The crucifixion of Ray Rice


How many people who have condemned Ray Rice
for his striking of his then-girl-friend, now wife Janay Palmer Rice
have actually looked at the TMZ video?
After reading so much about what an awful deed he did,
I watched the video.

The video begins with Mr. Rice waiting in a hallway near an elevator door.
A woman, evidently Ms. Palmer, walks past Mr. Rice,
slapping him in the face as she walks by.
She walks to the elevator and enters it, and he follows.
The video now switches to the view from a ceiling-mounted camera in the elevator,
diagonally opposite the elevator controls.
She stands by the controls.
He walks to her, with his back to the camera (00:23),
and some action I could not really identify takes place between them
Then he steps back to just under the camera.
She then comes right at him (00:26),
and it looks to me like she is spitting in his face and trying to punch him.
Only then does he punch her.
In other words, he was trying to prevent her from punching him,
or at the very least responding to her aggression against him.
That is what it looks like in the video to me.
By the way, you can watch the video in slow motion at this URL:

I am not saying that the response of Ray Rice to his fiancee's actions
was the most appropriate one,
but I do fervently believe that it is entirely wrong to view Rice's actions out of the context of her actions.
And that seems to be a real sickness in the "anti-domestic violence" clique,
their refusal to consider what causes it in the first place.
Compare, for example, other cases of assault where authorities ask the question:
"Who was the instigating agent?".
My question is:
"Why is 'the instigating agent' relevant in some cases of assault,
but not in so-called 'domestic violence' cases?"

Note also the comparison with what happened
when Solange attacked Jay Z in an elevator.
Here much of the media chose not to criticize Solange,
but the person who released the video,
claiming it was an invasion of privacy.
Interesting comparison.

Anyhow, here are some other articles on this subject:

Seeing Abuse, and a Pattern Too Familiar
Janay Palmer, Ray Rice’s Wife, Implied the Assault Was Taken Out of Context
New York Times, 2014-09-10

Until recently, Janay Palmer Rice was a little-known figure,
the 26-year-old partner of Ray Rice, the star running back for the Baltimore Ravens.
But after Mr. Rice’s contract was terminated by his team on Monday,
she became the most famous battered wife in the country,
a fierce defender of her husband and,
to domestic violence experts and survivors,
an extraordinarily public example of the complex psychology of women abused by men.

["experts and survivors".
Experts or bigoted ideologues, I would ask.]

“Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is,”
she posted on her Instagram account.
“To take something away from the man I love
that he has worked” for all his life is “horrific,”
she said.
“Ravensnation we love you!” she added.

Her post implied that the assault was taken out of context,
and it is not at all clear that she views herself as a victim of abuse.
But thousands of others, including domestic violence survivors
and the therapists who counsel them,
have drawn upon their own experiences to try to answer this question:
A man strikes a woman with such force that she collapses, unconscious.
He appears to spit on her body.
Why would she then exchange wedding vows with him
and, after a video surfaces showing the world the violence,
stand by him?

[Does it occur to anyone besides me
that perhaps Ms. Rice is most concerned about their daughter,
and thinks that that daughter will be better off growing up within an intact family
than a broken one, with an absentee father.
Also, to be blunt about the finances,
that the child and her will be better off with Rice's pre-scandal income
than without.
That what happened was one incident,
not by itself sufficient reason to deprive the daughter of a whole family.
But such thoughts are quite clearly ignored by many of those quoted and cited in the media,
such as those mentioned above.]


After her post on Tuesday, Janay Rice retreated from social media
because of what she called negativity.
(Her lawyer declined to comment.)
But her own biography may help explain her actions:
In public appearances and prior interviews,
Ms. Rice appeared devoted to, financially dependent on,
and completely invested in her husband, now 27.

They met as teenagers in Westchester County, N.Y.,
but when they started dating during Mr. Rice’s first season with the Ravens, in 2008,
she followed him to Baltimore, enrolling at nearby Towson University.
Baltimore was an unfamiliar city for her, the adjustment was difficult,
and in 2010 she pleaded guilty to shoplifting.
["and"? Are the facts before the "and" supposed to justify what comes after it?]
But before she graduated, Mr. Rice surprised her
by giving her a new Acura with an engagement ring inside.

“I almost passed out when he told me the car was mine,”
Ms. Rice said in a profile written by a fellow Towson student.

