Not only is October Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. Given the current state of the NFL, domestic violence has been in the news lately generating important dialogue. When the Ray Rice video surfaced there were people that said that she hit him first. Upon viewing the video, which I really wasn’t interested in doing, I could see she more shewed him than hit him. Either way, it’s not an excuse for a man, especially one of his athletic ability, to hit a woman. It’s certainly not okay that he punched her rendering her unconscious. Through all of it, his wife, Janay Rice, “stood by her man” prompting the Twitter discussion #WhyIStayed where women shared their reasons for staying. Instead of the barrage of unsolicited advice for what Mrs. Rice should do people offered empathy and their personal story.
While the NFL has been under scrutiny for allegedly looking the other way in relation to domestic violence let’s not forget other industries that do the same. Chris Brown, for example, went to court for his assault on then girlfriend Rhianna. Many rallied to her side and refused to buy any more music from Mr. Brown. But then she later made a record with her convicted abuser. Sends a strange message, so frankly I don’t buy the music of either one. My point is when you’re a celebrity people look the other way. How anyone could see the punch delivered to Janay Rice and claim that she provoked him is beyond me. Nearly 3 in 10 women are victims of some of abuse.
However, there is a double standard. When Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s sister, was on video hitting her brother-in-law Jay-Z Carter people laughed. There were no shortage of jokes. I admit, I laughed as well. No I didn’t laugh at Janay. I laughed at the situation with Solange and Jay-Z because it took a great deal of force to hold her back, she was clearly upset and Beyonce did nothing to defend her husband – that we could see on that tape. At the end of the day though she should have kept her hands to herself and I feel Jay-Z would have been well within his rights to have her arrested. It was, after all, assault. There are men who suffer real abuse from their spouses and do so in silence. 1 in 10 men in the US will are subjected to abuse. Those men who suffer from physical abuse may continue to do so because they don’t want to inflict physical harm on their partner, especially if they are a woman, or are too embarrassed to report it.
Arguably children suffer the most in domestic violence situations. This month we will explore the impacts of domestic violence on our community and how we can change it.
While celebrity has brought immediate national attention to domestic violence it occurs everywhere, even right next door to you. Does the NFL have the right to suspend or otherwise prevent Ray Rice from playing football? That’s more of a legal question. The real question is a moral one. The NFL is a business. If the NFL lost money because fans refused to attend the games of a team who would have him on it they would of course do away with him. Is the obligation that of the business or that of the consumer? What are your thoughts? Comment below and share within your community.
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