(Baltimore, MD) – Regarding the American judicial system, athletes in the National Football League (NFL) are among the luckiest citizens in this great country. They are afforded protections seen only in other major-league American sports leagues.
And by Hollywood celebrities.
And by murderers who are fortunate enough to have the money to pay lawyers-with-no-scruples to spare them from jail time or the death penalty.
The latest fortunate son from the NFL is former Rutgers athlete Ray Rice, 29, who received a two-game suspension from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on July 24. Factoring in a fine equal to another game check, the multi-millionaire will lose more than $529,411 and won’t be available when his Baltimore Ravens play the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.
His crime for these unfairly harsh NFL-sponsored penalties? Doing his Chris Brown impersonation on then-fiancé Janay Palmer.
On February 8, 2009, Brown had an argument with girlfriend Rihanna. The argument ended when Brown beat the living crap out of her. In spite of the domestic violence beating, Rihanna chose to date him again.
Rice and Palmer visited Atlantic City’s Revel Casino in February. On February 15, while in a casino elevator, he beat the living crap out of her. Investigators found shards from her teeth embedded in the elevator’s buttons, along with her blood on cracked elevator windows and indentations on her face from poker chips.
Rice’s lawyer-with-no-scruples referred to the incident as “a very minor physical altercation.”
Subsequent video, however, showed Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from the casino elevator and dropping her on the floor. The video evidence came from witness’ cell phones, who were too busy filming the incident for YouTube to actually step in and halt the altercation.
“How often do you get to see a real, actual celebrity like Ray Rice in-person?” asked a witness, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I, like, had no choice but to film him. The video looks great on my Facebook page! I’m just sorry we couldn’t take a selfie together.”
Once the brutality of the incident became public knowledge, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh issued supportive comments about Rice, referring to the whole episode as “not a big deal” and calling Rice “a heck of a guy.”
“Ray Rice is ‘heck of a guy’ the same way [Federal Emergency Management Agency] FEMA Director Mike Brown [no relation to Chris Brown] did ‘a heck of a job”‘ during Hurricane Katrina,” said a spokesman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), speaking on condition of anonymity. “We believe the statements made by Harbaugh prove he’s a heck of a clueless moron.
“Then again, given the history of the Baltimore Ravens, maybe Harbaugh really is that ignorant. After all, this is the team that employed Ray Lewis.”
Retired linebacker Lewis played for the Ravens when they dismantled the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. After beating the Giants by a score of 34-7, Lewis was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
One year earlier, Lewis and two friends were charged with murder – and later acquitted. Because his hands are forever stained with blood, Lewis is sometimes referred to as the Super Bowl XXXV “Most Valuable Prisoner.”
Upon retirement, the NFL linebacker was rewarded with a studio job at ESPN.
While Lewis has yet to comment on the Ray Rice incident, Lewis’ ESPN colleague Stephen A. Smith has recently been suffering from Diarrhea of the Mouth regarding the issue. Just this past week, Smith urged women to “make sure [we] don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions” when it comes to violence against women.
“So now we have Steven Smith – and, by extension, ESPN – saying women need to watch their behavior,” said a NCADV spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They’re saying that women behave in such a way as to ask to be beaten and abused. I’m so glad ESPN has taken the time to point this out to everyone. I mean, who knew?”
Rice has tried to move on from the beating incident, repeatedly apologizing and attending anger-management counseling.
And, yet, his own comments are what seem to hold him back.
“It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season,” he bemoaned when learning of his “punishment” for the episode.
And what of the real victim – Rice fiancé Janay Palmer? She, too, apologized for her “role in that night.” And if apologizing for being beaten to a pulp wasn’t enough, she married Rice in March.
“I guess Forrest Gump was right in saying ‘Stupid is as stupid does,'” said a NCADV spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.