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Ray Rice is awful, but let’s not pretend baseball has a great record on domestic violence

Jul 28, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

Milton Bradley angry

The sports media atmosphere has been sucked up by the Ray Rice/NFL/Stephen A. Smith/etc. story of the past week. Specifically, on how awful Rice’s actions were, how the NFL’s “punishment” of Rice was laughable and how Smith’s (and others’) response to it all showed that there are a lot of messed up attitudes about domestic violence floating around the sports world.

Today Mike Bates at SB Nation notes, however, that baseball’s closet is full of all kinds of domestic violence skeletons. And what’s worse, Major League Baseball has rarely if ever done anything about it. Bud Selig has never suspended anyone for it and in only a couple of instances did teams act, issuing short suspensions in those cases. It’s an eye-opening and at times stomach-churning read.

It’s an interesting and somewhat complicated thing to compare the NFL’s and Major League Baseball’s reactions to domestic violence (or drunk driving or any other off-the-field legal and/or deportment issue). On the one hand it’s legitimate to say that the NFL is awful because (a) it chose to weigh in on the severity and moral gravity of the offense in question; and (b) in doing so, definitively stated “eh, we don’t think knocking a woman unconscious is that bad.” On the other hand, Major League Baseball has utterly failed to weigh in at all. MLB may couch it in terms of it not wanting to weigh in in an area where law enforcement treads, or it may choose to emphasize the treatment/counseling services it provides players, but make no mistake: there is an implicit fear of bad public relations and a certain brand of moral cowardice at play in MLB’s stance on these matters too.  In some ways it’s the opposite of the PED thing: the NFL clearly has a problem and gets criticized for doing little to stop it, but MLB is no better and gets a pass since it keeps it all under wraps.

To be clear: the NFL does not get extra credit merely for doing something. What they did was to clearly state what its values are regarding domestic violence and those values are odious. At the same time, it’s possible that, if confronted with the same situation and inspired to weigh in, Major League Baseball would do more than the NFL did. No, there’s no reason to assume they would so in no way construe this as a defense of MLB, but they have at least taken the “it’s better to keep one’s mouth closed and be thought an idiot than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” approach.

Maybe the strongest lesson to draw from this is that, when it comes to domestic violence, racism, drunk driving or any other offenses against laws or morals, it’s best not to have video or audio tape of the incident. Because I feel like neither the NFL or the NBA would have gone as far with Donald Sterling or Ray Rice if it wasn’t for that. And I feel like, if a highly publicized and recorded incident involving a baseball player came up, Major League Baseball would feel compelled to rethink its hands-off stance.

If and when such a thing occurs, I’d be very curious to see if MLB errs on the side of severe punishment or errs on the side of leniency.

  1. raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I had to Google the Stephen A Smith part of the debacle, as I never watch any show on which he appears. He’s a loud mouth who often speaks/shouts first and thinks later. This was a particularly outrageous example of that.

    Rice’s punishment was far too light, essentially stating spouse abuse is 1/2 as bad as steroid use. I am not confident though that MLB would do better.

    • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      The punishment is on par with previous precedents set for domestic abuse. Steroid comparison is apple to oranges for me. One is trying to police players lives outside of football one is trying to police life related to football(cheating).

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Well ok how about this then. The NFL suspends players for 4 games if they’re caught smoking pot but 2 games for beating your girlfriend unconscious?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        One is trying to police players lives outside of football one is trying to police life related to football(cheating).

        Josh Gordon is probably going to be suspended for a year for weed. Tyrelle Pryor got 5 games for trading college merchandise for tattoos in college. Players get multiple game suspensions for “drugs of abuse” troubles, including alcohol.

        Beat your wife so bad you knock her out, 2 games.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        I don’t think NFL players should be tested for weed at all. 4 games is certainly too much but that rule is in the collective bargaining agreement. A union and an organization came together and agreed upon that 4 game rule. Tyrelle Pryor’s ruling Was to deter college students from violating NCAA rules like selling autographs and if they get caught saying screw it ill go pro. I just don’t think it is smart to compare Ray Rices suspension to others. It is not enough games because violence against women is bad. It isn’t too lenient because they are harsher on weed smokers.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        I just don’t think it is smart to compare Ray Rices suspension to others.

        You made the comparison that it was “non football related” to “football related” vis a vis PEDs. I linked a bunch of much longer suspensions that were non-football related.

