Today I watched a video of a man in an elevator punch his wife in the face, which knocked her out and caused her head to bounce off the railing inside that elevator car. I will not link to this video. You know which one it is, and if you want to see it (again), you can find it on your own. This video made me feel uncomfortable and physically ill.

The man who punched his wife in the face happened to play for the Baltimore Ravens, and now that the tape of him punching his wife in the face has been released, the Baltimore Ravens have cut him, and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely. Even though hating Roger Goodell and the NFL is a hobby of mine, I’m not going to fire off some super hot take about any of them in particular (with one exception) because the whole situation is just so gross and despicable, and watching a man deck his wife either in heated anger or cold blood just makes me sad.

If you read this reprehensible piece of vile horseshit at any point during this cultural discussion of Ray Rice, you recognize that there will always be some sports truther testifying about the surprise of seeing an otherwise upstanding citizen commit an atrocity. I dare you to read the entirety of that linked piece above without feeling searing anger burning in the pit of your soul.

And why? Because it’s grotesque in how badly it misses point. In an absolutely repugnant piece as a whole, the quote that stands out for its laughably disgusting falseness is this quote from Steve Bisciotti, majority owner of the Ravens, “No one outside, I’ve learned, can understand how we look at these guys as our sons and close friends as opposed to just employees.”

BULLFUCKINGSHIT YOU TWO-FACED BAG OF ASSWIPE. You don’t guarantee their contracts, you ruthlessly cut them as soon as they show a shred of decline for someone younger, cheaper, and faster, you advocate against proper retirement benefits, and you send your ginger bootlick to squeeze their share of the revenue pie even further toward nothingness while operating (possibly illegally) as a non-profit entity. FUCK YOU WITH A RAKE, YOU DISINGENUOUS FUCKWIT.

Ray Rice used to be an effective tool for you – one of many – that will be just as disposable as any other now that, in that PR halfwit’s words, Ray Rice “has tarnished his image” beyond repair, and there’s no point in salvaging him, or his utility to you. If neither the Ravens nor the NFL had seen the tape (as they claim), my question is what they thought was on it. What did they expect to see? And why did it take having to view those repulsive images to spur them to real action? In my estimation, it’s only because of intense public scrutiny, not because of any ethical motivation whatsoever.

The Ravens will carry on, Ray Rice will probably be back in the league at some point, and the NFL will certainly carry on. This will be but a temporary hiccup for an exceedingly successful monstrosity that makes money and earns adulation at a nearly unprecedented clip. And it’s become that because of us.

This incident only serves to remind me that professional sports is a business, and one that’s just as unfeeling and calculated as any other. Yours and my viewership are commodities, nothing more, nothing less. It’s in realizing this fact that I’ve learned to stop caring too much about any of it. The cognitive dissonance associated with investing too heavily in it is simply too uncomfortable to handle.

There are detestable people everywhere, and that includes someone like Ray Rice who would get into an argument with his wife and become so agitated, that he would knock her out with his fist. My heart goes out to Janay, not only for having to live through this incident, but for having to relive it over and over again vis-à-vis the media.

And while I have bile for Ray Rice, this is but one more incident that exposes the void residing in the hollow tin chest that is the monolith of professional sports. The NFL, the Ravens, and everyone else with a vested interest will put on their best serious faces and pretend to care about this, meting out “appropriate” punishment for Ray Rice. And once they believe they’ve done enough to salve your outrage, they’ll just go back to selling you Coors Light, Samsung phones, and DirecTV.

That is, until this, or something equally as abhorrent happens again. Because it will. And this whole pathetic charade will start anew.

2 comments on “Sportslife

  1. Kyle says:

    It’s worth noting the final line in that piece as well. The blog post was written in late July when Rice was only expected to be out two games (or read another way, when Rice could still provide value to them for 14 weeks and maybe some playoffs).

    Quoting owner Steve Bisciotti:

    “Is it a flaw for us that we support our players in tough times? If it is, I’m OK with that.”

    That quote is a bit harder to stomach now after they terminated Rice’s contract when it became clear he was no longer of value to them.

  2. Jon says:

    Good call on that, Kyle. That’s why it’s such disingenuous nonsense.

    I’m no advocating sympathy for Ray Rice here, but it’s worth noting how the public positioning changes very swiftly from the guys who espouse to think of their employees as “sons and close friends.”

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