When I first saw the new video from inside a New Jersey casino/hotel elevator of former Baltimore Ravens’ star, Ray Rice, punching out his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, my reaction was the same as when I saw the damage done to model/pop star Rihanna’s face by singer Chris Brown back in 2009 : “Oh wow, he could have killed her!” It’s heart wrenching to see what a man who claims to love or care for a woman can do to her in a physical assault. Society and the media have reached the point where this is no longer considered a private matter. It’s a crime called domestic violence, which needs to be exposed and dealt with seriously.
The new video surfaced yesterday and the response was swift on social media and elsewhere. The Baltimore Ravens cut Rice from the team and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. Previous surveillance video showed only Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator last February. Rice resolved the criminal charges from the incident by going into an intervention program in May. Also, the 27-year-old running back received a two-game suspension from the league. However, that suspension was extended for an unlimited time yesterday.
Rice and his fiancée married a few weeks after the incident last spring. This morning Janay Rice, the battered wife, went on her Instagram account to angrily blame the media and the public for the latest turn of events: “No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get.”
We get that it’s your life, Janay, but what you have apparently forgotten is your husband is a public figure who committed a crime. Frequently, domestic violence victims will blame others and not their abusers. We get that, too. Nevertheless, instead of playing the blame game, this new bride should be attending therapy sessions with her husband and focusing energy on their relationship. I think everyone hopes they learn from this. No one wants to hear about another domestic violence incident where Janay gets knocked out again, because the next time, she might not regain consciousness. That would produce even greater pain for a lot of people.