Monday, September 08, 2014

Really? We needed a second video?

So, the big news today, domestically (ignoring all the strife in the Middle East and Africa), is that the NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens are dumping Ray Rice after TMZ released a second video from the night that Ray Rice knocked out his (now) wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator and proceeded to unceremoniously drag her limp body out.

You can check out one of the many reports on it here at USA Today.  The TMZ link has ... adult advertisements, and I'm running a family friendly blog here.

There's much to be said about the whole incident, some are defending Ray Rice, most are defending Janay Palmer .  I don't know much of anything about domestic violence, and don't have much to say about the morality of the "altercation" - other than saying to the Ray Rice defenders, "her slapping him is somehow equivalent to him knocking her out?  He's in the NFL and repeatedly gets hit by guys weighing over 300 pounds!  No person who isn't a trained fighter, let alone someone as small as his wife, is going to make a dent in him with one little slap."

But, what I want to add to this discussion is my disbelief that this new video somehow changes things.

Because, really?

What the ... bejesus did everyone think happened in that elevator in February when this was first made public?  Did people think he hugged her out of love so hard she passed out?  That he bent over to pick up something she dropped and accidentally head-butted her and knocked her out (oopsie)?  That she lapsed into a diabetic coma?  That she tripped and hit her head?

No.  Nobody thought any of that.  He obviously didn't give a damn about her as he dragged her out of the elevator, and dumped her on the ground.  Then he proceeded to push her legs out of the way with his foot!  That was not a concerned boyfriend, that was someone who didn't give a rat's rear what happened to her.

Everybody assumed (which he later confirmed) that he punched her and knocked her out.  End. Of. Story.

This video, as far as I'm concerned, shows about the best possible behavior on his part in this situation.  Really.  He only punched her twice.  He didn't keep pummeling her, he didn't kick her, he didn't do any of a whole host of things he could have done (I don't even want to start to imagine).  Instead, he took about the minimum actions required to knock her out (two punches, instead of one).  And, let me be clear, that is HORRIBLE, INEXCUSABLE behavior.  But what did you THINK he had done?  Exactly what was on the video.  The video shows he's a horrible person, but not Hannibal Lecter.  Pretty much any other behavior leading to her being passed out would have been worse.

If he had done more, then we should be (more) outraged.

Yes, the new footage is uncomfortable to watch.  Yes, it shows they were arguing.  But this video reveals nothing new - we already knew he punched her.  We should have already been this outraged.

I'm annoyed/frustrated that the NFL and all sorts of others are now taking the whole thing more seriously.  They don't give a damn about Janay Palmer, they only care about the image of the NFL/Ravens.