Sports & Outdoors

Students enter dialouge on Ray Rice controversy

There is not one person in the world who deserves to be beaten in any way, and punishment should apply to any and all abusers even if they are in positions of power. In Ray Rice’s case, the NFL player was punished righteously.

On Feb. 15, Ray Rice knocked out and spat on then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator. A few days later a video, which showed Rice dragging his wife out of the elevator, became available on TMZ Sports.

Rice was indicted on a third-degree assault charge, but he only received a two-game suspension from the NFL. Rice’s actions warranted a longer suspension.

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, admitted he did wrong and implemented a new program regarding domestic violence in which a first-time offender would receive a six-game suspension and a second-time offender would be banned from the NFL. This program, however, did not apply to Rice.

The Rice case went into a deeper spiral when TMZ sports released a second video actually showing Rice beating Palmer and then going on to spit on her. Since then, Rice has been released from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL.

Ray Rice shouldn’t play in the NFL this year, next year or ever. What he did was terrible and he should face the consequences for his actions.

“There is no justification for knocking someone out and spitting on them twice, no justification,” first-year student Will Silverstein said.

Why are there players like Rice in the NFL who do this?

“The cultural expectation that men should be so tough creates these outbursts,” Silverstein said.

However, Roger Goodell’s role in this investigation should not be forgotten.

Goodell is an embarrassment to the NFL, even if he did not end up seeing the second video as he has stated previously.

Goodell followed the domestic violence policy by originally suspending Rice for only two games.

The fact that Rice was seen dragging Palmer out of an elevator and admitted to knocking her out deserved a severe punishment immediately. One that overrules the NFL’s so-called “policy,” as the policy is an embarrassment to anyone who has ever been abused.

“I feel like [domestic violence] is a problem that has been overlooked for a while…[the players] get off easier than they should,” first-year student Maxwell Coleman said.

The players will no longer get off so easy. The NFL is taking a harsher stance on domestic violence, and no matter how much of a high-profile player you are, the punishment will be the same for all, as it should be.

“The NFL is the most grossing sports league in the world and has lots of power over its followers to send messages like this, that will not tolerate domestic violence in their players,” Rob Korbel, a sophomore at the University, said. In addition, every situation off the field for players is magnified.

“The NFL players live in a society where people are obsessed with their every move, so their off-the-field actions usually get surfaced and issues like [the Ray Rice case] are coming to attention,” Korbel said.

Not every player is like Rice, but some do have the same type of ego and the problems that come along with that ego.

“With talent comes ego, and with ego comes a lack of self-awareness. A league full of extremely talented people will have a degree of self-unawareness,” Korbel said.

Fans should not boycott their team just because of one player’s impulsive actions, though.

The off-field situation is embarrassing, but it should not deter the successes of the team on the field. The other players on the team are exceptionally talented and may not have issues like Rice.

Rice has finally been punished correctly, but it was a process that was carried out far too long.