Amazing what a difference another video makes…
The Baltimore Ravens announced today via twitter that they “have terminated RB Ray Rice’s contract.” And the National Football Leagues says he has been indefinitely suspended.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice’s contract this afternoon.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
About time. Actually, past time and this will not be the end of the scandal. Already questions are coming about what the NFL knew, what the Ravens knew and when they both knew it.
When the first video of Rice dragging his then-fiancée out of the elevator became public just weeks ago, the obvious question was “what happened inside the elevator and is there a camera that would show us?”
Either no one asked that question or they didn’t push hard enough to get an answer to that question. The NFL says it didn’t see the second part of the video until today but it now has another black eye for how it has fumbled on the issue of dealing with player misconduct. Thug behavior, domestic violence topping the list, should not be tolerated period – whether the offender is a “star” like Rice or a lowly member of the practice squad.
As a football fan living in Washington, D.C., I see some comparisons between the world of politics and the world of professional sports. Both owe their existence and success to the support of the public. Lawmakers don’t get elected if people don’t contribute to their campaigns and vote for them. Professional sports franchises don’t make it if people don’t buy tickets to their games and purchase team paraphernalia.
But there the similarities end.
Though no courtroom trial has been held, the public has seen the video and they have rightly determined Ray Rice is guilty. The Ravens should have moved to investigate this issue more quickly after the first video was released but, unlike most of the political class, once the facts were staring them in the face they did actually do the right thing – without the pressure of special prosecutors, congressional investigations, ethics hearings, and on and on. The pressure was coming from their healthy fear of potential blowback from angry and outraged customers – it was coming from the free market.
They reacted within weeks – compare that to the months and years of stonewalling and not doing the right thing or anything by our elected officials and government bureaucrats on Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the border, ISIS, and the list goes on.
The NFL and the Ravens franchise are businesses that understand they exist because they have customers. If only government and lawmakers got that.