Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ray Rice-a-Roni: Now Being Ill Served

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No one who has seen the video of Ray Rice clocking his fiancee condones his action. It is appalling. And no one wants to condone or excuse domestic violence. There is no excuse for abusing the weak and defenseless. But, is justice being served with Ray Rice? About four out of five commentators are telling us that the problem is rampant in the NFL and an example needs to be made of this guy. But, is there really an epidemic of domestic abuse in the NFL?

Remember it was not that long ago that some feminist group was warning us about the dramatic increase of domestic violence during the Super Bowl. Only, there was no dramatic increase. There was no evidence, just some groups assertion that it was true and, as you know, it's the seriousness of the accusation that trumps any evidence of the crime.

"...arrest rates among NFL players are quite low compared to national averages for men in their age range."
-Benjamin Morris

Mr. Morris put together a chart comparing NFL players (who make the news a lot) to the population at large in the same age range:

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Like mass school shootings, which have actually been in decline, anything the media sensationalizes raises the public consciousness. Is it because a guy in a Lamborghini who gets pulled over for a DUI is more newsworthy than a guy driving a '72 Pinto? Or because, "Hey. look! It's Ray Rice!!!"

What Ray Rice did was inexcusable. The league has an interest in their image and have every right to mete out punishment to players with less than stellar or aberrant behavior. While a two game suspension was insufficient, banning a player for life, while overlooking worse offenses by other players, is both draconian and hypocritical.

The NFL needs to formulate a disciplinary policy for players who commit domestic violence. This should fall somewhere between a slap on the wrist and capital punishment. But, the public first needs to get their facts straight. Just because incidents of domestic violence receive massive amounts of publicity, does not equate to a massive amount of activity. The NFL on the whole seems to be a pretty well behaved lot compared to the population as a whole. Partially, because many of them realize just how good they have it and how much they stand to lose, and some of it because they have coaches and teammates watching over them and keeping them out of trouble.

The NFL should set a date certain for the end of his ban from the NFL. Every game he misses is a de facto fine against him. Determine the proper scope of the punishment and administer some sense of justice. Other NFL players will take note, and to the extent that deterrence is effective, other players will be deterred.

But if you really want to take it all out on Ray Rice, how about we give Mike Tyson one free shot at him? Or me with a couple of my friends and a 2x4? But don't take away his livelihood for life.

Cross posted at LCR


  1. Here's the part I don't get (well - I do, sort of.) She married him. We have no idea of whether they attended counseling or he reformed (doubtful), but they're punishing her as well as him. He has no income anymore. Might make for things to get testy around the house.

    I get the bad image thingy, however, IMO they should have used this to their advantage by touting Rice as a "reformed" wife beater and starting a whole campaign against domestic violence. Can't you just see Rice and his wife making the rounds of the Sunday morning shows?

    They let the murdering dog killer, Michael Vick, come back to play. I think he should have spent at least 25 years in jail. Actually, I think they should have killed him just like he killed the dogs except he'd have to be in a couple of fights first, but I don't want to say that out loud lest someone think I'm a bit nuts. Shhhh - don't tell anyone. Thanks.

  2. I know what you mean about the marriage thing. If someone three times my size put out my lights, I don't know that we could ever be friends again, much less spend the rest of my life with them.

    Then, you've got his female fans wearing his jersey to the games. What's up with that?

    With his wife, it could be part of the battered woman syndrome. I have seen women in co-dependent relationships that are just so needy that even the promise of love or affection keeps them with some of the worst dregs of humanity. That takes serious therapy to cure.

    Vick is another guy that probably didn't receive a harsh enough sentence from the NFL, and he did hard time!

    Rice did a bad, bad thing and should be punished. But, the NFL needs to grow a spine and do it right.

  3. There are a total of 723 records of arrests and citation involving NFL players since 2000. The database compiled by U-T San Diego, the newspaper that merged in 2012 with the San Diego Union and the San
    Diego Evening Tribune, admits the list cannot be considered comprehensive because “some incidents may not have been reported
    and some public records proved to be elusive.”

    Given the events surrounding the “elevator knockout” video and the flagrant cover-up that followed it appears that any formula devised comparing the incidence of criminality within the ranks of the League to the general populace is theoretically indefinable. That’s precisely how the NFL wants it.

    Sorry to be the contrarian here.

    Many women lack self-worth and return to toxic relationships. My best friend of nearly forty years married an abusive man. He cheated on her without compunction. Eventually she divorced him. For years afterwards
    she entered into relationships with other men who were also abusive. The chain was finally broken but not before her ribs, arms and nose were broken.

    She preferred the broken bones to the broken heart of loneliness.

  4. Good article. I despise what he did. Absolutely. However, the punishment seems a little over the top. The contrast with Michael "Dog Killer" Vick, and Murdering Ray Lewis is stark. The kid screwed up, he deserves to be punished, however it has to fit the crime. Now we have Adrian Peterson whooping his he banned for life?? Suspended indefinitely? This slope is going to get real slippery......NFL needs to grow a pair.

  5. I'm with you. I've often wondered how long it would take to criminalize disciplining one's own children. We are ever closer to that day.

  6. Sorry for the delay. Your comment got caught in my Discus Spam filter. (Probably because you have a history of selling Veg-a-matics online!)

    What I would have told you then, and will tell you now is to look at your figures statistically.

    There are 32 teams in the NFL, each with a 53 man roster. That's a total of 1,696 guys, plus whoever may have rotated in & out over those fourteen years.

    So out of approximately seventeen hundred guys, some were arrested 723 times over fourteen years.

    That averages out to one arrest per week, out of seventeen hundred guys. Are they choir boys? Hardly. But the largest percentage of those arrests were for DUI.

    Domestic abuse is serious, but there weren't 723 arrests for domestic abuse. And, as you can see from the chart, still below the national average for men in their age group.

    Clearly there is a problem, but not so much as is being hyped in the media.


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