Like millions of other people, I have seen the video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching out his fiance (who he has since married) and was disgusted by his actions.
Prior to the video’s release, Rice had been suspended for the first two games of the NFL season. But with the public outrage that followed the release of the video, the Ravens released Rice and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely.
This has been watercooler talk for the past two days. The consensus is that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was aware of the video and was trying to protect one of the league’s more prominent players. Rice earned a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens last year and is a three time Pro Bowler. Despite the indefinite suspension, there is also general agreement that Rice will return to football sooner rather than later. I am inclined to agree with the former, but disagree with the latter. This has struck such a raw nerve that there is no way that Rice would be able to play this season without triggering a significant backlash including losing sponsors. Next season is, of course, another matter. But from where I sit, Rice belongs in a federal penitentiary, not on a football field. Then again this could be said of a critical mass of the NFL which has been described as the National Felon League.
What I have not heard discussed is whether Goodell ought to resign. But Keith Olbermann, North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ann Killion have called on Goodell to step down.
Well, no one, it seems, is talking about the Washington Redskins changing their name – for now.