To start, patient I would like to address the Baltimore Ravens’ former RB, Ray Rice. Ray, it saddens me that you find it necessary to hit your then fiancé, now wife. Is your self-esteem that low that you have to bring her down to your level? (That’s so hard for me to wrap my head around, seeing as you are an NFL football star.) Did you do it to make her feel worthless, like she is dependent upon you for survival? Or were you just so mad at her that you had to teach her a lesson? Because in all the lessons I’ve learned, violence is never the answer. The details surrounding what exactly what caused that incident in the elevator beyond the video will never be known to the general public but it doesn’t make the abuse you inflicted on her any less real.
Janay, I understand your frustrations about this video and abuse being made public. Abuse is humiliating regardless of whether or not it is the public eye. However, your husband is a public figure and role model to many. While this might temporarily destroy your life, maybe it will also bring help and shed light on abuse for others. It might also save you from a lifetime of heartache – you can’t fix him or change him. The only person who can help Ray Rice is Ray Rice.
To those taking it upon themselves to belittle and shame Janay Rice for staying with her husband after she was hit in the elevator, I am guessing you must be confused by the mental psyche of victims of domestic abuse. I strongly suggest you hop on Twitter and check out the hashtags #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft to gain better context as to what happens to victims of violence. Maybe you should even do a little informal research on domestic abuse – I’ve provided you with some links here:
Women don’t stay because they’re stupid. Many stay because they’re scared. Empower them, don’t berate them. We should be a community that loves and supports one another – not one that makes the victims feel even more isolated.
Now on to football…
I love sports and there’s nothing I love more than talking smack to a bunch of dudes when my favorite team has won a sporting match (and I can actually keep up with their conversation). Hence why I love my blogging post at SDI – I have the opportunity to inform and educate the masses of female fans who want to be a part of the conversation surrounding professional sports.
The NFL has taken a notice to fans like (you know, female) and taken aggressive marketing measures to ensure that we feel a part in the football fandom. I’m pumped when I see pink cleats and gloves on the field to support breast cancer in October. I even get excited when I see the commercials geared towards women who love the game. However at this point, I really wonder why these initiatives are in place. If the NFL is really interested in female fans, it wouldn’t have initially condoned and covered up Ray Rice’s actions.
Simply put – the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league are solely interested in profit – from both male and female fans. The masses that are outraged by Ray Rice’s actions and the reaction from the league have all forgotten that professional football too, is a business. The question is, will you the fan keep watching?
My takeaway from the whole fiasco is that the NFL doesn’t love the female fan – it loves the dollar signs. Shame on you NFL for allowing these types of behaviors and shame on me for believing you cared about fans like me.
SDI community, thanks for reading this. Ray Rice, I hope you get the help you need. Janay, I hope you find it in yourself to love yourself more than Ray ever will. Roger and the NFL front office, I hope you go home and look at your own little girls tonight and hug them a little harder. I’m sure you would prefer jail time over the initial 2-game suspension given if someone had laid a hand on your little girl and I’m positive you would have NEVER turned a blind eye to the entire tape.
As for me? Until further notice, I will continue to be a fan of the Chicago Bears Football organization (note that our team is full of great role models who stand up for causes – I’m looking at you Brandon Marshall and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman) but my love for the NFL as a whole is slightly tarnished.