        It’s a matter of fact the NFL has no qualms about punishing players for off-the-field behavior that has no bearing on the NFL. Not only did they handle down this ridiculously small suspension, they had the nerve to actually think they brought down the “iron fist of justice” for this case.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        i was just commenting on Rayfan1’s comparison of spouse abuse vs. PED use, not bringing up the comparison myself. I don’t know anywhere the NFL has said this is bringing down the Iron Fist of justice….whatever that is.

        It is up to our Legal system and police to combat domestic abuse in this country not Roger Goodell. Maybe the prosecutor should be bring the “iron fist of justice.”

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Baseball also has a bad record on alcohol at times, even to today.

        Ask one of the Three Amigos inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday about his DWI, about his one player, Josh Hancock, killed in a DWI wreck, or about David Freese and other members of his team (his team, before Matheny’s) who have had multiple law-enforcement issues related to alcohol.

        Ask Bud if anything was ever done to La Russa.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        I don’t know anywhere the NFL has said this is bringing down the Iron Fist of justice….whatever that is.

        The NFL thinks they were being tough on this punishment.

      • genericcommenter - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        You bring up some good points, but it’s the wrong audience. “For the women” might as well be the new “for the children” when it comes to making an argument. I don’t think you were supporting/excusing domestic violence (as I don’t, either), but to many people, even being as bold as attempting to form a non-reactionary thought about such a taboo subject is akin to supporting shooting women and drowning puppies.

        I don’t think it’s off the mark to merely bring up the different circumstances here. In the real world there are PLENTY of (non-) crimes that bring harsher penalties than much more reprehensible ones.

        I also think it’s wrong to compare to steroids or drugs, and just make crazy exaggerations like the articles that say “Get caught smoking pot once and get suspended 16 games; knocking your wife out gets 2.” They DO fall under different provisions.. And you know what? Maybe pot should get 0 suspension- so wife beating ought to be penalized more than pot smoking for sue.

        BTW, spousal abuse and uprovoked violence are generally rewarded in a number of professions.. and I’m talking about ones that affect our daily lives much more than football players. Frankly, I think being outraged about this is a convenient way for cowards to make a stand about something that they fail to do when presented with formidable opposition. And in some cases it’s certainly an opportunity for some people to attempt to make amends for aiding and defending other abuses in their professional lives- or going overboard to emphasize a personal relationship.

    • southpaw2k - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      PEDs and other banned substances are all covered by the substance abuse policy. Domestic violence would fall under the personal conduct policy of the NFL. The substance abuse policy is laid out in very detailed fashion in the CBA that was agreed upon in 2011. Players know what kind of punishment will be handed out should they ever test positive for anything ranging from marijuana to steroids.

      The personal conduct policy is a much more gray area that only Roger Goodell administers. Only he has any idea what kinds of things he takes into account when evaluating how long a player should be suspended for actions that apply here. Ray Rice’s actions cannot be compared to someone like Josh Gordon or Daryl Washington because they had (repeatedly) violated the substance abuse policy. He can be compared to Ben Roethlisberger, though Roethlisberger had a longer suspension because he had at least three incidents that were strikes against him. Rice had a major action that warranted a suspension, but it was his first time ever being arrested for anything.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Here, how about this then:
      The NFL’s handling of the situation was absurd. The punishment levied was not sufficient.

      Now as to what I was getting at in the punishment comparison:
      Yes, the two sorts of misdeeds I listed are completely different. However, the type of discipline meted our by the NFL was the same–i.e., a suspension. Whether the NFL or anyone else agrees, that invites punishment comparisons and makes it look like the NFL considers steroids, marijuana, etc as worse than domestic violence.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Playing devil’s advocate here. How long would you be suspended from work if you beat your wife?

      Probably somewhere around zero days.

      I am not passing judgment an the actions of any employer, but most people here ripping the NFL or MLB would receive no punishment at their place of employment for breaking the law.

      Everyone that would lose 1/8th their annual salary for a domestic incident that did not result in a lawsuit or trial raise their hands. Again, NOT saying what the NFL did was right….but what they did was more than would happen to almost anyone here.

      If Craig is caught plagiarizing (i.e. using PEDs), he’s probably fired. If he has his kids taken by the state and is investigated for child abuse and no charges are filed, nothing probably happens.

