The NFL: A Celebration of Excellence and Absurdity

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Jul 24, 2014; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball during practice at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I touched on the Ray Rice suspension a few days ago when the NFL handed down their “punishment” of a two-game suspension for his domestic violence incident against his wife in the off-season.  Rice told his side of the story.  His wife plead the NFL for leniency for what I can only guess is for monetarily reasons.  ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith on Friday on ESPN’s First Take indicated that she should have somehow known what would provoke the beating.  He was subsequently suspended from the air for one week starting tomorrow.

Then there are the fans.  The Baltimore Ravens fans.  The cheered Ray Rice when he took the field at training camp.  Not only did he get cheered, he got a standing ovation.  Wow.  So this is what it has come down to folks, huh?  Rice is such a celebrated running back that society is ok overlooking his wife beating transgression.  I know what Rice has done on the field for the Ravens.  I get that.  Good player.  What he did, even if it was just one time, was inexcusable.  I know women that have left their men for just one incident.  Of course I know those that have stayed.  We aren’t in their home and we don’t know what kind of counseling they are getting.  What I do know is fans who cheered Rice on and gave him the standing-o should be ashamed of themselves.

I’m not going to get into the whole Rice got off easy thing.  I’m not going to compare it to the Arizona Cardinals Daryl Washington year-long suspension.  Like I said, been there done that.  What I would like to know though is to what extent does a professional athlete have to go to where his fans will no longer tolerate the off-the-field incidents or on-the-field transgressions for that matter?