By Michael Parnell
The Janay and Ray Rice video shows what happened that night in February. It is clear that Mr. Rice punched his then fiancée so hard it knocked her out.
The first video showed the aftermath of what took place on that elevator in Atlantic City. We saw the now Mrs. Rice being pulled from the car. That first video is the one which prompted Roger Goodell and his NFL leadership to decide that the proper punishment for Mr. Rice, who played for the Baltimore Ravens, was a two-game suspension.
Now that the second video is out in the public eye, Mr. Rice is now suspended indefinitely and his contract with the Ravens terminated.
The comedian Chris Rock commented on this by saying, “Just to be clear, Ray Rice was not fired for beating his wife. He was fired because a video of him beating his wife was released.”
The truth of the matter is that what has been done in this case by Mr. Goodell and the NFL is only been done to save their own face. It reminds me of a line from Blazing Saddles: “Gentlemen, we must do something to save our phony baloney jobs!”
A message needs to be sent to the powers that be that we, the public which consumes their product, are disgusted with the way they have handled this and we are disgusted with the idea that a player in their league can beat his wife and literally get away with it.
What I am going to do is not watch their product for one week.
I love football. I played football until no one wanted me to play any longer. I love watching football.
The NFL is the number one viewed sport in this country — a multi-billion dollar industry.
The only way we can truly register our outrage at what seems to the NFL’s attitude toward women is to not watch their product. To affect the ratings is the only way to let them know that there is a problem in the way they run their business.
My reason for wanting this done is to ask people to wake up to what is taking place around them. A commentator told the truth about us, the viewing public. We are disgusted by what we saw on that video, but when it comes time to watch our team play, we sit down in front of the television and continue to watch as if nothing happened.
We compartmentalize our lives. There is outrage here, but we set that outrage aside quickly when it comes to something we want to do that involves the people that are part of the outrage.
When I put forth this idea, a person I knew said he did not like it because it would hurt the players. The players are not going to be hurt by this at all. The players have contracts and will be paid.
The people who will be hurt are the owners of teams and the NFL. They live by the ratings. Their money comes from advertising, and advertising rates come from eyeballs on the television. Taking one week and refusing to watch their product is the best way to register displeasure in how this sordid affair has been handled.
Let us join together and not watch the NFL for one week. Let the powers that be know that we do not accept violence against women.