The NFL is a disgrace


I do not need much of an excuse to further attack the NFL. To its own players and the violent and misogynistic values it promotes are enough. But the way that it treated one of its players Ray Rice after he was caught on camera beating his wife was an absolute disgrace.

The Daily Show illustrates the paradox in that even people who recognize that American football should not be supported still seem to be addicted to it. I don’t what it will take for enough people to get so disgusted by it as to stop watching it.

(This clip aired on July 31, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Comments

  1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I especially enjoyed the part in Ray Rice’s press conference where he apologized to people for “the situation he and his wife were in” as if it was mutual and then “failure is not getting knocked down but not getting back up.” Right. Because this whole thing is just a thing that happened to him as opposed to a thing he did.

  2. Anton Mates says

    “failure is not getting knocked down but not getting back up.”

    That’s a really heart-warming analogy, considering that his wife couldn’t get back up after he knocked her down and all. If only she knew how to succeed like Ray Rice.

  3. coragyps says

    Bullcrap, Synfandel! I was once in Calgary during the national Senior Women’s Curling Championship, and the things they were doing to all that poor whiskey were barbaric!!

  4. Edward Gemmer says

    This issue is getting a lot of press, which is good, but not a lot of nuance, which is disappointing. The problem the NFL ran into is the same one the criminal justice system runs into. Everyone wants a harsh punishment of Ray Rice, because what he did was awful. Everyone except for his wife, who stands to lose a substantial amount of money based on the punishment (not to mention the fact that she apparently loves him and doesn’t want him punished for that reason either). His wife, being the victim of his offense, should seem to have some say on what should happen to him. Honoring the victim’s wishes v. society’s wishes is probably the most difficult aspect of punishing domestic violence offenders.

  5. stagamancer says

    I don’t what it will take for enough people to get so disgusted by it as to stop watching it.

    Probably the same caliber of thing that would get the rest of the world to stop supporting the FIE and the World Cup. People love their sports. Personally, I think there’s a much greater chance of getting the culture within the sport to change than for people to stop supporting it entirely. Look at how Michael Sam has been generally welcomed by other, young, football players. The majority of people who’ve been saying stupid things about him are coaches, who obviously tend to be older than players.

  6. Erik Jensen says

    Guilty as charged. I am slowly weaning myself from being a football fan. I used to attend college and high school games many weekends. Now I do about once a season and watch a few on TV. I have to admit that I enjoy both the strategic and athletic aspects of football. No other sport comes close in terms of sophisticated team-level strategy. And the athletes are simply phenomenal. I do see the game going away in a generation or two, though. It will go the way of boxing and horse racing.

  7. Holms says

    “I apologise to my fans, to the kids, everyone who was affected you know by this situation… (but not to my wife)”

  8. hyphenman says

    Good morning Mano,

    Mitchell and Web nailed the issue for me long ago. The fans–as Stewart and Jones so ably illustrated–are not connected to reality.

    Make today a better day, take a sabbatical from all professional sports,

    Jeff Hess

    p.s. well, maybe not cricket…

  9. Mano Singham says

    Edward,

    In the regular legal system, if the wife does not agree to bring charges, there is nothing much the authorities can do. But the NFL process is not like that. They go by their own internal rules and their primary interest should be in sending a message to all players that assaulting people is wrong. It is not as if a multi-game suspension will send Rice into the poor house.

  10. Edward Gemmer says

    In the regular legal system, if the wife does not agree to bring charges, there is nothing much the authorities can do. But the NFL process is not like that. They go by their own internal rules and their primary interest should be in sending a message to all players that assaulting people is wrong. It is not as if a multi-game suspension will send Rice into the poor house.

    That’s not necessarily true. I used to prosecute domestic violence and in may jurisdictions, including Ohio, officers have been trained on investigating domestic violence situations and making arrests or bringing charges with or without the victim’s cooperation. The prosecution may occur with or without the victim’s cooperation as well (though certainly it is easier with).

