Super Bowl

Ray Rice and Punishing Abusive Cops


Ray Rice surveillance video
surveillance video

Before the start of the football season, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games for knocking out his then-fiancée (now wife) in an Atlantic City elevator. The suspension came not after Rice's actions came under legal scrutiny (he got a deferred deal from the same prosecutor and judge now trying to send single mother Shaneen Allen to jail for up to 11 years from bringing her legal firearm into New Jersey), but after TMZ released video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator. After video was released yesterday of the actual punch the knocked her out, the NFL moved to suspend Rice indefinitely. The Baltimore Ravens cut him.

As Andrew Sharp writes at Grantland, however, despite the NFL's new-found "zero tolerance" police for domestic violence, Rice is far from the only domestic abuser on NFL payroll, including players like the Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy, who was convicted of domestic violence, and San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald, booked on domestic violence charges less than 72 hours after the NFL's policy announcement. Both played this weekend. Sharp argues that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to go, and it's hard to argue with that.

The NFL, especially under Goodell's leadership, has sought to present a hardline attitude toward misconduct. Despite marijuana being legalized in two of the states in which NFL players work, the league maintains a strict anti-drug policy. Cleveland Brown Josh Gordon was recently suspended for the season after testing positive for marijuana. No video necessary.

As the NFL is pressured by fans, other stakeholders, and members of the general public into taking a tougher stance on domestic violence, it will be interesting to see how much the players union resists punishment without "due process." But Ray Rice wasn't thrown in jail for knocking his wife unconscious—he won't even face charges thanks to government functionaries more interested in punishing mothers who exercise their Second Amenment rights—he was suspended indefinitely (and without pay) from the NFL.  It's the NFL's prerogative to do so in order to protect or rehabilitate its image, even when it believes that prerogative require strict anti-marijuana policies (a growing majority of Americans supports marijuana legalization, millions have tried it).

The NFL is protecting its bottom line, as Rice's victim, now wife, Janay, noted in an Instagram post expressing dismay at the public outrage-fueled disciplinary measures taken against her husband when she wrote the NFL's move was informed by a desire to "gain ratings." The NFL's bottom line, in turn, is the players' bottom line, so the players union should also be interested in stricter measures against domestic abusers.

Public unions and local police departments have no such incentive. Absent black swan events like Ferguson, Missouri, police unions and cops can resist reforms even when a police department's image is at rock bottom and digging, as is the case in Albuquerque. Without the attention drawn to the St. Louis area by Ferguson, exposés like Radley Balko's at The Washington Post would be easier for policymakers to ignore.  Ferguson's police department would not be seeing potential reforms. Because unlike the NFL and other private parties, the local government in Ferguson and everywhere in America has a guaranteed stream of revenue from taxpayers. Fans of the NFL, and the league's sponsors, could eventually tune out. As Grantland's Sharp noted, no one seemed to be talking about Sunday's games or even making fun of Tony Romo this week, it's been all about Ray Rice. That's bad for business, and means the league will respond and adapt to the public outrage and concerns.  With a guaranteed stream of revenue, entrenched institutional privileges, and a culture that reveres them, police departments—whose members are two to four times more likely to abuse their spouses than the general public—won't have to respond or adapt to outrage and concerns, sometimes even when it reaches a Ferguson level. They just have to ride it out. 

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  1. Kinda OT but just throwing this out:…..B_Comments

    Now society has an interesting dilemma. On one hand, domestic abuse is such a huge problem that there really is no option but to come down hard on the perpetrators. And since it is common for spouses to stay in abusive marriages, society feels an obligation to protect people even when they don’t ask for it, on the belief that they should ask for it, or they would if they could.

    1. Note to Jezebel, Gawker, and Huffington Post: When you quote this post out of context be sure to leave out the text that doesn’t support your misleading headlines.

      Bless you, Scott Adams.

  2. The Ray Rice debacle is one giant object lesson on why you don’t legislate based on the whims of the mob. Janay Rice says that Ray’s punishment is too harsh and is essentially ruining her life along with his. And her view should count the most in all of this.

    Warning: Trigger Warning

    Seeing the video from the elevator is a “trigger” for her in remembering her own struggle. Domestic abuse “happens so often,” Sklar said, and there needs to be greater understanding by everyone, especially those in positions of power, including leaders in the NFL.…..?hpt=hp_t1

    1. Janay Rice has been infantilized by the sanctimony of people making a statement against domestic violence. They have essentially declared that she is a hostage or mentally incompetent to make her own decisions on this matter. They don’t actually care about what she wants.

  3. I’m now officially bored with this. 29 years of marriage, never touched my wife, never would. Some people, not so restrained.

    And now it’s cool my employer can fire me for domestic issues cause OUTRAGE. The NAP/libertarian part of me says, “hey, free association, fire for any cause, no cause, fuck you that’s why….”

    But mostly this is just more mobacracy and responding to the derp of the day, and that just makes me puke.


    1. I keep seeing a close up of Chris Tucker’s face and him yelling “Janay, you got knocked the *fuck* out!”

    2. 29 years of marriage, never touched my wife, never would.