Before she finished college, she was pregnant with his child, a girl they named Rayven —
a name that suggests just how invested they both were in his football career.
Though Ms. Rice returned to classes and graduated with a degree in communications,
it was unclear whether she developed an independent career.
In 2012, Mr. Rice signed a five-year, $35 million contract with the Ravens.

Several experts in domestic violence cautioned that much was unknown about the Rice case, starting with whether the football player hit his partner more than once.
But they added that economic reliance was a leading predictor of whether a woman would leave her abuser.

“It’s incredibly difficult to extricate yourself when you’re financially dependent,” Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor of nursing at Johns Hopkins, said in an interview.

In February, a year after the Ravens won the Super Bowl,
Ray Rice rendered Janay Palmer unconscious in an elevator in Atlantic City.
(The video that surfaced this week appeared to show Ms. Palmer pushing or hitting him as well,
which experts said was not uncommon in domestic violence cases.)
He was indicted in March on an assault charge
that carried a potential jail sentence of three to five years.

Testifying against Mr. Rice would have meant ending his football career, embarrassing the team and possibly sending her daughter’s father to jail. Instead, Janay Palmer married him the day after the indictment.

“Many times a victim becomes so dependent on her partner for everything that she can’t even entertain a reality without him in it,” Ramani Durvasula, a psychology professor at California State University, Los Angeles, said in an interview. “I don’t know that any of us would have been strong, brave or courageous enough to push back on a billion-dollar organization and a man that she loves.”

In May, the couple appeared at a news conference, arranged by the team’s press operation, to say that they had healed their relationship. “We continue to work through it together, and we are continuing to strengthen our relationship and our marriage,” Ms. Rice said. They celebrated their vows in June at an idyllic-looking reception that was featured on the team’s website: the bride in a sparkling strapless dress, a football-shaped cake for the groom, and their toddler daughter twirling on the dance floor to the song “Happy.”

But now that the video of the assault has circulated, Mr. Rice has been cut from the team, his football career is in peril, and millions of dollars in salary are gone. Karma Cottman, executive director of the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said she feared that public questioning of the couple’s relationship could backfire for Ms. Rice. On Tuesday, women collected stories on how they left abusive relationships under the hashtag #whyileft.

When a new victim comes for help, Ms. Cottman said, “the first thing we want to rush to say is, ‘Why don’t you leave, why don’t you get out?’ ” she said in an interview. But that’s exactly the wrong approach, “because isolation is part of the cycle of violence,” Ms. Cottman said. “Generally we see people five to seven times before they leave or have left for good.”

Take another case on the same football team: In 2012, Candace Williams, the girlfriend of another Ravens player, Terrell Suggs, filed a protective order against him claiming that he had punched her and dragged her alongside a car he was driving. Previously, she had accused him of pouring bleach on her and her son, and breaking her nose.

A few weeks later they wed. “Last night I married my best friend and the love of my life,” Mr. Suggs posted on Facebook.

Janay Rice’s pain may help other women escape domestic violence
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post, 2014-09-11


The camera inside that casino elevator showed what we never see:
Janay, then the fiancee of Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice,
stands in the corner of the elevator.
And it showed the powerful blow of his fist, then her rag-doll body.

Take a look at the video.
While she is standing in the corner of the elevator at 00:24,
at 00:26 she is advancing on Rice, looking like she is trying to spit in his face,
and then he hits her.
Dvorak, and many others, are doing a grave disservice to truth
when they make it sound like she was just a passive victim of assault.
The video shows she was anything but passive in the seconds before the blow.]

Ray Rice Is Expected to Appeal Suspension by N.F.L.
New York Times, 2014-09-16

The N.F.L. Players Association is expected to appeal the indefinite suspension given last week to Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back, after a graphic video of him punching his fiancée was released, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

The move may complicate the N.F.L.'s messy handling of the domestic violence case, which has turned into one of the biggest crises of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s eight-year tenure. The N.F.L. has hired a former F.B.I. director to investigate what the league knew about the incriminating video.

It was unclear when an appeal might be filed, but the union has until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday to respond to the league’s decision.

Rice was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by Goodell last Monday, hours after a video was posted on the Internet by TMZ showing him knocking out Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, in a hotel elevator in February.

At the time, Rice was serving the two-game suspension he received in July because of the incident. Critics had hammered Goodell for being too lenient, so in August he strengthened the league’s protocols for players who commit domestic violence. He did not, however, review Rice’s penalty.

