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Ray Rice's arbitration win proves the NFL never took domestic violence seriously - Vox


Stashed in: Sexism, Football, WTFFF, Societal Woes

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The NFL just doesn't get it.

The NFL claimed that the indefinite suspension was reasonable because Rice had misled the league about the nature of the assault, leaving them unaware of the gravity of the crime until the new video was released. But that's bullshit, and the arbitrator recognized it as such. The reason Rice wasn't given a more severe punishment in the first place is that the NFL didn't take the assault seriously enough. And the NFL's arguments during the arbitration make it clear that the same attitudes that led to Rice's initial light punishment are still alive and well within the league's management.

In the arbitration, the NFL claimed that Rice misled them by saying that he only "slapped" Palmer, and that she had "knocked herself out" on the railing, rather than that he had knocked her out. (The other witnesses to the disciplinary hearing deny that, and Rice claims that he not only used the word "hit," he also demonstrated to the Commissioner how he had swung his fist across his body during the assault, making its force clear.)

But the fact that the NFL made that argument suggests that they still don't understand domestic assault, or take it seriously enough. The idea that it is somehow morally superior to  "slap" one's girlfriend than to "hit" her is bizarre, particularly in a situation in which the alleged "slap" knocked the victim unconscious.

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