The Blame Game
One thing I don’t like to do is write about issues that go beyond sports. I try to keep it with stuff going on in the stadiums and arena’s. But when the media started crucifying Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have drafted Michael Sam back in July I had to vent about it on here. It was beyond ridiculous. Basically it was just guys piling on because they thought it made them look better if they “stood up” for Michael Sam. And where is Michael Sam now? On the Cowboys practice squad, because nobody wanted him on waivers.
Well the Ray Rice situation is reminding me a lot of that. Not because people are sickened by what Rice did, everyone is and if you aren’t you likely have major issues. But the backlash that some people involved are getting and aren’t getting has been beyond ridiculous. Basically the entire thing has been pinned on commissioner Roger Goodell. So I’m going to lay out why that is ridiculous.
Jason Whitlock takes to twitter and suggests Goodell should step down as commissioner once the video came out yesterday morning. Goodell’s initial punishment for Rice was weak, but nobody wants to acknowledge some of the factors involved. They hadn’t seen the video for starters. Jay Glazer told Dan Patrick that on Patrick’s radio show about a month ago.
So while they were likely informed what had happened, the Ravens would have had a pretty strong argument for an appeal had the league suspended Rice for 6-8 games initially without any actual proof. We all knew what happened in that elevator, but until yesterday nobody could prove what happened.
Add to this, Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) apparently pleaded with Goodell to give him a light suspension. She also refused to press charges. Now don’t misread what I’m saying here….I’m in no bleepin’ way saying she deserved to be hit. What I WILL say though, is that she does deserve some blame for the lack of punishment. Everyone wants Rice to get the book thrown at him, but how can they do that when the victim is his number 1 defender?!
I wonder how many people who are calling for his head realize that the first thing Roger Goodell ever did as commissioner was introduce the “conduct detrimental to the league” rule which gave him the right to suspend players for there behavior off the field. Prior to him stepping in, Paul Tagliabue couldn’t suspend players for what they did away from football. At least Rice was already going to get SOMETHING!
Then you have other critics of Goodell (and why he has so many critics I’m really not sure), who are saying “well you can beat your girl and only get 2 games but smoke a little weed and you’re gone for the season”. Hey morons who are saying that….that is the 3rd offense for Josh Gordon!!! 4th if you include college.
Josh Gordon has had PLENTY of chances to straighten his life out. He is well aware of the rules. Should those rules be changed? Yes they should. But Gordon knew them and broke them REPEATEDLY! Quit being an apologist for a guy who can’t be classified as anything other than a screw up at this point in his life. Incredible talent, but a screw up. I really don’t mean to be a Roger Goodell apologist, but I’m just not seeing why exactly he is taking so much heat in all this. Yes he messed up the initial suspension. But people acted like he held a press conference explaining why Palmer deserved to be hit!
And so while Goodell is taking all this heat, Rice’s BOSSES have essentially skated on all of this. Ozzie Newsome (Ravens GM) and Steve Bisciotti (Ravens owner) haven’t been brought up at all during this entire thing. John Harbaugh caught some heat in all of this for some reason, but the guys who make the decisions of who will take the field wearing Ravens colors didn’t get mentioned once.
To me, this is where the large majority of the heat should be going is on the Ravens. They did the right thing in cutting Rice yesterday, but they were the guys who actually could have sent a message in all this. They didn’t need actual proof. They could have just said “we won’t tolerate that” and axed him. But they didn’t until yesterday when we all saw what we assumed happened. And yet, nobody in the media is pointing the finger their direction. They’ve got a pass in all this for the most part! If the media had any integrity they would look the Ravens direction. But they don’t. They’re just all horny over the Roger Goodell witch hunt now.
It is something that has a lot of people disgusted and rightfully so. But I just wish those people would actually give some thought to this rather than just randomly pointing fingers. In the end though, Rice has been cut, suspended now indefinitely, and likely has played his final NFL game. Hope you invested that NFL money wisely Ray.
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