Back in February, Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested after he knocked out his fiancee in a casino in Las Vegas. Video of him dragging her out of the elevator unconscious made quite the stir. They were both arrested, actually, as she reportedly struck him as well. The case has not yet gone to trial, but the two of them have been going to some kind of counseling. My guess was that the punishment from the NFL would be pretty severe, considering the infraction here. On Thursday, though, it was revealed that Rice had been suspended for a mere two games. I was stunned by this. As noted by numerous people on Twitter, he would have gotten four games if he had smoked pot. He gets just two for knocking his girlfriend unconscious? That’s unbelievable. Even if Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, had attacked him first, Rice is a 220-pound man and should know that what he did was completely wrong and unconscionable.
The NFL is sending a terrible message to its fans by being so lenient with this punishment. Domestic violence is a major problem in this country and the league had a perfect opportunity to make a statement here. Rice should be sitting out the season. Instead, he will miss only two games and will be right back on the field before the weather has gotten cold. Brutal.
To make matters worse, professional loudmouth Stephen A. Smith made an ass of himself yet again on ESPN’s First Take on Friday. Smith seemed to be trying to bash Rice for his actions, but it somehow turned into a lecture to women about being careful not to provoke men into beating them. Seriously. Smith has since been ripped up and down by virtually everyone, and he issued the standard apology on the show Monday morning.