Let me start out by saying that I'm the type of person who believes your employer has no business being involved in your personal life and taking action against you for something that took place outside the workplace. For instance, I'm against the now-all-too-common piss test -- and background checks for that matter -- with the exception of people who drive for a living. Unless you're a public person, your personal life has nothing to do with your employer.
I also want to say that we should at least recognize that our prying eyes in to Ray Rice's fiancé's private life is an unfortunate side effect of all this and she really is entitled to her privacy. This is why I have not and will not watch that video.
Now with that out of the way, let's remember that the NFL is very much a public industry and that we, the fans, pay the bills; and therefore, we have every right to want to spend money on a league with integrity (let's not forget that word) and who oversees a product and administers that product in a way that we can feel good about.
Domestic violence is still out of control in this country. I use the word still because no one should fool themselves into thinking that it hasn't always been there. Fortunately, at least, these days it is something that the public cares more about than in the past. I know I'm not the only fan of American sports who would like to see these leagues make an enormous effort to get out front of this issue and try to help eliminate (too much to ask, I know) it from our society.
So while I'm not fond of big brother (read American businesses) knowing everything I do and judging everything I do, I am very much for the NFL and other leagues taking the stance that they will not support its employees in any way, shape or form who commit domestic violence.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting what the NFL has done thus far in the Ray Rice case. All they've done, everything they've done, has been PR. The league office knew full well this much if nothing else: That if Ray Rice pulled his unconscious fiancé out of an elevator by her hair -- and they knew from testimony that he hit her to create her unconsciousness -- then they knew without seeing the video that he knocked her out. What the hell comes to your mind when you hear that a woman was hit and became unconscious, and you've seen video of her assailant pulling her unconscious body out of an elevator by her hair with seemingly no emotion at all? You don't need to see the act to know what it was -- it was a very violent punch to the face.
So now the NFL is finding itself having to backstep, tread water, cover up messes from its bullshit stance that they didn't see, couldn't see, didn't and couldn't have access to see this video. So fucking what, frankly?!
I want to see this country wake up regarding this epidemic and how lightly we still take it. I have a personal history in this subject and I'll leave it at that. So I think I will join my friend RJ and boycott the NFL this weekend and I ask you to do the same. Maybe, just maybe, we can make them feel it where it hurts (in the wallet) just enough to take a much stronger stance on this issue going forward. And oh yeah, my team's owner has publicly been out supporting Goodell's actions to this point and Bob Kraft should know better. Being a human being sometimes has to take precedence over being a business owner. The bottom line doesn't always have to equal the financial bottom line.
I apologize for the rambling nature of this piece and I'm sure there's holes in it because I tend to write a stream of consciousness. And to RJ, I wrote this post before I read yours, so that my thoughts were entirely my own. Now off to read yours.