I’ve seen the video.
Wish I hadn’t, but I couldn’t write anything on this topic if I didn’t.
The “it” I’m referring to is the video (now former) Baltimore Raven, Ray Rice, hitting his then-fiancee (now wife), Janay Rice in an elevator. You’ll have to Google it – I’m not embedding it in this post. There are enough click-hunting websites around to help you out. Rice knocked out his fiancee with a punch.
Knocked her out! And dragged her, yes dragged, her out of the elevator he hit her in.
No disputing the video. No excuses. Nothing to explain away. It’s there for all to see. And, all to tweet and post updates about on respective social media feeds with passion.
Opinions are a dime-a-dozen. With a situation like the Rice one, social media is an easy vehicle in which to share those opinions. It also provides a fascinating look into the human psyche. Hatred, vitriol, condemnation, judgement – all sprinkled inside “opinions”. That begs the question,
What are we going to do about it?
It’s easy to tweet, post, share…whatever. It’s not always easy to “do” something. I say this because there is always a story behind the story. What was going on in Rice’s mind to hit a woman? What led up to it? No, not Janay’s actions. But, something triggered this in him somewhere in his life. Was it when he was a child? Was it as a teenager? Was it a culmination of everything in his life up to that point? Hard to believe that on that day he thought hitting was the way to solve the issue. If that’s the case, then please prove me wrong. If so, then it’s up to us as a society to change that. But, it has to be started early.
I’m doing my best based on what I know to teach my sons. Based on what I know. What I was taught and observed throughout my life affects what and how I teach them, just as it does with Ray Rice and others like him. Only as they grow will I know if I instilled the right values and skills or not. I am challenged every single day to teach and model the right things in front of them. Is it enough? I’m not perfect – no one is. But, I’m investing in the next generation through my sons and organizations that aim to help kids around the world be positive members of society.
So, instead of tweeting your horror about the Baltimore Ravens and their public relations fiasco or Roger Goodell’s job as NFL Commissioner, I’ll ask you — What are you going to do about it?
That story behind the story I mentioned….yeah, there’s also another side of the story. One that most people in sports media aren’t discussing today. There is the victim, Janay Rice, and, oh…the Rice’s daughter, Rayven.
Poor Rayven Rice who will hopefully never learn how to use Google.
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) September 8, 2014
I don't know Janay Rice…but I imagine today is hell for her.
— Richelle Carey (@RichelleCarey) September 8, 2014
Rayven and Janay will live with this the rest of their lives. We won’t. We’ll move on to the next hot sports topic. Tweet, post and share our “hot takes” or display our incomparable sarcastic wit. And move on to the next thing next week. Or, maybe even tomorrow. We’ll forget.
That’s the challenge for all of us. Me included. To not forget. To remember what stirred that passion in us in the first place. The passion that made us tweet, share, post our anger, discontent, frustration should drive us to be the change not just say, there needs to be change.
If we do that, maybe then, there won’t be another Rayven or Janay.