      If the NFL and MLB are reprehensible…well, the rest of society is no better.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

        Actually, paper, if I were found guilty of domestic abuse in my job I would very likely be fired. There is language in my contract to the effect that actions outside the workplace that embarrass the corporation can result in termination.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

        Yes, I probably would too….but if nothing came of it, like in the Rice situation, would your employer do anything?

      • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Depends on whether they knew about it. Assuming my ugly mug made the news, yep. It might get labelled “not for cause” in that case though.

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        This is not a reasonable comparison. Compare Ray Rice to any other person who brought that much negative attention to their employee through an act of violence and the vast majority of them would have been walked off the premises by security immediately.

        But yes, the more money you have, the more likely you can get away with anything. Ask the creep that punched and kicked his girlfriend 117 times on videotape. He never served a second in jail and the company he embarrassed had to publicly apologize for firing him. His Twitter wall is one long stream of people washing his ass.

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        Ok. So we don’t think he should be punished based on his actions, but based on the negative press. Then I am confused by all of the moral outrage.

        Should moral outrage be based on how many people know about the actions, or the actions themselves?

        Again, still hypocritical of people to vilify MLB or the NHL vis-a-vis domestic violence when their own place of employment would do nothing (especially if there is a union) for a domestic incident that resulted in no trial. WRT moral outrage, publicity should be irrelevant…unless you think PR is the tail that should wag the dog.

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        Nobody said he shouldn’t be punished for his actions or outraged by them. You’re specifically painting him as being victimized by his own celebrity here and I’m pointing out that that position is fallacious.

  2. nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    I wonder if the video inside the elevator will ever get leaked. Maybe there is a reason in that video the police, prosecutors, and Commish took it easy on him? Just playing devils advocate a bit…

    • The Common Man - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Big strong guy punched out the woman he supposedly loves. Regardless of what was going on in that elevator, that fact is inexcusable. Some devils should not be advocated for, and you become a jackass for doing it.

      • ravens2014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        “Regardless of what was going on in that elevator, that fact is inexcusable.”

        when did it become a fact that he punched her? you have some evidence that shows this fact?

      • Mike Bates - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        You’re right. He might not have punched her. He might have kicked her. Or choked her out. Or slammed her head into the wall or a floor. Or maybe she just tripped and knocked herself out! We’d better cover all those bases. Go Ravens.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        ravens2014 is 100% right. It’s entirely possible, even likely perhaps, that she fell and her face hit his closed fist while he just happened to be moving in an uppercut fashion because he was practicing a broadway number that included a parade march.

        For those of you who have trouble discerning such things – that’s sarcasm.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        its quite possible that she was hitting him repeatedly and he pushed her off him and she flew up against the wall and got knocked out. Just sayin….anyway i’ve never really liked the guy but it is a fact that you don’t know exactly what went on inside the elevator. and it is ok to have a different view point, a view point that would want to wait until the rest of the facts are reveal and not be a jackass.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        and i am not saying it is ok to push a woman into a wall. Just saying it paints a different picture in my mind about what happened. A different picture than what the majority seems to think happened, which is him beating, and hitting and stomping her.

      • Wesley Clark - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        In all fairness, he could have employed the age old playground bully technique of using her own fist. “Stop hitting yourself” taunt included free at no extra charge.

        The problem with having any sort of NFL post on here is that you get these Neanderthals commenting.

    • 78mu - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      I can’t think of anything she could have done in the elevator that would condone the assault unless she came at him with a knife, a big knife. He probably gets hit harder in pre-game warmups than what she could do to him.

      She probably told him to f-off and his ego couldn’t take it. If that’s what Harbaugh thinks is a good guy I pity his children for being taught how men should treat women.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        Let’s say she hauled off and hit him 7 times before he threw her off himself into the wall versus her mouthing off and him hitting her. Wouldn’t you cut him more slack if the first thing turned out to be the truth.

        It doesn’t make it right, it just shapes differently how you perceive Rice.

      • mikhelb - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        I once saw one of my friends hitting a guy with her stiletto heels, she almost took the guy’s eye with three blows at his face, it all began because he refused to allow her to take the cab he stopped.

        On a different case, a cousin had to be hospitalized after his then girlfriend beat him up, and him being big and strong (alterofilia) tried to flee, the girl knocked him out with a pair of blows to the jaw and stomped on his head a couple of times before the daughter of my cousin intervened.

