Ray Rice, NFL Hypocricy

If reports are true, NFL commissioner Rodger Goddell is handing down a 2 game suspension during the 2014 season on Baltimore Raven's running back Ray Rice.  Behind the scenes it appears that the NFL is floating the notion that somehow Roger Goddell saw some yet unseen video evidence that helps support Ray Rice.  Implying that this unseen evidence somehow makes punching a woman and knocking her unconsciousness slightly more justified than it otherwise would have been. 

Short of his wife trying to murder an infant, trying to set an animal on fire or trying to murder Mr. Rice, I can't see how hitting a woman so hard she is knocked out is ever justified to any degree.

Let's compare Ray Rice's 2 game suspension to other recent suspensions of similar length in the NFL.

  • Mike Vick, QB Atlanta Falcons - 2 Game suspension in 2009 for involvement in dog fighting.
  • Plaxico Burress - WR New York Giants - 4 games + entire 2009 season (prison) for shooting himself in the leg.
  • Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit Lions - 2 Game suspension in 2011 for stomping Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith
  • James Harrison, LB Pittsburgh Steelers - 1 Game suspension in 2011 for a violent tackle on Browns then QB Colt McCoy.
  • Terrell Pryor, QB Oakland Raiders - 5 Game suspension in 2011 for trading memorabilia for money and tattoos in college.
  • Lane Johnson, OL Philadelphia Eagles - 4 Game suspension 2014 for use of performance enhancing drugs.

In essence what the NFL is saying here is domestic abuse (in this case knocking the shit out of your now wife) is only slightly worse than tackling someone too hard in a game, around as bad as killing dogs but not NEARLY as bad as shooting yourself in the leg, a college athlete trying to make money on his name or a player taking some sort of performance enhancing drug. 

The reasoning behind the suspensions seems to fit the NFL profile of hypocrisy.  They don't really care about anything that ultimately doesn't really affect an image the NFL is trying to promote.  Plaxico gets a big suspension not because he is dumb and shoots himself, but the word "gun" is involved in his charges.  The word "gun" is a hot button political word... leads to lots of coverage and lots of outside parties getting involved.  You can't sweep something like that under the rug when a politician is writing speeches about the topic.  Terrell Pryor gets a big suspension not because what happened had anything to do with his status in the NFL, but it brought to light the farce that is the "amateur" status of collegiate athletes.  The message from the NFL to Pryor, do not do anything that potentially may mess with the free NFL minor league system, I mean college football.  Lane Johnson gets a big suspension because oh no, the NFL doesn't want people to know that most of the league is probably taking some sort of supplement to aid their performance.  Looks bad when pro athletes are juicing because they are supposed to be role models and the news jumps all over it.

The NFL only cares about it's image, nothing more.  The NFL doles out it's punishments based solely on how much they feel the offense affects their image.  If guns, gambling, collegiate athletics or PEDs are involved then they are coming after you guns blazing. 

If it's domestic violence on the other hand, it's treated as common place occurrence and as an act that one can somehow justify in some small way.  Oh, and don't worry, Ray Rice's wife has since apologized to him.  I guess he wouldn't have to hit her so hard if only she would have listened?  Judging from the suspension, in eyes of the NFL Rice's offense was much like a linebacker hitting a quarterback or wide receiver.  It wasn't that he hit his wife, it was just that he hit her a little too hard.

Sports Betting in New Jersey

It's time to start allowing sports betting in casinos outside of Las Vegas.  I find it incredibly insulting to my intelligence the argument made by the various sports leagues that it is somehow legalizing sports betting is detrimental to their respective sports.  Like most things, their true gripe is they haven't figured out how to make money on controlling the actual sports bets; hence, they are trying to delay it nationwide.  New Jersey is on the right path and taking a similar approach to states like California who legalized pot, despite there being a federal ban against it.  

Basically states assert their rights as states and the federal government ultimately backs down.  It's just not worth the federal government's time and instead choose to fight other battles, ultimately ending up being the path to legal sports betting being commonplace around the country.  

Note:  I live near New Jersey so admittedly have a vested interest in seeing them get sports betting. 

NJ Passes Bill For Sports Betting

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The NFL Gambling Hypocrisy

Just wanted to share an interesting link regarding the NFL.  For a league who is super worried about the appearance that it supports sports gambling in any way (why they are against New Jersey trying to approve single game wagering) it is interesting that they are perfectly fine with starting a pay fantasy football service. I guess it's not so much a stance on whether they think gambling is bad and more a stance on how bad it is if someone else is making money off something NFL related. 


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