NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just made a historically inept and unconscionable blunder, imposing a paltry two-game suspension on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. I’m writing to ask the fantasy football community to join me in doing something about it.
Rice, as you no doubt have heard and seen, was accused not just of striking his then-fiance, but of knocking her out cold in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. The immediate aftermath of that incident was caught on video, as Rice is clearly seen dragging her limp body out of the elevator.
Watch it here.
I don’t know any self-respecting man who isn’t disgusted by Ray Rice’s alleged (wink wink) behavior. Except, apparently, Commissioner Goodell.
What’s nearly as appalling as this act of violence is the punishment handed down by the league: Rice will sit out just two games.
Get caught taking Adderall or smoking pot, and the Commissioner will suspend you for four games. Get caught again, and plan on missing half a year. Browns WR Josh Gordon — clearly, a very troubled young man, if not a complete idiot — is facing a year-long ban for repeated use of marijuana, a practice that is now perfectly legal in Colorado and Washington state.
An NFL player punches a woman so hard that she loses consciousness gets a two-week unpaid vacation.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
I’m sorry, but that is incomprehensible to me.
So what can you and I do about it? Frankly, not much.
But 25 million of us fantasy football enthusiasts — 90% of whom are guys — can send a message to the league that we believe domestic violence has no place in our society. And if the Commissioner won’t take a stand, we will.
Join me in boycotting Ray Rice in your draft this year. Make a pact with your league-mates that Rice will be persona non grata. Designate him as ineligible for the draft and for waiver wire pickups the entire season. Compete without him, just as the Ravens should be doing.
Purely symbolic? Absolutely.
Will it make a difference? Let’s see.
PUT RICE ON ICE. DON’T PLAY WITH RAY.
Tell the world: Real men don’t hit women. Ever. And real leagues don’t tolerate men who do.
I pledge to use my powers of persuasion to convince the four leagues in which I play to make Ray Rice ineligible in 2014.
Will you join me?