      I’m sorry.

      Unless you meant “hit.”

      1. I hit my wife whenever she lets me. Unfortunately, not tonight, but I’m gonna hit dat azz tomorrow for sure!

        1. Wow, even I was ambiguous. Ok, how about knockout?

          1. Yes, she is as a matter of fact.

            1. Trying to see if flattery gets you everywhere?

    3. People do get fired for stuff they post on their facebook or social media…

      https :// 11-brutal-reminders- that-you-can-and-will-get-fired-for- 84931050659. html

      …so what’s the difference between some schlub in an office and Rice? There just has to be some sort of clause in any NFL contract which allows this.

  4. She was coming right at him, he feared for his life!

    Difficult to tell if that comment was from Ray Rice or a 400 lb. cop being approached by a 5 lb. toy poodle, I know.

    But hey, it’s Balmer, anyway, hon. When in Balmer, do as the Baltimorons do. Well, ok, I admit that’s not good advice for anyone.

    But Balmer is trending. I’m sure that Hampden is an up an coming hipster happening place. It’s going to be like the next Greenwich Village. Last few days when driving through, I’ve seen several Eurotrash hippy couples backpacking through. That’s when you know you’ve arrived.

    1. The incident happened in New Jersey, not Baltimore.

      Ray Rice is from New York, not Baltimore.

  5. I for one, am getting way sick of the ‘NFL players are role models for our kids and are saints’ meme.

    NFL players are not moral role models for kids. They are entertainers who are doing their jobs.

  6. Did she hit him first? I haven’t seen the video.

    1. I haven’t seen it yet, but was talking with my comrades at work today and apparently she DID hit him, first or last or in between, not sure. But it also sounds like she was going for him to maybe lay another on him when he floored her.

      Again, I cannot confirm that account, I didn’t see the video.

      But we were discussing it and my only thought was, like I sort of referred to in my above post, here is a guy who is used to 350 lb. NFL lineman coming at him at full speed intending to do serious bodily harm. So I doubt that he hit her in self defense or anything. More like he just got pissed off.

      1. She definitely charged him and swung at him, but from my view it was after the first hit before the knockout punch.

        1. Crimes of passion.

          Or if not a crime, maybe these two lovebirds should play this knockout game in private?

    2. Really hard to tell. I say no, others on this site have said yes.

      1. She also took a little swing at him before they got into the elevator.

        He snapped when she was about to hit him again. He could have easily fought her off without clocking her.

        While horrific, it shouldn’t ruin both of their lives.

        1. Ray has plenty of ‘revenue’, so it is in fact, in everyone’s best interest that it does ruin both of their lives. For the children, of course.

    3. Okay, just watched it. It looks like she elbowed him in the face and then came at him.


  7. […] same prosecutor and judge now trying to send single mother Shaneen Allen to jail for up to 11 years from bringing her legal firearm into New Jersey […]

    You know, while I think NJ’s firearms laws are complete crap [and largely unconstitutional], and the prosecutor there is a disgrace to New Jersey for this… it isn’t quite true that her firearm was “legal”.

    Because it wasn’t legal for her to have it in New Jersey, which is why she got arrested.

    I mean, unless Reason has a special in-house definition of “legal” that I was previously unaware of, the entire problem is that New Jersey law made it illegal for her to have the gun (and its ammunition).

    1. The full faith and credit clause.

      1. Plus the 2nd Amendment, backed by the 14th.

        1. So hey, speaking of which, is there some kind of fund for Shaneen Allen that people are donating to? I think it would go a long way to improving gun owners image if they came out in defense of someone who wasnt a (sort of) white guy who killed a black dude.

            1. The website of the attorney supposedly handling the case:


  8. Bitch had it comin’

    1. Well, maybe we should be focusing on what incentives we could provide Ray Rice not to beat his wife, rather than attempting to prohibit his doing so. That way we can determine a price-point at which refraining from slugging the girl becomes more worthwhile to Rice than the intangible benefits of laying her out.

      Oh… wrong Coase.

    2. My opinion on the matter has always been conditional upon who hits first. In the video I saw, it looked like he did (others have said different, there might be different clips) so based upon that, he was in the wrong. If I see a video which changes that, I will change my opinion again.

      I feel this way because, unlike others who comment here, I’m not a sexist who believes that women have no agency or responsibility. Or that anything that happens to a woman is somehow worse than when it happens to a man. Also, unlike certain other commenters here, I don’t feel that I have to parrot the latest pc nonsense so others will like me.

      1. “My opinion on the matter has always been conditional upon who hits first.”

        Like when that college girl assaulted that cop’s riot shield with her face in AZ?
        Totally self defense, right?

        1. Walking up behind cops on a riot line is akin to walking up on an industrial thresher. What shocked me is that she was allowed to get that close in the first place.

          If it had been a guy, you wouldn’t have given a shit. Were you wildly indignant about that kid who got kicked in the head by a train engineer for getting too close that video clip that reason kept running?

          Somehow I doubt it. But if you can find me some quotes of you responding with anything but mirth, I’d love to see them.

