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How the NFL Protects Wife-Beaters: Ray Rice’s Laughable Suspension

| July 25, 2014

Ray Rice at an anti-bullying event in Towson, Md., last November, three months before he beat up his fiancee unconscious.

Ray Rice at an anti-bullying event in Towson, Md., last November, three months before he beat up his fiancee unconscious.

Ray Rice is a 27-year-old running back for the Baltimore Ravens who makes $5 million a year. On Feb. Rice, the 15 at the Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, he beat up his fiancée, Janay Palmer, in an elevator. He beat her so violently that he knocked her out. Ray Rice: the guy who headlines anti-bullying events for

pierre tristam flaglerlive editor's blogTMZ posted a video of the immediate aftermath of Rice’s brutality. He drags a limp Palmer out of the elevator, his arms under her armpit, her legs trailing behind her. He dumps her on the floor in front of the elevator door. He jerks a shoe off her foot. He shoves her legs aside nonchalantly, presumably so the elevator doors can close. He tries to pick her up again, sac-of-potato-like, and slumps her back down. She appears to teeter on her knees. By then another man has approached the couple. Neither man shows the slightest whit of concern for the woman on the ground. The two men chat. The video ends.

Battery charges were initially filed against Rice and Palmer. The charge against Palmer was dropped. A grand jury indicted Rice on a third-degree assault charge. He got that dropped to one of those pre-trial diversionary agreements: if he behaves for so many months afterward, the charge will disappear, his record will be clean, expunged, as if it never happened.

The NFL’s response? A two-game suspension.

Two games.

If he’d been found to be using steroids, he’d have been suspended for four games. If he’d kicked another player on the field, during the game, as Albert Haynesworth did to Andre Gurode’s head in 2006, he’d have gotten a five-game suspension. Still pitiful, but it’s the contrast that reeks.


When Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez, one of the world’s five best players, bit another player during a World Cup game in June, he was suspended for nine international competition games and banned from any soccer activity, including stepping into any soccer stadium, for four months. (An appeals board may, outrageously, be revoking the four-month ban, but not the nine-game suspension.)

Yesterday Rice was on the field with his team, “trying to digest the news” of his suspension, in the words of mmqb’s Peter King. The excuses have been drooling since. The NFL, according to King, took in consideration Rice’s “moving” appeal (the couple married since Rice’s boxing gift to Palmer), as the pummeling was a one-time event, that it was Rice’s first violation of NFL “policy,” and so on.

So wife-beating is OK if it’s a one-time event. Especially in the eyes of the NFL. Especially when a star player is involved. Besides, he went into counseling. Just like the good Catholic who beats up his wife on Saturday, confesses on Sunday, and gets off on 10 hail Marys and a wink from the padre.

Then we wonder why women-hating decisions like Hobby Lobby should surprise anyone. Or why goons can always depend on a perverted degree of hero-worship in this country. Keith Olbermann said it all Thursday evening:

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13 Responses for “How the NFL Protects Wife-Beaters: Ray Rice’s Laughable Suspension”

  1. karma says:

    A gay slur will get you a 3 game suspension,$100,000.00 fine and sensitivity training. You don’t even have to a player, just an assist coach. Former coach Tony Dungy is now feeling the heat from the press for his views on homosexually. I would not expect to see him on Sunday night pregames this fall.

    • willy nelson says:

      I grew up with this kid, and I have to say that its no surprise he beat his wife. Hes always been not too bright. He honestly deserves everything he gets and more. His character if the public really knew him personally would know hes a complete douchebag and dumbass. Trust nobody likes or respects that kid.

  2. Tom Jacks says:

    The supreme court ruled on the hobby lobby case, and wether you Mr Tristan like it or not, get over it. I am against any abuse of women in any manner but I don’t relate everything back fromto the hobby lobby case.

    • barbie says:

      I’m sorry, but you seem to have missed the point of that reference. The attitude we have in this country toward women, in regard to (apparently) it being okay to beat them if you’re an NFL star is the kind of attitude RESPONSIBLE for a decision *like* the one in Hobby Lobby.

      In short, the writer wasn’t “relating everything back to it”, it was being used as a point of reference to the example used here. The Hobby Lobby decision is part of a bigger picture of putting women back into their place as second class citizens, subservient to men and their whims. In the United States of America. So disgusting, and so very true.

  3. m&m says:

    What I saw on the news tells me this spoiled and careless creep should be thrown out of football and banned for life. There’s no place in any sport this A–hole belongs.

  4. just saying says:

    It is any organizations other than the courts to dole out punishments?

  5. Carl says:

    Football league and owners are more about Greed then common decency , they let Michael Vick back after he not only fought pit bulls , but went to shelter got small weak dogs for his pit bull to tear apart just so it had the taste for blood , then threw them in a hole and set them on fire. NFL welcomes him back with 100 million dollar contract. There have been rapes on boats by players,rapes in hotel rooms, wife beating is an everyday thing with these bullies. its supposed to be a privilege to not only play in the NFL , but to make obscene amounts of money , not to mention they are role models for children, They need to start banning these players from ever playing again , An NBA owner used words in the privacy of his own home , granted they were racist remarks, but he was illegally taped and they are taking his franchise and banning him for life , I for one feel raping a woman , or beating her unconscious or torturing defenseless animals are far greated heinous crimes then using words in the heat of an argument in your own home , these players should be banned for life as well and incarcerated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well put! These spineless cowards who beat there wives,
      Pregnant girlfriends, mistreat animals, should be banned!
      If a racial slur or a derogatory email forces the expulsion
      Of an owner shouldn’t an NFL player face the same consequence
      I feel the NFL organization should be ashamed of themselves
      For condoning this type of behavior! In keeping these players
      On their payroll there saying to everyone that it’s ok to mistreat
      Women children animals…. And the only reason he goes in front of
      The camera and appolagized is because the NFL made him, not becsuse
      He meant it! The NFL should be ashamed of themselves for supporting
      This behavior.

  6. Charles Ericksen Jr says:

    Let’s not forget the Kobe Bryant incident a few years ago, where a few million dollars made the case go away,..and the many more, we did not hear about..No matter what the skill on the playing field, these episodes are crimes and should be punished,

  7. Susan Johnson says:

    Has anybody noticed that the fiancé is now the wife?? How pathetic is that? What kind of message is she sending–go ahead, beat me up, I’ll still marry you! She is as bad as the NFL. He is a complete scumbag and she is an idiot who values fame and fortune over anything, even death, cause he might kill her next time-and there will be a next time.

  8. Rick says:

    Despite the fact there happens to be two sides to every story, this guy is clearly a class 1 a-hole.

  9. Mike Litoris says:

    But if a NBA owner says something offensive, he’s banned for life!

  10. america omg says:

    What is wrong with you people? Vick served his time in jail. Everyone has a right to make a living after their punishment. Quit nfl bashing. Does walmart suspend a low income employee after he beats a woman? No! It is a matter of law enforcement. This money grubbing woman dropped the charges and stayed with her man that knocked her out cold. Where is the outrage for that? It is sending a more disgraceful message than any nfl ruling. No sympathy if she gets beat again.

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