Blurred Lines within the NFL – Jamie Arena

It is difficult for me to understand why domestic violence takes place, and how anyone with a heart can justify it. Luckily, I have never witnessed domestic violence first hand, but that is a reason pushing me to unveil the details behind such abuse. Recently, the subject of domestic violence has become extremely relevant within the NFL community including staff, players, and fans. Ray Rice, former Baltimore Raven’s running back, ┬áhas been in headlines for The New York Times, ESPN, and Fox News because a video that went viral of him punching his fiance. What are the consequences for his assault within his organization of work? As of right now Rice is cut from the Ravens and Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, has suspended him from the league. Is that justifiable enough? Apparently not for Rice. He is attempting to appeal the organizations decision, and has until 11;59 pm on Tuesday, September 16 to do so. I keep wondering to myself how could something so cruel ever have the chance for an appeal. There is simply a flaw in the system. Rice served a two game suspension for the act, under the leagues Personal Conduct Policy (which is ridiculously too lenient in my opinion). Currently, Rice could fight his second suspension by claiming article 46 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Within the agreement it is stated that the NFL commissioner and the specific club can not penalize a single player for the same act. Rice will possibly argue that the league could not suspend him twice, or that there could not be a suspension on top of having his multi-year contract terminated by the Baltimore Ravens. Also, there is possible cause of public influence, but only if the commissioner punished him after the video had gone viral and felt pressured by the public. But would it potentially be wrong for the public to pressure him? I don’t think so at all. The National Football League is a public organization, whose supporters are the general public. It is the public who watches games on television, who purchases merchandise, tickets, and memorabilia. It is the public who gives the players, managers, and owners a need to work. Without the public’s acceptance, the NFL shouldn’t make any rash decisions. So, if Goodell’s decision was based on the publics influence, then good for him and good for the NFL. Aside from the public’s influence, the league itself needs to make administrative changes in order to avoid loopholes when laws are broken. The league should be less worried about what superficially tarnishes their reputation, and more worried about what makes them an admirable league of legally abiding athletes and employees. Aside from the league itself, how much responsibility should be put on law enforcement? What role do they play in this? Lastly, I wonder if the reprocussions would be different if Ray Rice were not a celebrity.