        The notion that a woman is incapable of hurting somebody is plainly wrong, but so it is the notion that a man can hit her just because he is stronger. We do not know what happened, and maybe as with the case with my friend and my cousin, both girls were not reprimanded by authorities because they said “how can a girl hurt a man? surely he did something and he is guilty of it”. Heck, the guy who was hit on the face had to spend two days detained before the charges were dropped (REALLY, they wanted to press charges against him).

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      There is obviously more going on than what is public. But short of her brandishing a gun or knife or weapon of some sorts on him, there is nothing that makes what he did excusable. If she had been threatening him with something of that sort it would have been made public by now. He made the conscious decision to hurt someone who (in comparison to him) was harmless. Male or female, that’s unacceptable. Even more unacceptable when it is someone who you supposedly love, and who trusts you.

  3. chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    MLB has, in my opinion, hidden for far too long behind the CBA as a reason for not disciplining players on matters such as domestic violence and drunk driving. Whenever those things occur involving MLB players the rhetoric we hear is that MLB has no providence under the CBA to suspend players for those types of actions.

    I would love it if once, just one time, a player was pulled over for DWI and the league said “bang, you’re out 5 games.” Let the MLBPA argue on the player’s behalf and file the appeal and let the public outcry over that player’s suspension ultimately being overturned at arbitration force both the league and union to agree to new stipulations as to punishments.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Isn’t there a precedent, already, for punishing players for running afoul of the law? Steinbrenner’s suspension(s) probably aren’t covered by the CBA, but what about Steve Howe and his multiple suspensions?

      I’d still like to know how Ron Washington never got punished for testing positive for cocaine.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        Steve Howe was many many CBAs ago.

        I would like to know that too about Washington. If not the league then the team should have suspended him for some period of time.

      • mikhelb - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        “I’d still like to know how Ron Washington never got punished for testing positive for cocaine.”

        Because since the mid 1980s in MLB cocaine positive tests (Ron, Howe, Gooden, etc) are basically discarded. Cocaine has been treated as a recreation drug and as an abuse drug, so there is no penalties against using it in MLB, in MiLB its another story.

        During the 1980s the comissioner tried to punish players who were buying and selling cocaine and other drugs, but the MLBPA threatened to go to a strike if somebody ever got suspended, then they decided to change commisioners and thats when Bud came along and that part in the history of MLB got buried.

    • billybawl - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      What does the CBA say about off-duty conduct? I thought that off-duty conduct was more typically addressed in player contracts — I’m thinking of the time that Jeff Kent injured himself popping wheelies on a motorbike and the Giants thought about taking some punitive action but backed off, probably because they didn’t want to offend a star player or prospective free agents. But I can’t say I’ve looked at it closely.

      Pro sports are obviously very different than other industries, but it’s generally very hard to discipline employees for even egregious off-duty conduct unless it’s directly related to job performance (e.g., suspended driver licenses, failure to report to work because employee is in jail, etc.).

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Short answer is that it doesn’t. The closest that the CBA comes to touching on disciplining off the field behavior (outside the JDA) is to say that the league may suspend a player for conduct that is detrimental to major league baseball.

        I suppose that if there were a case like Rice’s where a player was on video beating his wife/girlfriend Selig could say that damages the image of MLB and suspend the player under that clause and see where the union takes it.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Off-duty stuff is handled with the team’s contract. For instance, it’s how the Yanks got out of Aaron Boone’s contract, because he tore his ACL playing pickup bball, which was expressly forbidden in his contract.

      • jwbiii - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        From the Uniform Players Contract, which is a part of the CBA:

        By Club
        7.(b) The Club may terminate this contract upon written notice to the
        Player (but only after requesting and obtaining waivers of this contract
        from all other Major League Clubs) if the Player shall at any time:
        (1) fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the
        standards of good citizenship
        and good sportsmanship or to keep
        himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the Club’s train-
        ing rules; or [(2) Playing badly, or (3) Not showing up]


        5. For violation by the Player of any regulation or other provision of
        this contract, the Club may impose a reasonable fine and deduct the
        amount thereof from the Player’s salary or may suspend the Player
        without salary for a reasonable period or both.
        Written notice of the
        fine or suspension or both and the reason thereof shall in every case be
        given to the Player and the Players Association

        Emphasis added. I would think that wife beating and dunk driving would fall under the general rubric of “bad citizenship.”

