Where I come from, beating someone unconscious is a firing offense.
If you’re a National Football League running back, though, you can get off with less than a slap on the wrist.
Ray Rice has been caught on video beating the daylights out of a woman who’s now his wife. The NFL “punished” the Baltimore Ravens running back by forcing him to sit out the first two games of the upcoming season.
Gosh, I hope Rice can recover.
The so-called punishment makes a mockery out of the NFL on a couple of levels. It virtually gives Rice a pass for committing an act of violence against another human being. It also suggests the NFL has an arbitrary and totally uneven policy regarding players who commit serious wrongdoing.
The quarterback Terrelle Pryor received a five-game suspension for getting involved — while he was attending Ohio State University — in a memorabilia scam.
Ray Rice beats his then-girlfriend senseless and he is booted for two games?
What in the world is going on here?
As Mike Lupica writes in the New York Daily News:
“Now Rice gets two games. One of the things we hear is that he had no priors before this incident. Good job, Rice! Only point-missers think that is relevant in the case of a man taking a hand to a woman.
“No one cares whether Rice was a first offender with this incident or not. The offense at hand — and by his hand — is enough. Goodell had the chance to set a proper and strong precedent here and chose not to. Maybe the problem here is that being The Enforcer has turned out to be this kind of job, even as Goodell’s league gets more prosperous and more popular than ever.”
Commissioner Goodell, you’ve got a big problem.