Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Need To Stay Away From The TV

Went to the gym this morning to get some cardio in before taekwondo class.  Spent half an hour on the elliptical in the weight room facing the bank of televisions, all but one of which were tuned to programs relating to 9/11: the memorial service, footage from that day as it unfolded, commentary on how 9/11 changed our foreign policy; you name it.  I was 20 miles from Ground Zero on that awful morning and I don't need to rehash that day every year to remember it, thank you VERY much, but I guess some people must derive a benefit from it.  Anyway, when one of the girls reading the victims' names aloud started to cry, I looked away in sympathy and my eye happened to fall on the only TV in the room displaying alternative programming--ESPN on some sort of news segment.  The words below were front and center on the screen at that moment, and of course relate to the ongoing domestic abuse nightmare that is the Ray Rice situation.

"Roger [Goodell] is not a liar," said the owner, who asked not to be identified. "He's a good man who always wants to protect the NFL. He's respected and liked by every owner I know. I believe Roger and the league. I trust them."

The words "wants to protect the NFL" leaped off the screen at me as if they'd been highlighted.  Of course he wants to protect the NFL.  It's his job.  Never mind that Ray Rice knocked his then-fiancee unconscious in a public elevator...let's just play it down for the benefit of the NFL.  Two-game suspension, then business as usual.  All of a sudden, months later, the video becomes public (did the NFL have it at the time or not?  If not, why not??  Let's say it all together now: Legal tactics!) and then, strangely, he's suspended indefinitely FOR THE SAME ASSAULT.  The only difference is that now people can actually WATCH him dropping this woman with one vicious punch.  What did they think it looked like??  Jesus.

Two things I don't understand:

1) Why the HELL this woman married him after he beat her unconscious??  I'm guessing $$.
2) Since WHEN is our employers' job to investigate and punish us for criminal acts??

Oh well.  It's clearly going to be one of those days...It's never good when I find myself thinking in all-caps.  I'm just going to put my head down and keep going till it's over.



  1. Battered partner syndrome (or whatever it may be called) is very, very real.

    I can look at that footage and say "Good god - ignore the punch. I would never marry a man who would drag my unconscious body in such a non-loving way." But I'm not in that abusive relationship and she shouldn't be judged. He's the one who's acting badly. Yes, it would be great if all people banded together and refused to ever do anything to encourage such behavior, but that's not how it works.

    The NFL has all sorts of rules for player conduct - domestic violence was receiving far less punishment than much more minor things. That's changing. That's a good thing. MOST employers investigate and punish criminal acts that relate to the job! And the NFL is all about perception and hero-worship (I have no patience for televised organized sports - I think it's all nonsense and a waste of time, but I recognize I'm in a minority), so having a domestic abuser is not good for the image and not good for the NFL. That's what it's about.

  2. Criminal acts that relate to the job, yes. This particular criminal act only seemed to relate to the job from a PR/image standpoint, which is a much more blurry line to me. This smacks entirely too much to me of a PR driven witch hunt because this one incident happened to be videotaped. I'm less convinced that the NFL is willing to do any kind of systematic and consistent responding and it is the inconsistency and hypocrisy that are setting me off.


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