by Robert A. Waters
So, the thugs are back: the rapists, wife-beaters, mom-beaters, thieves, dopers, drunks, dog-torturers and general purveyors of corruption.
The 2014 NFL season has begun and hundreds of multi-millionaires have a national forum to display their violent tendencies. Unfortunately, millions of young boys look up to these paragons of sleaze.
No doubt, kids learn from television, and what they learn from the NFL is how to be criminals. They learn that if you’re rich and famous, you can beat almost any charge. They learn that the talking heads at ESPN and other sports networks will generally give you a pass for knocking down your mother, or beating your wife black and blue. If you rape a few women, who cares? She probably deserved it and anyway, boys will be boys.
The latest star player to have the spotlight of infamy turned on him is Ray Rice. His actions quickly turned into a public relations disaster for the NFL, so much so that after an initial slap on the wrist, drastic measures were finally taken. On February 15, Atlantic City police arrested Rice for assaulting his girlfriend, Janay Palmer, in an elevator. Since Rice was a popular record-setting running back for the 2012 world champion Baltimore Ravens, the NFL attempted to cover up the incident. The league suspended him for only two games. Over and done, folks, let's get on with the season.
A local judge joined forces with the NFL and gave Rice the lightest sentence possible. According to WJLA.com, “The 27-year-old Rice was charged with felony aggravated assault in the case, but in May he was accepted into a pre-trial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record.”
What can’t be purged is the video of Rice slugging Janay Palmer. The blow is so hard it knocks her across the room and into a railing where she slumps to the floor. She lies motionless for several minutes, even as Rice drags her limp frame out of the elevator. Eventually, Palmer recovers enough to leave the area.
The video of the attack quickly found its way onto the Internet, and Rice’s fate was sealed. The punch-out is so horrific that finally the NFL was forced to act. After the Ravens cut Rice, the NFL suspended him from football indefinitely.
You’d think that with the duties of constant workouts, study, practice, and games, these guys wouldn’t have time to commit crimes.
But don’t count on it. A thug will always be a thug.