    • tmc602014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Good point, Chip! I do not condone domestic violence, but in the world we live in today everyone seems comfortable making judgments based on incomplete facts – yesterday we read Ted Williams HOF speech which had something like two sentences about his owner (Yawkey) and suddenly the comments are all over Ted Williams for condoning racism, even though the speech itself puts the lie to that notion. So I certainly cannot defend Ray Rice, and society as a whole must change the prevailing attitude about domestic violence. But if I was involved in something that occurred on my own time outside of and demonstrably without affect on my work, and yet I received a punitive action for same at work, a lawsuit would be my response. Again no defense of Rice but I can guess that if any league or the team was in the position of a non-team related activity bringing bad pub down on the team, the first thing they’d look at would be what LEGAL right does the team/league have to act? The first thing would not be what MORAL IMPERATIVE do they have to act. So a negotiation ensues with the player to avoid later legal action on his part, and this is the result.
      If – and it is a big “if” – the league wants more legal rights to discipline players for non-team related offenses that are also being adjudicated in the criminal courts, the league must negotiate same with the players union, and no union in it’s right mind would give such rights without a quid pro quo. So we are left with this less than optimal solution.
      Regardless of punishments, Ray Rice’s obit will almost certainly open with his abuse incident. He’s been convicted in the court of public opinion and millions know his name who have never seen him play.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Not knowing your work situation it’s hard to comment but if you’re not a contracted employee with specific protections then the odds are that if you were embroiled in something like this (or arrested for DWI for example) your employer could fire you. They couldn’t claim it was termination for cause, but they can let you go.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      Totally agree.

      It is worth noting that of the 6 guys inducted into the MLB HOF this past weekend. One is a wife beater and the other is a drunk driver.

      If we are going to start applying moral standards to NFL and MLB about such things….well, the BWAA and the HOF committees have both decided that they really don’t care about domestic violence or social responsibility either….what they do care about (and get morally outraged about) are steroids (but not other PEDs or other violations of the rules). Not only to those groups care more about steroid use than domestic violence or drunk driving, they will tie themselves in knots to defend beloved figures that commit those acts.

      • chip56 - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        Yup. I may not like PED users but from a moral standpoint they’re far better than say Ty Cobb.

  4. redwing26 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    @ravens what are you saying she’s got sleep apnea?

    • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      She clearly tripped and hit his closed fist.

  5. Eutaw's Finest - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I truly thought the senseless dribble wouldn’t carry over into HBT but clearly it has so let me set a few things straight (and preface by saying I do NOT defend or agree with Rice’s actions):
    -Rice did NOT beat Janae. “Beating” implies repeated blows. Per police docs, it was one strike. And an isolated, intoxicated incident. Rice has NO other prior run ins with the law nor the NFL.
    -Rice did NOT NECESSARILY punch her so hard her knocked her unconscious. Per police report the hit may have rendered her unconscious, but that could mean (and is speculated) that he shoved her off (she was the aggressor) and she hit her head on the wall of the elevator, which in turn knocked her out. Police saw the video. Nobody else.
    -Police determine the severity of a situation. In this particular case, Janae had no need for medical attention and was allowed to leave with Rice.
    -Rice’s punishment is right in line with precedent. And even heavy compared to others- look up Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall and James Harrison.
    -Getting popped for drugs in the NFL puts you in a program. No financial loss or games lost. In essence DV warrants a greater loss (2 games and a half mil in paychecks in this instance).

    All in all, he did wrong. Plain and simple. Maybe he could have gotten 2 or 4 more games. BUT. Why crucify a man who has always had a squeaky clean image, is a HUGE anti-bullying advocate, has many charities helping those who can’t help themselves, and other than this one isolated incident, has never shown anything but kindness and generosity? This was a fluke instance. A rare break in character. And yet people want to crucify the man, and expect the NFL to ban him for life? In my eyes, he’s done a bad thing, asked for forgiveness, and has done everything he can to help turn things around. What more can you ask of him?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      In this particular case, Janae had no need for medical attention and was allowed to leave with Rice.

      Put down the orange colored glasses. She was knocked unconscious. That requires medical attention.

      but that could mean (and is speculated) that he shoved her off (she was the aggressor) and she hit her head on the wall of the elevator, which in turn knocked her out

      She was the aggressor? As if that matters. You should never hit a woman, period. full stop. end of discussion.

      • nvl004 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        Never is a strong word…..

