Ray Rice editorial spot on

Published Aug 11, 2014 at 9:13 am (Updated Aug 11, 2014 at 9:13 am)

The Almanac is right again with its July 30 editorial, “Ray Rice Suspension Too Lenient.”

The tap on the wrist of a two-game unpaid suspension for this domestic violence perpetrator demonstrates that neither the league nor society take violence against women seriously, at least not when the criminal perpetrating it is an exalted and privileged professional athlete.

According to Rice’s coach, this incident was a mere “mistake.” Of course! We cannot characterize it as a fatal character flaw, for if we did, there would be serious questions posed about whether someone who commits such a cowardly and despicable act would be fit to return to their position as an admired and rich member of a football team!

The Ray Rice problem is not something that can be solved through counseling or anger management classes and it would be surprising if he ultimately emerges as one who holds women in high regard despite the appropriate language he is now using to condemn what he did.

If there is anything to be said in Rice’s defense, and there is not much, it is that he plays a sport whose focus is violence and he lives in society in which satellite radio and many other “entertainment” outlets foment contempt and disrespect for women, police officers and others. The lyrics to songs that are played on the vile and base Sirius XM “XL Backspin” and “XL Shade” would cause the hair of a civilized human being to stand on end, and cannot be printed here or in most periodicals that can come to be in the hands of children. None of this, though, serves to excuse what Rice did or to or mitigate its seriousness.

Rice’s now-wife is not entirely a sympathetic figure either, as she married the man who assaulted her and cohabitates with him. Most of us married men know that if we beat our wife unconscious, it would be the first and last time that we did it, and that we would answer to a court for our actions.

The Rice matter has become a debacle and a disgrace thanks to the National Football League and others who are willing to look the other way when a professional athlete acts outrageously and criminally.

Oren Spiegler

Upper St. Clair

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