Opinions

Equality and Injustice to a Football Player

By Bailey Verreault, Class of 2018

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Photo Courtesy of Michele Speitz

Would you rather be punished one time or three times in a row? What happened to Ray Rice was not fair because he was punished three separate times because of his celebrity status. Celebrities should not be treated any differently than regular people.

Ray Rice, the running back of the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended from the Ravens because of a video that showed him hitting his then-fiancée, Janay-Palmer. Feb. 15, Rice was arrested and charged with simple assault in a casino. Four days later, TMZ released a video of Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of a casino elevator. This proved that the incident was a lot more serious than a “minor physical altercation.” Rice was then charged with third degree aggravated assault. After this first video, the judge ordered that Rice be admitted to a pretrial program for his “anger issues” and then, July 27, the NFL announced that Rice would receive a two game suspension. Sept. 8, TMZ showed a video of Rice striking Palmer in the face, knocking her out. His third punishment now was that he would be indefinitely suspended from the team.

Ray Rice was punished three separate times because the media tried to cover all the video clips. Ironically, this action ended up hurting Rice, which was not the original intent of the NFL; they did all of this to keep him. They tried to hide the video clips from the public because they did not want to lose Rice. Now he is indefinitely suspended because of their unfair actions. First, Ray Rice was accepted to a pretrial program and suspended for two games after the earlier video of him dragging his then-fiancée out of the elevator. Then he was suspended indefinitely after TMZ released another video of Rice hitting Palmer.

This is not fair to Rice, nor would it have been fair to anyone else. Since he is seen as a celebrity, the media and NFL tried to cover up these videos three separate times. If he had been treated like any other normal person, he would have had just one punishment instead of enduring three.   

People should not be treated differently just because they are famous. Doing this could also hurt the person you are trying to protect, just like it hurt Ray Rice and backfired on the NFL. All human beings are created equal under the law, so why is that different for celebrities? The Declaration of Independence of the United States even states that “all men are created equal.” This phrase is so important to our culture. This is what the United States is proud of and it is what we should live by.

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