her out. (The other witnesses to the disciplinary hearing deny that, and Rice claims that he not only used the word “hit,” he also demonstrated to the Commissioner how he had swung his fist across his body during the assault, making its force clear.)
But the fact that the NFL made that argument suggests that they still don’t understand domestic assault, or take it seriously enough. The idea that it is somehow morally superior to “slap” one’s girlfriend than to “hit” her is bizarre, particularly in a situation in which the alleged “slap” knocked the victim unconscious.
Likewise, the suggestion that it would be different if Palmer “knocked herself out” on the railing is absurd. There was never any dispute as to the reason Palmer’s head made contact with the railing: the force of the blow delivered by Rice. The theory that Palmer somehow became responsible for the situation in the split second between when Rice’s hand hit her head and when her head hit the railing is ridiculous.[su_csky_ad]