Rocky Boiman: “The NFL Got it Wrong and It’s Never Okay to Hit a Woman”
The NFL has ruled the news cycle over the last 48 hours. Week One kicked off on Sunday and Monday night and TMZ released the video of Ray Rice striking and knocking his wife, Janay Rice unconscious early Monday morning.
Rice has since been released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Current and former NFL players, the media, social media, and the public all have added their opinion on the topic of domestic abuse and whether the NFL handled this issue the right way. Former NFL veteran and current sports analyst Rocky Boiman (Dial Global) sums it up when he says how the NFL reacted to the video of Rice hitting his wife, Janay.
"Now, the NFL is reacting to people's reactions instead of getting it right the first time."
That's part of the problem with today's society.
"In social media, we have to handle it now. I understand that. But it creates problems. The process is not allowed to run its course. If it takes its due time, I don't think there would be this fumbling that went on," adds Boiman.
Reaction to TMZ releasing the video of Rice spread all over the Internet. There's an opinon everywhere you look - from social media to media to television, and to radio. From the time the NFL suspended Rice for two games to yesterday's indefinite suspension, Boiman's mind didn't change how he felt about the situation.
"My thoughts didn't change. I didn't need to see the video to be more outraged. I was outraged then and am now to the same degree. What did people think happened in the elevator? We saw him drag her out. He told authorities what happened. Why does actually seeing the video change people's feelings?," responds Boiman.
Rice was suspended for two games initially and the league's domestic abuse policy was changed as a result. First-time offenders of the policy are now given a six-game suspension and second-time offenders are banned for life. All in all, yes, the league took a stance, but overall, the message wasn't conveyed in the right manner.
"The NFL did a terrible job from the get-go. They were pressured to act fast and in doing so, didn't get it right from the start. Now they are retroactively going back and reversing their original conclusion again because of the pressure. It really makes this massive, well-funded organization look like the Keystone Cops," tells Boiman.
As much money as the NFL makes, why couldn't commissioner Roger Goodell get a hold of the video?
"I find it hard to believe that a nine-billion dollar industry with former and current FBI agents, cops, and homeland security folks didn't know of the video or couldn't get a hold of it," Boiman says.
The video of Rice and his wife, Tanay has been out since February. As big as the NFL's image is, wouldn't they want to handle this before TMZ releases the video? There are cameras every five feet in casinos. Whether the casino was hiding the video, or not, commissioner Roger Goodell should have acted a lot sooner.
Not only did the NFL get it wrong, but the Baltimore Ravens did, too.
"They (Baltimore) stuck by their guy until yesterday. They made a bad decision and when the video came out, people on Twitter got a hold of it and it changed their minds," says Boiman.
The NFL finally did what is right. The league's stance on domestic violence toughened, and Rice is no longer a member of the Ravens and has an indefinite suspension. Rice will have to deal with the consequences of his decision that night for the rest of the life. He and Janay have married and have taken steps to move on, as she states in a statement on Instagram earlier today. Boiman says it's time to let the two work things out together on their own.
"Does it say anything that the two people closest to the situation, Ray and Janay, have forgiven one another and moved on to continually healing their relationship? Maybe family problems, whether it is depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence, etc. are best handled by family themselves. Not the public or anyone on social media."
Going forward, learn one lesson. It's never okay to hit a woman. Ever.
"No one can ever justify hitting a woman, you don't just do that. Period," adds Boiman.
Every season, the NFL supports breast cancer awareness and players wear pink. Women support the NFL. Whether it's the NFL, the media, social media, or the public - respect one another, whether male or female.
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