Domestic abuse proves problem in sports

Dakota Ratley

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When Ray Rice’s then-fiance Janay Palmer hit that elevator floor, so did America’s collective jaw.

Standing at just 5’8” and weighing just 212 pounds Ray Rice is not really a big guy. At least, not on the girdiron when there are freaks of nature like 6’5”, 289 pound JJ Watt.

So why is that when those elevator doors closed, Rice was suddenly so tough?

I’m a lifelong football fan. I generally give athletes more benefit of the doubt than I should. When the first video surfaced of Ray Rice dragging his wife out of the elevator, I didn’t want to believe what all signs pointed to.

I didn’t want to believe when my personal favorite player in the league, Adrian Peterson, was charged with child abuse.

I didn’t want to believe there was a correlation between my favorite sport that I hold so dear, and one of the biggest problems in America today.

Well, I should have.

There is simply no excuse for abuse. None. 

“But she got in his face!”

So? Walk away from a potentially violent situation. It’s really not that difficult.

I understand that athletes are people. I understand they make mistakes. However, at the same time they are role models to thousands of kids growing up in America.

We should see Ray Rice breaking tackles on the way to the end zone.

Instead, we have Ray Rice hitting a woman because they got into an argument.

It’s disgusting. And we really don’t help matters.

In the grand scheme of things, this is just a blip on the NFL’s radar.

They’ll put out commercials about how domestic violence is wrong. They’ll give it a few years, and it’ll all blow over.

Why? The fanbase isn’t going anywhere. 

We can talk about how the NFL tried to sweep it under the rug. We can say that they need to do more to prevent this from happening again. Maybe they will surprise us all and really put a foot down.

Regardless of what they do, the NFL will get their money. Pro athletes will get their money. The sponsors will get their money.

We will all still gather around the television on Sunday to watch our favorite team beat our friend’s favorite team.

However, maybe some things are a little more important.