The Ray Rice Issue

Footage emerged today from Ray Rice's domestic assault case. It's just as graphic, if not more, than everyone expected. You can watch it here.

Obviously there has been an outpour of outrage coming from fans and other players around the NFL since the video was released. The Ravens did the right thing by terminating his contract. The NFL followed suit by suspending him indefinitely. Many say he shouldn't play in the league again. In my opinion, the league and team should have made these calls as soon as the original footage emerged, but I also see another issue with the whole situation: the way his fiancee has handled it.

Through the press conference and coverage, she stayed by Rice's side. She admitted that she taunted him and it was partially her fault, which the new footage seems to negate. In the end, she actually married the guy. Had she taken a stand and left him, maybe the NFL would have taken the punishment more seriously in the first place. I can't speculate why she stayed (money, fear, etc), but she had the opportunity to make a difference. She had the opportunity to become a voice for domestic violence. Her public actions basically told women fans and young girls that it's okay to stay regardless of being beaten and abused. What is she teaching her children? What is she going to tell them when they are old enough to find out what happened? Oh daddy lost his job because he beat mommy, but I stuck around? I'm not saying she's not a victim. I'm not saying what happened to her was okay. I just wish she had used the horrible situation she went through to make a difference, not become another statistic. 

It is never okay for a man to lay his hands on a woman. Just as it is never okay for a woman to hit a man. Domestic abuse is a serious issue that shouldn't be taken lightly. Football is a violent sport, but that should stay on the field.

If you are in a situation where you are being abused, ask for help and try and do everything you can to remove yourself from the situation. Staying only gives the man more power and will likely lead to it happening again.