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Goodell, NFL sends poor message in Rice case

The Associated Press

I woke up Monday disgusted with what I saw.

The leaked video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancé Janay Palmer is horrifying, the brutality shocking. The fact that he did not hesitate to hit a woman, let alone a loved one, speaks volumes about the man Rice is; serving as a true testament to what a flawed human being he is.

Like Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell put his own flaws on display. He originally suspended Rice for just two games, a move inspired by unparalleled incompetence. The Associated Press then claimed league officers had the video from an Atlantic City, N.J. casino elevator five months ago, contradicting what Goodell had said.

A case of domestic abuse was covered up.

Of course, a few drinks or weed gets you four games under the shield. Punching your fiancé in the face though? That will only get you two. In other words, harming others before yourself is the way to go.

The Ravens cut Rice on Monday, but they reportedly knew about the video as well. Goodell then issued an indefinite suspension towards the former Rutgers star, but it was just a formality at that point. The NFL had already screwed up, sending the message that domestic abuse is no big deal.

That sounds like a joke, because the normal person would like to think everyone understands the severity of domestic abuse. Yet, as I went about my day on the Seton Hall campus Monday, I was yet again disgusted.

Some students thought the consequences were too harsh. Others thought it was funny watching Palmer go limp. I even overheard kids come to Rice’s defense, saying that Palmer was coming at him. That he did the right thing. That a women needs to be put in her place.

Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

It is sad really, to think that such a mindset could exist, especially after the public backlash the league and Goodell has received.

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Then again, that mindset is nothing more than a product of the exact message Goodell sent when he covered up the incident and told the world that Rice only deserved a two game ban.

Roger, you really outdid yourself this time.

Gary Phillips can be reached at or on twitter @GPhillips2727.


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