Jay Rice From Hero To A Villain Via An Elevator

September 23, 2014

Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Damning footage shows Rice punching his wife (then fiancé) Janay Palmer in a casino lift. She falls back senseless and Rice drags her by her feet in the lift when the lift doors open.

The repercussions have been severe for the player; fired by his team and indefinitely suspended by the NFL. It seems he has dealt a knockout blow not only to his wife, but his career as well.

The public outcry has been immense. The Ravens have removed his jerseys from the team’s merchandise shops while EA Sports is removing him from the Madden 15 roster via an online update. Even the White House has condemned his actions.

But the question is: does it make sense to punish him professionally for what was a personal matter? The answer is, yes it does. Let there be no misunderstanding, this was assault, and a crime to boot.

This debate hinges on the oft mentioned sentiment that professional sports athletes are role models for millions of people. They are worshiped, held in high esteem and have the ability to influence countless others. So when someone in that position does something so outrageously wrong, it makes sense to punish them accordingly.

Price’s wife has come out in support of him, saying “I love my husband. I support him… I want people to respect our privacy in this family matter.” Yes, this is a personal matter but the act took place at a public place and it does not change the fact that what he did was wrong.

Outspoken boxer Floyd Mayweather has come out and said that the punishment handed out to Price is harsh and the NFL overreacted after the video came out. But Mayweather is hardly someone to advocate on behalf of Price, considering he has already served a sentence for the same offense.

The crux of the matter is that Price has committed an unjustifiable act, which has been laid bare (unfortunately for him) in front of the world. Of course there will be consequences! He should just be glad he isn’t behind bars for assaulting someone else.

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