Over at MIC, I wrote about the developments in the Ray Rice situation, a similar theme playing out in the UFC with Thiago Silva, and how sports organizations continue to make business decisions instead of showing personal concern and helping to address issues such as domestic violence.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
On Monday, TMZ released the elevator video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice violently striking his wife Janay Palmer in Las Vegas. Initially, the NFL handed a two-game suspension to Rice, which drew a lot of deserved criticism from all circles. In response, the NFL instituted a new domestic violence policy in which the first offense results in a six-game suspension, and repeat offenders are subjected to a lifetime ban from the league.
This is what the NFL does, what the UFC does, and what sports leagues do — they react. It’s scary to think that the approach here from the people running these billion-dollar corporations is this: Until public perception pushes us to a corner where we have no choice, we will always pause and put our business interests first.
Neither White nor NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wanted to set any examples here. Instead, they were fine with tip-toeing the line with the public until they couldn’t anymore. In the NFL’s case, after the video was made public, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL subsequently announced Rice had been suspended indefinitely. He’ll need to apply to return to the league should he choose to play in the NFL again.
The fact that it took a TMZ video to come out for the appropriate punishment to come down is troubling. Without it, Rice would have been slated to take the field in Week 3. The implied message is troubling: We were somewhat okay with this act of domestic violence until everyone saw exactly what Rice did, and so we had no choice but to act.