There is indisputable evidence that a professional athlete knocked out a much smaller and less powerful human. Taking away the details that Ray Rice physically abused his wife on camera--and we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors/not on camera--there is no setting outside of war, or a scheduled (and unfair) fight, or defending yourself against someone who is trying to harm you with a weapon that makes this acceptable.
As the days have gone on, I’m learning that there is another victim in all of this: society.
The NFL made a very strong statement with its actions, thus far: Money Above All. They were certainly hoping that ignoring this crime and launching their own "investigation" would let unsuspecting fans think that they have good morals. Sadly, they got caught and we now know they condone domestic violence. The fact that the AP has reported that the NFL had access to the elevator footage in April is being argued by some, but we know they have access now and have seen what one of their own is capable of doing.
While the actions the NFL took with Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault allegations can be argued (as charges have been either settled or dropped), the way the NFL approached the situation plants the seed for how they would handle more damning ones. To me, this shows that the NFL clearly does not care about women, but, more importantly, they really don’t care about society. Why? Because letting actions like these slide tells the world and fans that domestic violence and sexual violence is okay and you can not only profit on it (looking at you, Ray Rice still making more on your contract than I may ever make), but will likely play again (Ben R.).
Depending on how they handled and will continue to handle this situation, I had resigned myself to boycotting football. Stop playing fantasy. Request refunds from the NFL on my merchandise—more out of principle. Will I? It will be hard, but I will certainly try depending on the outcome of this situation. Will others? I doubt it. Football is so ingrained in our society and the NFL knows that and knows that they could probably punch Rice's wife themselves and still be highly profitable.
When will society take a stand and say that in order for "rape culture" and domestic violence to stop we need some of our biggest institutions in society to join that cause? "Suspending Ray Rice indefinitely" is just the bad public relations spin of saying "we're suspending him until you guys forget about this whole scandal and will let him apply again once you've cooled down." And I'm willing to bet that Rice will be back and better than ever in just a few years, unless the NFL does the right thing.
I'm an American football fan that wants to indefinitely bench the NFL for their behavior until they do what’s right—and that’s sending a strong message on Domestic Violence.