Rice could fight his second suspension by pointing to Article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in his defense.

While Goodell has wide discretion to suspend players under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy, Section 4 of Article 46 states that “the Commissioner and a Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Commissioner’s disciplinary action will preclude or supersede disciplinary action by any Club for the same act or conduct.”

Rice could argue that the league cannot suspend him twice for the same infraction, or that the league and the Ravens, who terminated Rice’s multiyear contract, penalized him twice.

Goodell said he indefinitely suspended Rice because he saw new video from inside the elevator that was released a week ago. If it is discovered that Goodell had indeed seen the video before he suspended Rice, then Rice could argue that Goodell was responding only to public pressure, not new evidence.

In theory, the league could counter that argument by noting that the new video further tarnished the league’s image.

Representing Rice is tricky for the union.
The national backlash against Rice has been strong,
with calls coming from women’s groups and others
for Rice to be barred permanently
and for Goodell to step down.

[My opinion:
Those calling for such draconian penalties against Rice and Goddell are pure scum.
You MUST take take the actions which preceded Rice's punch into account.
To ignore them is the height of unfairness.
When those actions are taken into account,
his punch, while perhaps an overreaction to her actions,
surely does not call for draconian penalties.
And very importantly,
note it is third-parties that are calling for these penalties,
not the recipient of his blow.
Do these third parties have any respect for the integrity, health, and well-being of the Rice family?
The evidence is they do not.
If there was a consistent pattern of such actions by Rice,
they would have a case.
But not evidence supporting such a consistent pattern has been proffered.
Why break up the family (and banning Rice for life from the NFL will likely have that result)
over a one-time event, which the women may (gasp!) have provoked?]

The union has tiptoed around the issue this summer and did not openly back Goodell’s stronger suspensions. When Goodell strengthened the penalties for committing domestic violence in August to include an automatic six-game penalty for first-time offenders, the union issued a terse statement that neither supported the new rules nor condemned domestic violence.

Several other players, including Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers and Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers, may face suspensions for domestic violence in the coming weeks.

The union is also locked in negotiations with the league to overhaul recreational and performance-enhancing drug protocols, an issue that has dragged on for three years.

Janay Rice, in her own words:
Her account of that night with Ray Rice in Atlantic City

By Janay Rice, as told to Jemele Hill
ESPN.com, 2014-11-28

[This interview with Janay Palmer Rice was released
just after her husband's NFL suspension was overturned by the arbitrator,
as described in the story just below.
But in any case, here is an excerpt from what Ms. Rice said in this interview:]

There were two other couples hanging out with us -- Ray's brother and his girlfriend, plus another couple we'd become close to in Baltimore. All of us went to dinner, and then met up again later at the club inside of the Revel Casino. We were drinking and having a good time. The six of us shared two to three bottles of liquor, which we also shared with a few fans who came up to us.

After the club, our friends from Baltimore,
Ray and I decided to go to the late-night restaurant in the casino.
Ray and I were bickering.
We were drunk and tired and while I know that some people may find it hard to believe,
none of the six of us can remember exactly what Ray and I were arguing about.
It was that insignificant.

As we were arguing, he was on his phone and not looking at me.
I went to reach for his phone, and when he grabbed it back,
he spit at me and I slapped him.

[If Mr. Rice had to "grab it back",
then Ms. Palmer did more than just "reach for it";
she took it from him.]

We got into the elevator and what happened inside is still foggy to me.
The only thing I know --
and I can't even say I "remember" because I only know from what Ray has told me --
is that
I slapped him again
and then he hit me.

I remember nothing else from inside the elevator.

[I can't tell you how much contempt I have
for those many commentators who have treated Mr. Rice's actions
as an unprovoked assault.
It was provoked all the way,
as the "victim" just indicated, in her own words.
How contemptible is is that people cannot acknowledge that.]

The next thing I do recall is being in the casino lobby, surrounded by cops.

The police separated us and arrested us. They told me they had the entire incident on video. I was bawling. The cops tried to tell me what happened and I refused to believe them. If anything, I just felt like I was still drunk. I said to one officer, "That's not us. What do you mean?" There were no marks on my face or body, and I felt perfectly fine. I was in complete shock.

They took Ray and I to the police station, where they held us together in the same room, but they kept us far enough apart so that they could talk to us separately. Eventually, we were left alone and Ray kept saying, "It's going to be OK. We'll be OK." He just kept crying and apologizing, but I didn't really want to speak to him.