      • Wesley Clark - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        In my 40 years on this planet I have never struck a woman. I have never felt the need to strike a woman. Never is actually the correct answer here.

    • Wesley Clark - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      The best campaign for anti-bullying would have been to, you know, not bully his girlfriend/wife. Remember this is a professional frieking athlete hitting/striking/gently shoving, or whatever scenario the apologists can come up with, a woman. “No one knows what really happened”. “He may have shoved her and she hit her head”. At the end of the day you are still defending a man that knocked a woman out. I hope you feel good about that.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:49 AM

        I’m not defending him. At all. I actually specifically said I do not condone or agree with anything he’s done. What I DID offer up was an alternate. Another possibility in the infinite amount of possibilities that exist, because, as it’s been noted- nobody knows what has happened. At all. How is my speculation any different from those speculating that he upper cut her? Or beat her down? Or did it maliciously?

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      This is a joke – right? This has to be satire….

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        I’m confused here… All I’ve done is point out actual facts. Some of these media driven reports are completely overblown. I took the speculation out of the equation and left the facts. Was I incorrect saying that nobody saw the video outside of the police? Or that the suspension lines up with others (Brandon Marshall is the perfect example- 1 game for hitting his wife- and no uproar for his incident)? Or that 1st time offenders for drugs get put into a program with no suspensions or financial loss? Where is this satirical? Because I don’t want to end a mans career for the worst 3 minutes of his life that in no way, shape or form, reflect any other aspect of what he’s shown throughout his entire life?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Points I thought had to be satire:

        “Rice did NOT beat Janae. “Beating” implies repeated blows. Per police docs, it was one strike. And an isolated, intoxicated incident.”

        What the hell does number of blows have to do with anything? One, three, fifty – it knocked her unconscious. I could hit someone 10 times and still come no where near what a NFL player could deliver in one punch.

        “Rice did NOT NECESSARILY punch her so hard her knocked her unconscious …..Police saw the video. Nobody else.”

        Number of times Ray Rice has said he did not knock her out: zero.

        “Rice’s punishment is right in line with precedent.”

        Ben Roethlisberger was suspended 6 games for being accused of sexual assault. Accused! No charges were ever filed

        “All in all, he did wrong.”

        Somehow – I doubt you believe that. But what do I know – I am the type that thinks a professional athlete that is as strong as an Ox punching you counts as a “beating”.

        You have a good day

    • jrob23 - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      don’t bother with this crowd. they only see in black and white…incapable of rational thought and critical thought.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:01 AM

        Thank you jrob. I know people think I’m showing Baltimore bias, but that’s only because I have met the man, I am familiar with his charities and what he’s done for this community, which I’d say is far above and beyond what most athletes do locally, and I can recognize an isolated incident. I also don’t believe that every person in the world is inherently evil and every act is done maliciously, so there’s that.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      No, it’s not a joke. Women can be violent. It’s much less likely, true, but nowhere near impossible.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:41 AM

      Local fan defends actions of local star; news at eleven.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:04 AM

        As noted above, being a Baltimore fan doesn’t necessarily show bias- it just means I’m familiar with Rice off the field, more so than the average NFL fan. I am familiar with his charities and everything he does for this community. I truly believe this is nothing more than an isolated incident and not reflective of who Rice has shown us he is off the field. Meanwhile, everyone else believes he’s done this out of anger and he’s a violent person and evil… I just don’t get where they picked that up from. Do I agree with what he did? Absolutely not. It was flat out wrong. BUT. I also don’t believe crucifying him is the path to take here. Second chances mean more than people tend to understand.

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        He’s a ****ing piece of ****.

  6. pappageorgio - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Don’t the suspensions related to domestic abuse and drug offenses mirror our own judicial systems views on the matter?

    Drug offenses, even minor ones, can trigger mandatory minimums that put minor criminals and people who are not threats to public safety away for a long time……meanwhile when was the last time you heard of anyone put in jail for an extended stay for spousal abuse.

    In many cases they just go away because the lady in question refuses to cooperate with authorities. Indeed….rice’s wife spoke to Goodell on his behalf. Goodell can’t really catch a break……90% of the time the players complain that he’s too harsh and it’s not fair. Now….he gives a suspension that’s less than the media thinks it should be and is crucified there.

    • tigersfandan - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Didn’t Milton Bradley get 3 years? That could qualify as an extended stay.