    My point though is that you are right – sending a message that assault and domestic violence is wrong is very important. The challenge is doing this without re-victimizing the victim. Any suspension and fine not only punishes Rice but punishes his wife as well. There isn’t any way around that. That’s probably why his suspension was lighter than say, marijuana users, who can be suspended for the season. Marijuana use has no victim and all the blame and punishment can automatically be heaped on the offender without the complication of having to think about it how it affects other people.

  11. Bweeng says

    “(H)e was caught on camera beating his wife”. I haven’t seen any such video, Professor, have you? I have only seen him dragging a woman who appears to unconscious from an elevator. We don’t know what happened in the elevator. Perhaps it’s not what we assume and that’s why he got a lighter punishment than we feel is warranted.

  12. DsylexicHippo says

    @ Bweeng, #14: If your cat dragged in a dead mouse from outside, would you assume the dog did it?

  13. dean says

    Perhaps it’s not what we assume and that’s why he got a lighter punishment than we feel is warranted.

    Seriously?

    Police later said that they obtained video that showed that Rice had knocked Palmer unconscious. That footage was not leaked to the public.

    “Police say he punched Palmer, knocking her out”. “He hit her like a guy would hit another guy”

    Still not convinced?

    Rice had his charges upped to aggravated assault from simple assault after the case was presented by prosecutors to a grand jury. Aggravated assault carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Meanwhile, the simple assault charges against Palmer were dropped.
    Although Palmer indicated later that she did not want to go forward with prosecution, that didn’t stop the state from following up.

    Perhaps before you make another comment like your first one you should know something about the topic.

  14. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Edward Gemmer @ 13

    That’s probably why his suspension was lighter than say, marijuana users, who can be suspended for the season. Marijuana use has no victim and all the blame and punishment can automatically be heaped on the offender without the complication of having to think about it how it affects other people.

    This makes no sense. If the wife of an abuser is punished by the abuser’s suspension/fine by virtue of the loss of income, then so is the spouse of someone who gets suspended/fined for marijuana use. The loss of income doesn’t automagically not affect the family of the suspended person just because the punishment wasn’t precipitated by abuse.

  15. Edward Gemmer says

    This makes no sense. If the wife of an abuser is punished by the abuser’s suspension/fine by virtue of the loss of income, then so is the spouse of someone who gets suspended/fined for marijuana use. The loss of income doesn’t automagically not affect the family of the suspended person just because the punishment wasn’t precipitated by abuse.

    That is true, but in the former case we tend to think of someone as a victim of abuse and therefore the punishment should make her whole in some sense rather than punish her further, while in the latter the wife is a victim of nothing but marrying someone who does drugs, and I imagine few people would have much sympathy for her.

  16. Edward Gemmer says

    HTML user fail above, btw. The first paragraph is the quote and the second my response.

  17. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    I do see the point of not making the victim the one to suffer unduly because of a sentencing of the abuser. But I do have a problem with that. In situations where there is clear evidence of wrongdoing we need to take the onus off of the victim as to whether charges will be pressed or fines levied. Intimidation is such a major factor that it cannot be ruled out as a factor in situations such as these, especially not in situations such as these, since the one with the financial power may wield that as a club as well. How do we gauge that loss of income (in a general sense, rather than in this specific case) compared to the loss of a human life – especially one that may be suffering from the perils of ongoing abuse, and who may be intimidated to the point where they protect their abuser? Where there is clear and unambiguous evidence of unprovoked assault, the charges need to be applied regardless of the victims wishes for the protection of that victim and any potential victims. Perhaps there is a better solution that does not revictimize the victim, but using that excuse in this case is potentially more harmful to the victim. It’s definitely a murky grey area I’m trying to work out on my own.

  18. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    SOrry for the tautology…

    Intimidation can be a major factor and should be taken into account since the one with the financial power may wield that as a club as well.

    is apparently a better opening. Sorry for the blabbergasting.

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