  9. Who you are and who you know is more important than what you do.

  10. So are people claiming a man must not defend himself from a woman?

    I’m not sure how this is domestic abuse (at least on his part)? Thought teh wymenz wanted to be treated equally? Except when it’s not to their advantage, I guess.

    1. I had a girlfriend try to hit me once. I caught it and pinned her arm behind her back. She never tried to hit me again. Seemed a bit more manly than punching her in the face.

      1. Yeah, I agree he used more force than I would have, but if an effeminate guy pulled what she pulled we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

        1. You kidding? Decking a twink is a hate crime!

        2. Yeah, I was sort of having the same thought. So if effeminate pajama boy approaches you and starts smacking you about the face, how many times does he get to hit you and you politely ask him to stop before you can knock him out?

          And in the movies, tough girls are always beating up guys 3 times their size. And women are officially equal now to men in every way, and there is no difference, outside of some false social construct created by the patriarchy. How did Rice know she wasn’t about to pull out a mega kung-fu attack on him and crush his balls in?

          1. how many times does he get to hit you and you politely ask him to stop before you can knock him out?


            1. You’re three times more patient than I am.

              1. Three is only for effeminate pajama boys and other inherently harmless individuals, If there is a chance the attacker could cause actual damage then of course the answer is once.

    2. Another time at a bar I made some sarcastic comment to a young lady (me? sarcastic?) and when I turned towards her her waffle stomper was mere inches from my face. Nice and steady. Turned out her brother competed in Taekwondo at the state level, and she was his practice partner. I never insulted her again.


  12. I just watched the video. It almost looks staged. When she smacked him outside the elevator and first time in the elevator (she definitely hit the guy twice seemingly unprovoked) she didn’t look angry or upset. And she was coming at him when he hit her in the elevator, but again, she didn’t look angry, buy maybe a little bit distraught or drunk, stoned, something, but not angry. Weird stuff.

  13. “I don’t know if I believe that the NFL hadn’t seen the Ray Rice elevator footage before it was released by TMZ on Monday morning. It’s just impossible. The NFL is the most powerful league on earth, with unlimited funds and its own security team to gather evidence whenever players are investigated. If TMZ could get the video, the NFL could have gotten the video.”

    I think this explains the left’s irrational attitude towards corporations. They may honestly believe that a big business is omnipotent and cannot wrap their minds around the notion that it may not be.

    TMZ is a sleazy outfit, it is entirely possible that they got the video through unscrupulous means.

  14. think this explains the left’s irrational attitude towards corporations. They may honestly believe that a big business is omnipotent and cannot wrap their minds around the notion that it may not be.

    The problem with the soft left regarding capitalism, in most cases is easier to figure out when you take into account one simple fact. Most of them are ignorant, willingly or not, of the difference between free market capitalism and cronyism. Now if we are talking about the hard left, they are probably well aware of it, but they just embrace fascism in the name of the worker’s paradise, which it will surely never be, but they are once again ignorant, or they plan on being among the elite ruling class.

  15. The suspension came not after Rice’s actions came under legal scrutiny (he got a deferred deal from the same prosecutor and judge now trying to send single mother Shaneen Allen to jail for up to 11 years from bringing her legal firearm into New Jersey)

    Notions of collective guilt or socially-inured conspiracy theories, both staples of feminist patriarchy theory, are so much intellectual fluff, but goddamn if sometimes it doesn’t just write itself for them.

  16. Let’s see. I have thee dream job. Making millions playing football. Free drinks at every bar and pussy cra

    1. crawling all over me. All I have to do is not be a piece of shit punk ass bitch thug. But that is too much for me to handle. Fuck Ray Rice.

      1. And who would not fire him if that video came out as well as who his employer was. Other than the government. If he want’s to act like a bitch without getting fired he should have became a cop or a teacher.

        1. This wasn’t some random crazy bitch he just picked up who started throwing hay makers and scratching his eyes out. It’s his fiance who while acting like an ass should have been treated like his fucking fiance.

          1. Maybe she should have treated him like her fiance, too.

            But let’s all go back to piously screaming about how this is the worst atrocity ever in the history of mankind. I mean, it’s not like people are having their heads removed from their bodies with less than surgical precision all over YouTube or anything.

  17. Meanwhile in St. Louis, there have been 24 murders since Michael Brown has been killed…

    Tomorrow protesters plan on shutting down the major freeway in St. Louis, as well as doing something about Burger King for reasons that isn’t clear to anyone (Apparently because they are based in Florida, where Trayvon Martin was shot)

  18. I misread the title as “Ray Rice Punishing Abusive Cops”

    I thought, “hey, win-win!”

  19. *Cleveland Brown Josh Gordon was recently suspended for the season after testing positive for marijuana. No video necessary.*

    Josh Gordon has been failing drug tests since he was in college and has failed multiple tests while playing for the NFL. This was not his “first strike” so stop acting like he’s being punished for messing up once. PLUS, his all-powerful players union agreed to this tract of punishment during collective bargaining. No video was necessary because they have ample samples of his urine, you disengenous slobs.

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