  7. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    MLB does not have it’s act together on Domestic Violence, or a number of other issues. One only need look back at Phillies and Brett Myers (everyone forget that affair?) – nothing much was done there. That said – it is mind-boggling that a year after Jovan Belcher, the NFL did not have a better grip on how to handle this.

    Meanwhile – don’t forget to buy your Pink NFL jerseys this year – $4.21 of the $250 price will go to help women in need. And for the curious – that $4.21 breaks down as $2.90 to help executives at Komen, $1.12 for admin costs….and….we’ll figure out something good for the extra 9 cents

    • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:34 PM


      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

        Totally OT. Jealous?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        That’s actually a lot like our forecast — except we have less rain coming, I think. We are having a pretty mild summer for us. I consider it a going away present.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Going to Seattle in the fall?

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        I have about a month. Maybe I will meet up with Matt Kemp!

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        Good luck with that….I saw a game there a couple of years ago. It was a day game…flight left CT about 5 am, got to Seattle, asked the clerk at the hotel to call us a cab, gave them our bags to put in our room for us and left for the game…bought tickets outside during the bottom of the 2nd, about 30 rows up right behind the 3B dugout for about $40 each.

        Nice enough stadium. Good beer selection. Food we tried kind of sucked, but within walking distance….so we went to an Irish pub after the game.

        You’ll enjoy moving out of the 1950s. I’m not a huge fan of cities, as a rule, but I have really enjoyed Seattle every time I’ve been there….even though it was always for work and I didn’t have as much time to screw around as I wanted to.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        I have a lot of mixed feelings about it, actually. Not about leaving here — but about going there (and YES I do have a CST bias). I don’t know that my end is there, but I know it’s not here. It’s complicated.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        I understand. I don’t know where I will wind up yet. I’ve been here 8 years, which is a personal record since leaving home at 18. It isn’t that I like moving, just the nature of education/work.

        It is a step that you know you need to take, so whatever you find there, it’ll be one step closer.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        Maybe. I don’t know. I’m pretty confused right now. I’m just hoping to get to a place where I have a more positive outlook at this point.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

        Good luck. Getting out of OK may help. I know getting out of Lubbock really helped with my sunny disposition…this is a more comfortable place for me….and that matters a lot. I do miss the cheap brisket and gas though…and the mexican food….and free disc golf courses.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        You’re sunny disposition. LMAO!

        Thanks for being encouraging.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Honestly, I kind of always thought I’d end up on the East Coast.

    • Wesley Clark - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      The Brett Myers situation was the first thing that popped into my mind. What a piece of work.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      I’ve no idea the actual cut of the sales the Susan G Komen fund gets from the jersey sales–I expect you are right that it is small. However, over 80% of their income goes into actually running their programs.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        I agree, Komen is good about spending wisely. I don’t like the “Pink Selling” – of which they don’t seem to take much issue. But I agree they spend what they raise wisely

      • raysfan1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        No argument. I’ve never bought pink hats, shirts, etc, and don’t plan to. I have, however, made direct donations to their organization.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Komen’s pulling of funding to Planned Parenthood is enough of a reason to reconsider donating to them. And before anyone brings it up, the majority of PP’s funding does not go to what you think it goes to. So don’t bring it up.

      • bisonaudit - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Komen got hijacked by a bunch of right wing zealots. Done with them.

  8. tmc602014 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    In the link to the SBNation article is a link to a Dante Bichette story. Bichette is cited by SBNation as an example of domestic abusers unpunished by MLB. The linked article tells the story of a religious man who once stopped the team bus to intervene in a male-female altercation. It also describes the Bichette abuse as a one time loss of control. SBNation, however, draws no such distinctions between one mistake and other examples of abusive patterns by Bobby Cox, Kirby Puckett, and Milton Bradley.
    Any action by MLB on this front must be well thought out, and have escalating consequences for degree of violence and repeat offenses, or it will merely be a mob response to the most public instances. That immediate, emotional response, which may satisfy our need to see someone punished, will do nothing to reduce violence as a social response in society at large. All of us would be better served by bettering society as a whole than getting a longer suspension for any individual athlete.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      Well – yea. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that there not be considerations for severity and repeat offenses. Pushing a woman away from would not count the same as pushing her down the steps, 2nd is worse then first – sure.

      I think what many people have issue with is the notion of zero tolerance for something such as smoking pot, but not the same set of rules for when another person actually is harmed

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      It also describes the Bichette abuse as a one time loss of control.

