If you have a problem with the Ray Rice story, blame Diane Ruberton

It seems the entire sports world has been wringing its collective hands over the Ray Rice elevator video. Some have been calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to be fired over his handling of the entire situation.

It’s hard to watch the video and understand how Goodell could suspend Rice for only two games. What I have an even harder time understanding is how Diane Ruberton, the First Assistant Prosecutor of Atlantic County, New Jersey, could look at that video and then allow Rice to avoid a trial or even admitting guilt. Unlike Goodell, Ruberton is paid a salary to make sure people like Rice pay for their crimes.

That didn’t happen in this case.

Ray Rice punched a woman, not because he was defending himself, but because he was angry. He’s not allowed to do that. This is the United States of America, not Iran or Saudi Arabia.

If Ruberton did her job, the job the people of Atlantic County paid her to do, Rice would have gone through a criminal trial. He would have had to answer in a court of law for what he did, what he can be seen doing on the security video. The fact that he did not have to do that was because of a failure of the criminal justice system, not because of the National Football League or its idiot commissioner.

Everyone has a function in our society. Roger Goodell’s function is to oversee a silly, yet very popular sports league. Diane Ruberton’s function is to make sure bad people pay for the crimes they commit in the legal jurisdiction of Atlantic County. It’s Ruberton who ultimately failed to do their job, not Goodell.

The NFL now has a strict policy on violence

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has established severe new rules for off-the-field violence, not just domestic violence. It applies to all NFL employees, not just players. It was approved by all 32 team owners and will not need to be approved by the NFL Players Association.

From ESPN:

Violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to enhanced discipline. A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay. Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year, but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.

How does someone commit sexual assault without it involving physical force?

So if I understand this new policy correctly, a six-week suspension is what you receive if you assault anyone, man or woman, a significant other or a complete stranger. Throw in a bit of choking or use a weapon of any kind, and the suspension will be longer. If the other party is a pregnant woman, you strike them more than once, or if a child witnesses the act of violence, the suspension will also be longer.

What triggers this new policy?

Also from ESPN:

A league source told ESPN’s Andrew Brandt that discipline would be triggered by adjudication of a player’s case, such as a conviction or plea agreement.

This policy is in reaction to the incident involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. He punched his then girlfriend, now wife, in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice was able to avoid trial by agreeing to a diversionary program, that once completed, will allow him to clear his record. In other words, he was never convicted of a crime. He reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that didn’t involve admitting guilt. Goodell suspended Rice for only two games, even though TMZ showed surveillance video of Rice dragging his unconscious victim, the mother of his child, from the casino elevator.

Goodell was criticized by nearly everyone for the lenient punishment.

This new policy won’t apply to Rice because it’s being enacted after his incident of domestic violence, but I’m guessing if it had, he never would have reached a pre-trial agreement with prosecutors.

He would have gone to trial. Anything less than an a full acquittal would have left him exposed to this new NFL policy.

If I were a player in the NFL, I’m be wondering right about now why I was paying dues to the NFL Players Association. If Roger Goodell can enact a policy like this without it being subject to collective bargaining, why even have a union?

Roger Goodell is the worst commissioner ever, and that’s including the lazy idiot who ran a fantasy basketball league I was a part of in the late 1990’s.

NFL treats anti-gay comments more severely than violence against women

The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice the first two games of the 2014 season as a result of an off-season arrest for domestic violence. Rice punched then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City hotel. The entire debacle was captured on security video. So far, only the video showing the aftermath has been made public.

In the video, Rice is seen dragging Palmer out of an elevator. She looks unconscious.

It’s ridiculous that Rice can commit a crime of violence against a woman, and his punishment is only a two-game suspension. In comparison, Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer said something stupid about gay people and the NFL suspended him for three games. That’s one whole game more than what Rice got for rendering the mother of his child unconscious.

Why are words punished more than violence?

A grand jury indicted Rice with aggravated assault. Instead of going to trial, he was able to reach a pre-trial deal with New Jersey prosecutors. Once he completes a diversionary program, his indictment will go away and his record will be cleared.

The grand jury’s indictment stated that Rice “knowingly caused significant bodily injury” to Palmer under circumstances “manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” For that, his only punishment will be a suspension of two games.

To the NFL, what Mike Priefer did, saying something stupid about gay people, is worse than what Ray Rice did, beating a woman unconscious. One whole game worse.

Way to go NFL. Have fun selling all those pink jerseys.