Domestic Violence, Ray Rice and Us

Ray Rice is not the first NFL player to be involved in a domestic violence incident, but he might be the first to get this kind of national press. Yesterday the NFL handed Rice a two game suspension, but many are questioning if that is actually enough. A friend of mine made an interesting point regarding the Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh respone to the punishment. Harbaugh felt the punishment fit the crime, but what if Rice knocked Harbaugh’s wife unconscious? Would a two game suspension be enough? would he still think Rice was a “hecka of a guy” or would Rice have been immediately released from the team? Society has become highly sensitized to gay slurs, but where is that sensitivity regarding domestic violence? So often we see movies that use domestic violence as a punchline. In the movie This Christmas how many people laughed when the Regina King character puts baby oil on the floor and beats her husband with a belt as he tries to walk on the slippery floor after a shower. Or who felt the character that demeaned her husband in the Tyler Perry movie, The Family that Preys Together got what she deserved when her husband slapped her so heard she slid accross the diner counter top. The truth is domestic violence is never funny and never deserved, but we have to all collectively share this belief, and as long as some people think it is a personal matter it will still be tolerated. So maybe Rice has learned his lesson, and maybe he is a changed man, but society has to change and it has not.

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