We were at the police station for about six hours. Our Baltimore friends waited patiently as the police questioned us, and then drove us back home. I didn't want to talk because we weren't in the car alone. While in the car Ray called his manager; the Ravens security director, Darren Sanders; and his mom.

I was basically silent the whole way home. I was just in a fog.


Ray Rice Wins Reinstatement to N.F.L. in Arbitration
New York Times, 2014-11-29

[We must always remember:
The real injustice here is not taking account of his fiancée's actions before
his act of self-defense as she approached him in the elevator
(NOT the other way around).
But then to many in the current culture,
women can get away with anything
if they can just goad a man into striking them.

As to the judge's bias in this case,
note that in her ruling she says, twice,
"she [the woman, Janay Palmer] slapped at him" (emphasis added).
No, judge, she didn't "slap at him", she slapped him.
Further, watch in slow motion what happened in the elevator.
Over by the elevator controls, she clearly strikes him.
His head jerks back.
That's a strike, not a slap
(unless you're the the usual slimeball of political correctness).
Further, after she struck him and he meekly, without retaliating,
retired to the opposite corner of the elevator (under the camera),
she, manifestly desiring to continue the physical confrontation,
came over to his corner, looking for more confrontation.
She got it,
just what she deserved.
Too bad the pure filth in our society (including many in the judiciary and the media)
can't see it those truths.

On the other hand, when Jeffrey Krusinski received
blood-drawing and possibly scaring wounds to his face,

(click here for a description of why Krusinski was acquitted of criminal charges)
the "outcry" was not over the manifest, provable injury done to him,
but over a non-wounding act that he had, allegedly, but not believed by the jury,
done to her earlier.

The double standard here on violence is awful,
a terrible fact about America today.]

An arbitrator on Friday overturned the National Football League’s indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back who knocked out his fiancée in an elevator altercation. The decision called the penalty “arbitrary” and in conflict with the facts of the case.

Barbara S. Jones, a former federal judge, heard Mr. Rice’s appeal in a two-day session this month. During those two days, Mr. Rice maintained that he had been penalized twice for the same offense: once when Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for two games and fined him about $500,000 as a result of the attack, and again, a few months later, when Mr. Rice was suspended indefinitely after a graphic video of the attack publicly surfaced on the website TMZ.

Mr. Goodell had contended that the video revealed a “starkly different sequence of events” from what Mr. Rice had described in his initial meeting with the commissioner. But Judge Jones concluded that Mr. Rice never misrepresented to Mr. Goodell what occurred and thus did not deserve to be punished a second time.

Judge Jones’s decision is certain to raise fresh questions about Mr. Goodell’s handling of the biggest crisis of his eight-year tenure as commissioner, one that led to a national debate over domestic violence and criticism that the N.F.L., in particular, had been too lax in addressing cases in which players were charged with assaulting women. Mr. Goodell’s initial two-game suspension of Mr. Rice, widely derided as too lenient, was at the heart of the debate.

Indeed, in her ruling, Judge Jones suggested that if Mr. Goodell had simply imposed an indefinite suspension on Mr. Rice at the start, an arbitrator would have been “hard pressed” to overturn it.

In her ruling, Judge Jones did not dwell on what efforts the N.F.L. might have made to obtain the video before it became public. Instead, she emphasized the importance of Mr. Goodell’s first meeting with Mr. Rice last June, which led to the two-game ban. She clearly sided with Mr. Rice’s version of what was said that day and disagreed with the N.F.L.'s argument that Mr. Rice had misrepresented the severity of what occurred and that the league was justified in barring him indefinitely months later.

“In short, I do not find that Rice minimized casually what happened that night,” Judge Jones wrote. “I do not doubt that viewing the video in September evoked horror in Commissioner Goodell, as it did with the public. But this does not change the fact that Rice did not lie or mislead the N.F.L. at the June 16 meeting.”

She added, “That the league did not realize the severity of the conduct without a visual record also speaks to their admitted failure in the past to sanction this type of conduct more severely.”

Judge Jones’s ruling “definitely puts one more big stain” on Mr. Goodell’s tenure as commissioner, said Prof. Mark Conrad, the director of the sports business program at Fordham University.

“Yes, he has to eat crow and, yes, he has to be more consistent and, yes, he made a mistake he couldn’t get out of,” Professor Conrad said.
Continue reading the main story

The N.F.L. Players Association, which was put in the uncomfortable position of defending a man who had admitted to striking his wife, hailed the ruling, which it described as a “victory for a disciplinary process that is fair and transparent.”

