Video injustice: How the NFL views women

U-News Staff

Baltimore Raven Ray Rice knocked his fiancee unconscious and dragged her out of an elevator by her hair. This “conduct unbecoming” received a no contest plea and pre-trial diversion deal from the prosecutor, and Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL, which was less of a penalty than most rulings for repeat marijuana offenders. Domestic violence, after all, is a “private matter.”
Respected NFL reporters Peter King and Chris Mortensen both stated the NFL and some Ravens officials had seen security camera footage from inside the elevator, and Mortensen accurately described the content of that video, according to deadspin.com.
This week, we got to see the video footage for ourselves. Shortly after the release of the tape by TMZSports, the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens denied that they had ever seen the footage, claiming they never asked for it and the police never gave it to them. Rice was then cut from his team and suspended indefinitely by the league. “This changes everything,” Coach John Harbaugh said.
Why? Because there is an actual video of him throwing a punch? We knew that. He admitted it. The NFL knew it, too, but the league’s response further demonstrates that domestic violence seems to be an accepted part of NFL culture. The league did everything in its power to take care of the incident before the season kicked off.
The league’s message all along: It’s okay to knock women unconscious. You’ll get a slap on the wrist and go back to playing. But, if the public actually sees you punch a woman unconscious, then you’re a heinous human being who should never play again. The problem is not what you do to women – it’s whether or not you get caught.
The NFL can dress in pink and pretend to support women’s issues, but until it addresses its own culture of violence toward women, it will remain a misogynistic enterprise supported by the dollars of fans. Scantily dressed cheerleaders objectify women every Sunday, and the Rice incident merely emphasizes the fact that the NFL views women as accessories–the property of men—and condones their treatment as such.
Until the video gets out.