IT’S IMPORTANT to remember that the NFL‘s initial reaction to Ray Rice coldcocking Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice, was a mild two-game suspension. The Ravens even sent out a tweet where Palmer took part of the blame for her own unconsciousness! If you want to know why this was allowed to stand for so long see Republican Ben Carson‘s apologist statement for Ray Rice, which perfectly represents the NFL’s dereliction in this tale of domestic violence.
It wasn’t until the public saw the raw video footage that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens acted.
The reaction of Janay Palmer (Rice) the day after sends a chilling signal to women who make excuses for their abusers instead of fleeing the scene, walking away from the relationship that’s built on extremes of emotion that has no relationship to love she is claiming exists.
The outcome leaves Janay Palmer (Rice) in an even worse situation, because now her husband has lost his livelihood in the NFL and at some point the furor will die down leaving her vulnerable again.
The sports writer for the New York Times, Juliet Macur, wrote a terrific piece emphasizing that it took a video to make the public react, because the facts of the case, known long ago, weren’t enough.
But it never should have taken this long. Not long after the assault, the police investigated and determined that Rice had knocked out Palmer. An earlier video showed Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator as if he were hauling a trash bag to the curb.
That alone should have been enough for the N.F.L. to suspend Rice for a good, long time, or for the Ravens to get rid of him. It should have prompted the league to send a message to other players — as well as to its fans — that domestic violence will not be tolerated. But Rice was a star, and excuses are made for stars.
If you don’t understand how Ray Rice was allowed to initially escape prosecution, accepting a much lesser punishment of therapy from the court, nothing illustrates the culture of protecting the abusers of women better than Republican Ben Carson’s statement on behalf of Ray Rice.
“And let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy,” Carson continued.
“He obviously has some real problems, and his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help.
So rather than just jumping on a punitive bandwagon, let’s just see if we can get some help for these people.” – Ben Carson, Republican
Ben Carson wears his religiosity on his sleeve in every forum in which he appears, the 20th century misogynist notion that abusers should be coddled going back centuries, starting with traditionalist marriages that women couldn’t leave, because they had no recourse. Those days are over and the cover for domestic abuse apologists are, too. It makes his dreams of being a viable Republican candidate for president untenable.
Janay Palmer is dangerously delusional and any woman who accepts her Instagram message as viable is, too.
Ray Rice’s contrition through public humiliation that resulted in his ouster from the Raven’s and indefinite NFL suspension came only because he was trying to save his precious high profile NFL career. It wasn’t voluntary, understanding what he’d done. It was to save face after his cowardice was exposed.
Mrs. Janay Rice’s attack on the media via Instagram is alarming, because she talks about the incident in terms of “we regret,” which is frightening.
Janay Palmer is in denial and as long as she cannot blame her husband directly for his violence, admit her husband has an issue and that his anger requires treatment separate from her, she will remain in danger. Mrs. Rice allowing duel ownership of an act that could have broken her neck reveals she just doesn’t want to admit she is married to a violent offender.
The Instagram message is a classic reaction from a woman who has been in a cycle of violence inside a relationship that she cannot see herself, yet is addicted to.
That Janay Palmer has become her husband’s champion, making him the victim, while blaming the media, should send chills down the collective American culture that ignores domestic violence every day. The ignorance and nonchalance of the dangers women face in relationships like this is seen through Ben Carson’s statement on behalf of Ray Rice, which could just as easily been issued by the NFL.