The N.F.L., in a statement, said that it respected Judge Jones’s decision to reinstate Mr. Rice and that he would now be eligible to play again if a team signed him to a new contract.

Mr. Rice, who has also filed a grievance against the Ravens for terminating his long-term contract, has said he would like to return to the N.F.L., but it is unclear if any team will want to sign him any time soon, given the negative fallout that is likely to arise. But in a league where players have returned after serving time in jail, a team in need of a running back may ultimately consider putting him on its roster.

“There are 32 teams, but all it takes is one,” said Herman Edwards, a former head coach in the N.F.L. who is now a television analyst.

Still, Mr. Edwards noted that Mr. Rice had not been on a football field in three months and suggested he would be more likely to join a new team, if one indeed signed him, after the current season.

Meanwhile, women’s groups and advocates for victims of domestic violence said they were unhappy with the decision to reinstate Mr. Rice and called on the N.F.L. to do more to change attitudes toward women within the league.

“Despite and because of the repeated fumbles in handling the Rice case, the N.F.L. is at a crossroad,” said Teresa C. Younger, the president of the Ms. Foundation for Women. She said Mr. Goodell and the N.F.L. teams needed to “dismantle the sexist machine that is the N.F.L. and rebuild it to respect and include women at all levels.”

In his own statement, Mr. Rice said that he had “made an inexcusable mistake” in the elevator assault and that he would “continue working hard to improve myself.”

Judge Jones’s ruling is hardly the last word in the Rice matter. Mr. Goodell’s handling of the suspension is also being investigated by Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, who was hired by the N.F.L. to find out what, among other things, the league knew about the graphic video of Mr. Rice and when. Mr. Goodell has insisted that he did not see that video before his initial meeting with Mr. Rice last June. If that turns out not to be true, the league’s owners, who have thus far stood behind Mr. Goodell, may take a dimmer view of his leadership.

Mr. Goodell’s fumbling in the Rice case, as well as his delayed suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was arrested and charged with beating his son, has led to repeated questions about how Mr. Goodell has administered the N.F.L.'s personal conduct policy, which gives the commissioner broad powers to suspend players.

In the past, he made himself the disciplinarian in crisis after crisis that he felt threatened the league’s image. He doled out fines and suspensions for on-field events (hits to the head), player misbehavior (arrests, drug use, Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring) and team misconduct (teams spying on opponents or offering bounties to injure them). But even in those instances, he had his critics.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

When the New England Patriots were caught filming the Jets’ defensive signals, Mr. Goodell fined the team and Patriots Coach Bill Belichick but destroyed the seized videotapes before it could be determined whether the taping was part of a larger pattern.

Mr. Goodell’s suspensions of several players in the New Orleans Saints bounty case were overturned after a review by the former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who said the facts did not support the punishments. Mr. Goodell suspended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six games even though he was never arrested in connection with a sexual assault accusation. The suspension was later reduced to four games.

In the Rice case, after his initial two-game ban drew the ire of fans and women’s groups who thought it minimized what had occurred, Mr. Goodell acknowledged a month later that he had “got it wrong.” He then announced a new policy in which first-time offenders in domestic violence cases would miss at least six games. Judge Jones, in her decision, noted that Mr. Goodell called Mr. Rice then to let him know that the six-game rule would not affect him because he had already been penalized.

That promise was scrapped two weeks later, on Sept. 8., after the video of Mr. Rice punching Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, became public. That, in turn, led to the appeal by Mr. Rice.

In her ruling, Judge Jones devoted considerable attention to what Mr. Rice actually said at the June 16 meeting with Mr. Goodell. She said that the commissioner, in his testimony at the arbitration hearing, recalled Mr. Rice telling him in June that he “slapped” Ms. Palmer. Other N.F.L. executives had similar recollections.

Judge Jones noted that Mr. Goodell’s actual notes of the June 16 meeting were not detailed and did not contain the word “slap” but did contain the word “struck.” More persuasive, Judge Jones added, were the “detailed and careful notes” that Heather McPhee, a players union lawyer, took at the meeting. Those notes include Mr. Rice stating, in quotation marks: “And then I hit her.”

Judge Jones noted that Ms. McPhee testified she used the quotation marks because those were Rice’s exact words.

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