Not For Long.

That’s the length of the suspension one can expect for knocking a woman out cold with a closed fist. Ray Rice was slapped on the wrist with a feather for punching out his then fiancee, Janay Palmer. You can see in this video footage, captured by the security camera in an Atlanta casino, that she is completely unconscious.

The Baltimore Ravens running back was given a two-game suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for that act violence. That is a shorter suspension than if Ray Rice had gotten an unauthorized tattoo, smoked pot or got a DUI. At a news conference, Janay Rice apologized for her role in the fiasco, which insinuates she in some way elicited Rice’s level of aggression and violence toward her, reinforcing our culture of “she asked for it.”

The NFL’s abysmal attempt of creating and enforcing a domestic abuse policy is exactly how the culture of rape and violence toward women is not only perpetuated, it is normalized. A two game suspension makes a bold and sad statement about the level of acceptance toward this behavior.

Where do young men, especially talented, strong athletes, learn that violence off the field is par for the course? The high school coaches that refuse to punish criminal behavior by booting them off the team and the parents who are achieving through their kids and living in denial (see Steubenville).

Thanks to the NFL and it’s commissioner for letting us know that we as a culture have a long way to go toward seeing women, ALL women, as worthy human beings.

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