Applauding Ray Rice shows twisted priorities

Sports fans aren’t always logical creatures. Often joy is found in the simple pleasures: wins, plays that lead to wins, and players who gift them wins. You may notice a theme there.

That does not excuse the roaring cheers Ray Rice is receiving in Baltimore, which started last night during the Ravens’ first preseason game, and the applause will no doubt continue. It was jarring, then disgusting, and a display of sports fan’s motivations at their absolute worst. Football is great, but alongside domestic violence, it’s insignificant and meaningless. But Rice can help the Ravens win games, and he’s therefore still one of the good guys.

Rice left his then fiancé and now wife unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator, and was given a punishment of only two games by Roger Goodell’s once firm hammer of justice. On both ends the actions there are hard to fathom. Obviously Rice’s conduct and lack of basic human decency is inexcusable, but Goodell’s leniency and disregard for violence against women is equally maddening.

Then came Rice’s comments last night after the game, words that imply he experienced some sort of hardship.

Everything I went through, I don’t take anything for granted anymore, especially going out there and playing in front of our fans. It’s a lot of respect that I have to go out there and earn because of the position that I put myself in.”

Everything Rice went through was entirely self inflicted. He admits as much, but that should have been the extent of his comment. He shouldn’t have referenced any sort of personal adversity, and he certainly shouldn’t have mentioned personal “trials and tribulations”.

Just as he did during his first press conference, Rice should solely stick to a rigid script, and express only self guilt when asked about the matter. His wife Janay seems to have faced far more adversity recently.

Am I nit-picking? Sure, a little. But people tend to do that when an elevator door won’t close because your unconscious fiancé is blocking its path.

About Sean Tomlinson

Hello there! This is starting out poorly because I already used an exclamation point. What would you like to know about me? I once worked at a mushroom farm, which is sort of different I guess (don't eat mushrooms). I'm pretty wild too, and at a New Year's Eve party years ago I double-dipped a chip. Oh, and I write about football here and in a few other places around the Internet, something I did previously as the NFL features writer and editor at The Score. Let's be friends.