All of the controversy over former Baltimore Ravens’ running back, Ray Rice, knocking his wife unconscious in a casino elevator has now elevated to the level of distraction. Normally I would not write about these celebrity faux-news stories, but this one in particular has made it’s way into my crosshairs.
I’m going to use this opportunity to explain exactly why this is an exaggerated distraction, an all too common tactic of the mainstream media.
Now, before I begin, let me preface this post by saying that I do not condone Mr. Rice’ actions, nor do I think “she had it coming,” as several commenters have written.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 15, 2014, Atlantic City Police responded to the Revel Casino for a domestic dispute call. Uniformed police officers determined that both suspects had thrown, and landed, punches on each other.
The two guilty parties were Ray Rice and his then fiancée, Renay Palmer.
Four days after the incident a video was released by TMZ showing Rice dragging an unconscious Ms. Palmer out of an elevator.
A second video was released just this past Monday showing the happy couple entering the elevator and the altercation taking place. The footage from inside the elevator is a low quality and leaves any fast movements blurred so it is unclear what exactly did happen via the video.
It appears that Renay walks in first and pushes the button as Ray is walking in. As the doors close it looks like she may have spit at him and swung at him. It is unclear in the blue if he actually swings at her then, but he does back up to the far corner of the elevator. Wen he backs away she pursues him and he throws a haymaker that probably knocked her out completely. If the punch didn’t do it, then the elevator wall did, because when she went down, she smacked the side of her head on the rail that goes around the elevator walls.
Ray Rice then appears to try and pick her up onto her feet with no success. The elevator doors open and close while he is trying to get her up. When the doors open again he drags his soon-to-be wife out into the hall by her feet.
The first video released was the vantage point outside of the elevator and it only showed Ray Rice dragging Ms. Palmer out of the elevator into the hall.
Both Rice and Palmer refused any medical attention and were both arrested for simple assault, a misdemeanor offense.
Five weeks later the charges on Ms. Palmer were dropped and Ray Rice was indicted by an Atlantic County grand jury with an upgraded charge of third-degree aggravated assault.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Palmer became Mrs. Ray Rice the following day.
Rice plead “Not Guilty” and requests to be placed in a diversionary program for first time offenders. His request was granted and no further punishment is levied.
It wasn’t until July 24 that NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell hands down a two game suspension to Rice after having met with him and his new wife at NFL headquarters.
Goodell made a statement saying, “I take into account all of the information before I make a decision on what the discipline will be. In this case, there was no discipline by the criminal justice system. They put him in that diversionary program.”
After harsh criticism the NFL instituted a new rule making any first time domestic violence incident a mandatory six-game suspension, and a second offense means a lifetime ban for all players and League employees.
The controversy is renewed when TMZ releases the first half of the incident with the footage from inside of the elevator.
Hours after the tape is put online the Baltimore Ravens released Rice from his contract and Goodell announces Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL.
Now the story really heats up when the league claims that they never saw the footage from inside the elevator until TMZ released it on the Internet on Monday.
TMZ reported that the NFL never requested the footage from the casino. They allegedly only contacted the New Jersey State Police to ask for the full video. They did not release the tape because their jurisdiction is only inside of the casino and the altercation occurred in the elevator in the casino’s hotel, which is Atlantic City Police territory.
Apparently Goodell and the NFL never reached out to the ACPD for the video.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that a law enforcement official told them that he sent a DVD with the entire video to the NFL office. The official even claims that he received a conformation voice mail acknowledging that the DVD was received.
The National Organization for Women and other groups are now calling for Goodell to step down.
Now, does any of that, in any way, lend itself towards being a top news story? The answer is no.
With all of the hype surrounding this story you would think that Ray Rice was Jack the Ripper.
A football player hitting a woman is more important than our border being wide open, ISIS, the IRS scandal, the 9/11 anniversary and the “imminent terror threat” that is set for today, or any other major story of the day.
Right now, on the front page of CNN the Ray Rice story is in four of their top six news stories. Barack Obama just ordered military action against ISIS last night but Ray Rice hitting a woman is top news?!?