      This is what the article says:

      In 1992, Rockies outfielder Dante Bichette struck his pregnant 19-year-old girlfriend.

      Then it’s mentioned how “they laugh about it now”. Not sure what the joke is…

      The linked article tells the story of a religious man who once stopped the team bus to intervene in a male-female altercation.

      Am I missing something, because a ctrl-f for “team bus” or “altercation” or “reli” gets zero hits.

  9. Uncle Charlie - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Bradley was playing with the Mariners when he was arrested for abusing his wife.

  10. joerevs300 - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Let’s just ask a simple question:

    Is there EVER a scenario when a professional athlete is justified in knocking out their girlfriend/fiance/wife?

    She could no more hurt Ray Rice than you could (probably) hurt The Rock.

    And even if she WAS hitting him, what he did was flat-out inexcusable.

    And Goodell gave him TWO GAMES. TWO.

    The signal it sends?

    “Yes female fans, we need you. We don’t particularly care about an issue that is a scourge upon you in this country (and the world, to be fair). We need our multi-million dollar players on the field. And well, the Ravens could have taken action and didn’t…be mad at them instead.

    Please come out and support us during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thank you.”

    And the NFL is STILL trotting this line out, via their hilarious VP’s interview on “Mike and Mike” this morning where not only did he say “2 games is justified punishment” but when asked why Ben Roethlisberger got 6 games (later reduced to 4) AND WAS NOT CHARGED with a crime, he goes “well you really can’t compare the two cases”…REALLY? Both under the Personal Conduct part of the policy. He’s not charged, 6 games. R.Rice drags his wife out of the elevator, unconscious, slaps her face to try and wake her up (and yes, the video has to exist of INSIDE the elevator, it will come out in time), 2 games.

    The more the NFL tries to spin this, the more egotistical and tone-deaf they are.

    At this point, they are better off going into silence mode and letting the season start instead of continuing to justify what they cannot.

    The sad irony of all this?

    If they had just give R.Rice 6 games (and maybe, after his wife gives a teary plea as to not being able to afford their $1M+ pad or Benz, drop it to 4 games), there would not have been NEARLY the backlash there is. Period.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      See now here’s where I disagree. 6 is the most ever dished out for these type of incidents. Brandon Marshall popped his wife and got 1 game with prior incidents on his record. James Harrison broke down his girlfriend’s door, snapped her phone in half when she tried to call 911 and smacker her so hard she went down- he got NO GAMES/FINES. Dez Bryant clocked his mother and got NO GAMES/FINES. So if anything, I see this and think the only assessment you can make is that Ben got hit much harder than any other player, not that Rice was hit lightly. If people could not point to this one Big Ben incident, they’d be able to say Rice’s fine/suspension is right in line. Which it is, Ben is for some reason just an anomaly.

      On the flip side, I really think Rice accepting his penalty at 2 games was the best thing he could do- BUT- if he got say 4 games, and then appealed and reduced to 2, don’t you think the league would be getting just as beat down for reducing it, and Rice for appealing?

      One more note- Janae’s plea to the league allegedly was to not tarnish her husbands image anymore than it already has been and will be forever. I understand where you’re coming from, but I can’t help but believe there is some sincerity in her plea.

  11. disgracedfury - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Well Ray Rice is only worse because we have video footage of him dragging his obvious girlfriend into a elevator.To see a muscle sports star dragging a woman is crazy. This wasn’t a accidently hit or being rough with a woman…he literally knocked her out.

  12. largebill - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    Problem for all organized sports is fact that general public will naturally make comparisons between punishments for offenses we may consider differently than the governing body for that sport. Obviously a physical assault of a woman is a much worse offense. This is especially true in this case where video shows Rice knocked her out. Most domestic dispute cases are merely a news report full of he said/she said. Most of us are able to accept that both sides in news reports of claims made regarding personal relationships are suspect. I believe league had a bigger responsibility to take firmer action with Rice primarily because the evidence was available.

    Beyond that, leagues are in a no win position when people try to assign values to the league leaders based on how punishment is handed out.

  13. yahmule - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Rice’s defenders fall into three groups: Ravens fans; people who might draft Ray Rice in a fantasy league next month and don’t want to feel bad about themselves; MRA sympathetic wastes of space.

    • nvl004 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Rice detractors fall into one group; People that haven’t seen the video inside the elevator.

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