Ray Rice is cut and suspended, but only after the world saw video of him punching out his then-fiancée. Time to take the tally: Who said particularly ghoulish and horrible things when it seemed like Rice would get off?
This roundup is a good lesson on the familiar life-cycle of domestic violence—defending the perpetrator, blaming the victim—and how that looks when evidence comes out. It's also a never-unwelcome opportunity to keep shitheels from outrunning their shitheel statements.
• Rice's lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, in a radio interview less than a week after Rice took a plea deal. Diamondstein had seen the video, and was "hypothetically" smearing Janay Rice under the apparent belief that the video would never come out.
"This is just a complete hypothetical. Let's assume for the sake of argument, rather than enter into the pretrial diversionary program that Rice entered into, we hypothetically move forward on the case. And hypothetically we litigate 100 motions and the video comes out and the video shows — hypothetically speaking now, hypothetically speaking — shows that Ray wasn't the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder. Hypothetically speaking, and he gets found not guilty. Is that result somehow better? Is it better for the public? Is it better for the Ravens? Is it better for Ray? Is it better for Janay?"
• Ray Rice himself, in his insane press conference with Janay , in which Rice chose to apologize "to everyone was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in," but not to his wife.
• This fucking tweet (deleted soon after the press conference):
• This fucking tweet (only deleted an hour or so ago):
• John Harbaugh welcoming "heck of a guy" Ray Rice back to the team.
He makes a mistake, alright. He's gonna have to pay a consequence. It's good for kids to understand that it works that way, and that's how it works. That's how it should be.
• Adam Schefter, on the suspension:
• Seemingly half the on-air folks at ESPN:
• Stephen A. Smith, who turned a discussion of Janay Rice's beating into one about a woman's responsibility not to provoke a man into beating her.
We also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying.
• Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' top PR guy, in a tone-deaf article that I'm still not sure I can believe exists.
I liked Ray Rice a lot then. I like Ray Rice a lot today.
Clearly Ray has been scrutinized. He has been reviewed in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. The NFL punished Ray Rice with a two-game suspension and a third game check. He will lose 3/17 of his salary.
After a thorough legal review, a New Jersey judge placed Rice in a diversionary program that will allow his record of charges to be expunged if he maintains his good citizenship for a year.
Like many of us, Ray Rice had a moment in his life he wishes he could take back.
When I told Bisciotti at the end of our conversation yesterday that "I think I am going to write that blog about Ray," Steve smiled and said: "Is it a flaw for us that we support our players in tough times? If it is, I'm OK with that."