NFL, Business Interests and Domestic Violence
When the video showing Ray Rice punching his now wife in the face and knocking her unconscious became public, it gave the NFL the excuse they were looking for to fire him and ban him from the League in order to calm the outrage that the incident and the light punishment he had received had understandably engendered, especially, among the female viewers, who make up close to half of their audience that the NFL relies on for its profits.
In an interview, yesterday, the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, denied that NFL officials had received or seen that video when they decided to punish Rice with a mere 2 game suspension. Today, however, it was revealed by AP that the police had indeed sent NFL the video and that they had indeed seen it.
The light punishment originally imposed on Rice revealed once more how business interests trump justice and made light of a major social problem, which too many women face, everyday. NFL is a lucrative business, bringing in billions of dollars to the team owners, every year. So it’s not unusual or surprising for the spokesman of the business coalition to lie on behalf of the owners. How many times have we heard such industry representatives lie to us? Even if they hadn’t seen that video, what is clear is that he had hit her unconscious. What difference does it make to actually see how he had hit her? Would it have made a difference if he had kicked or elbowed her face instead of using his fist? Obviously, the severity or nature of the blow had no bearing on the choice of punishment they decided to impose. Both the original light punishment and the later change of heart were purely motivated by business concerns. All the talk of “we didn’t know how bad it was” is nothing but lies and propaganda.
But, be that as it may, what is getting lost again in all this and not being discussed enough is domestic violence and violence against women in general, which is an epidemic. This unfortunate incident is one of thousands every year. If there were one thing that could have come out from this incident that could be a silver lining, would be a discussion of and a higher consciousness and awareness about this epidemic, which again, didn’t happen in our corporate media.