By Avery Wenck Asst. Sports Editor
With all of the recent trouble the NFL has had, especially this week, I thought it would be good to address some issues that must be brought to light. What we’ve seen this week from the Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson situations has been disgusting—there’s no other way to put it.
Not only are the crimes committed disgusting, but the way they’ve been handled by the NFL and their respective teams is equally repulsive.
Hardy was indicted in July for domestic violence, but until Sunday, the Panthers were planning to start him against Detroit after playing him last week. Although team officials were aware that he was a convicted wife beater, he was allowed to play with no disciplinary action taken against him. Peterson has been convicted of nothing and will sit out Sunday; but Hardy, who has been convicted, has played.
Peterson was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child and turned himself in on Saturday morning but was released after posting $15,000 bond. Peterson was said to have removed the leaves from a tree branch and used it to strike his four-year-old son.
Peterson has been cooperative with police throughout the investigation, and also testified in front of a grand jury for hours. He stated that he was only punishing his child in the way he was disciplined as a kid and never intended to harm his son.
Peterson has been deactivated by the Vikings for the game against the Patriots despite not being convicted on anything. This is a great display by the Vikings on how to handle a legal situation with one of your players. This is a lesson that other teams would do well to reflect on.
That brings me to my final subject: Ray Rice. I have never in my life been so disappointed with the handling of a situation or more disgusted at a situation than what I’ve witnessed over the past couple of weeks. How was a man who beat his wife given a mere two game suspension?
Everyone who saw the video outside the elevator knew what happened inside the elevator without having seen it yet. So why did it take seeing that video for everyone to react? Had that video inside the elevator come out this week, he would have been reinstated after Thursday to play next week.
How could the Ravens organization allow Janay Rice to accept the blame for what happened? She was the victim, not the instigator. How does the NFL, the biggest sporting organization in the United States, not see the video until last week, or interview the security guards involved when TMZ and other outlets did?
There is just no excuse for the laziness and ignorance shown by the NFL and the Ravens organization. The NFL finally got it right by suspending him indefinitely while the Ravens cut him from their roster.
Domestic violence is a disgusting, powerless act and should never be tolerated in any circumstance. While Rice may be sitting out for the rest of the season, he really should be sitting in a jail cell.