Video surfaced Monday of a clip taken from a casino elevator that confirmed suspicions that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, did indeed just stand in the way of Rice’s fist instead of dodging his defensive blow. The video clearly depicts Ms. Palmer throwing the first punch against her husband, who is at least twice her size, prompting a retaliatory blow from Rice that was dealt purely in self-defense, and nothing more.
Outrageously, the NFL deemed this serious enough to immediately ban Rice from the league, without even so much as an investigation into the legitimacy of the video or a consideration that maybe Ms. Palmer and Mr. Rice were simply play-fighting, as couples sometimes do. This indefinite expulsion comes from the league roughly a month and a half after the league initially punished Mr. Rice with a hefty two-game suspension. This earlier punishment was handed down after a blurry video surfaced in July that depicted Mr. Rice dragging his unconscious wife out of the elevator; the NFL gave no consideration to the possibility that Ms. Palmer was perhaps unconscious when she entered the elevator, and they simply assumed, based only on a third-degree aggravated assault charge and overwhelming circumstantial evidence, that Mr. Rice was the reason for Ms. Palmer’s unconsciousness.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the NFL’s actions, saying, “We totally e-mailed the casino, like, at least twice, trying to get the video, but they wouldn’t give it to us, so we just gave up. They wouldn’t budge. Thankfully, the video that clearly showed Mr. Rice punching Ms. Palmer, um, in the face and subsequently dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator was leaked by TMZ, and the public shock resulting from the video gave us all the reason we needed to finally ban Rice from playing football. We didn’t ban Rice until we saw the video, because, uh, just hearing about it wasn’t enough, I guess.”
Goodell suddenly perked up. “However, I have been overwhelmed by the incredibly positive response by NFL players, coaches, and fans to the punishment we leveled on Rice, and it confirms that the true desire of those who follow the NFL isn’t to see touchdowns or big plays, but to make sure that players are held responsible for their actions. The National Football League is truly a crusader against spousal violence, and I am proud to be at the forefront of this progressive movement.”
Fox News appeared to be the lone voice of reason, as depicted on their popular show “Fox & Friends”. As Fox contributor Steve Doocy pointed out, Ms. Palmer decided, after the incident, and completely on her own accord without any outside influence, to marry Mr. Rice, who makes a salary of over seven million dollars a year. Brian Kilmeade, who has provided what seems to be the best solution to the situation, logically concluded
“I think the message is, take the stairs.”
(This was an actual statement made on a major news network that is regularly watched by millions of people. Brian Kilmeade actually said this.) Clearly, if she had simply thought ahead instead of expecting Rice not to physically abuse her in a public elevator, she would have been fine. Just like all the other “victims” of spousal abuse in the NFL, she is just jeopardizing the reputations and well-being of the hard-working players. Ultimately, she only has herself to blame.
by ANDREW BRYANT / contributing writer / satire guru