Get ready for #notallfootballplayers:
Just three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell created stronger sanctions for players involved in domestic violence, 49ers starting defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of felony domestic violence charges involving his fiancée.As we brace ourselves for the inevitable "I'm really a good person" talk from McDonald and the parade of character witnesses, I'm struck by how completely routine this has all become and how far we really have to go.
McDonald played football on Sunday. So far at least, there have been no public sanctions placed on him by his employer. Think about what your boss might do with you if police found probable cause to file domestic violence charges filed against you.
What McDonald allegedly did to his pregnant fiance is certainly bad enough - but it's just the beginning. How can we forget the Ray Rice fiasco - and how he's only suspended for two games while McDonald may be on the hook for six. Rice held a press conference with his wife sitting next to him - imagine that for a second - talking about how "her pain is my pain" and how he's "going to get through this" and "move forward," but not before he "helps himself." How he was going to be "out there" speaking against domestic violence.
Because I'm sure that's what women need - the guy who was caught on tape dragging his unconscious fiance out of an elevator talking to them about domestic violence. Nope, no trigger warnings needed there.
And it's interesting that the official website of the Baltimore Ravens published this:
In his first major appearance Monday night at M&T Bank Stadium as part of an open training camp practice, Rice got a standing ovation from the Ravens fans that have followed him for the past six years.Standing ovations (and their official coverage from the team) give cover to people like that jock-sniffer Stephen Smith discussing Rice and saying - not for the first time - that women need to do a better job not provoking men into beating them senseless.
The NFL took a step in the right direction when it strengthened its policy on domestic abuse and physical violence - a six game suspension for the first offense, a "lifetime" ban for the second. This "test case" suggests they need to do a better job describing how this policy will work.
The NFL claims it hadn't seen footage released today of Rice actually striking his fiance in the elevator. They claim they asked the police for everything "including the video from the elevator" and didn't get it. This is either a poorly-crafted statement or a tacit admission that they at least knew the video existed.
I will say this - I'm confident the NFL was caught by surprise.
Regardless, I think the burden is on the rest of us to demonstrate that we won't tolerate the violence either.
Standing ovation? WTF, Ravens fans?