What Edie Dugan said: People shouldn’t punch other people. It’s especially true that people who are much bigger and stronger shouldn’t punch those who are smaller.
The NFL seems to have a fair number of players who engage in domestic violence. We’d love to see the Players Association step in and make something good happen.
What would something good look like? We thought Susan Reimer got it right in this part of yesterday’s column in the Baltimore Sun:
REIMER (9/11/14): Experts on the subject are filling the airways right now, and there is hope this very public disaster for the Rice family will serve some good end.We like how far she went in the last paragraph we’ve posted.
But I bet every one of those experts, if asked, would say that possibly the worst thing you can do to a family in this kind of crisis is to make the abuser unemployed and unemployable, which is exactly what the Ravens and the NFL have done.
They have not only taken away his livelihood—probably forever—but they have isolated him from his friends and teammates and banished him from an organization with the resources to help him and his family.
And while we are at it, let's erase every evidence that he ever existed. Strip his image from the most popular football video game ever and buy back all his jerseys.
My God. It is like the team and the league would like nothing better than to push Ray Rice so far into despair that he removes himself as an irritant.
How weird has the NFL been in the way it has handled this case? This weird:
Two weeks ago, the league announced its new blanket policy: Domestic violence would mean a six-game suspension!
Two weeks later, along came the videotape of Rice. Just that fast, he got booted for life! (“Probably forever”) Whatever became of league policy?
Reimer is suggesting that Ray Rice and Janay Rice be treated a bit more like humans. We don’t know them, but other people do. Reimer is suggesting that they should be given some help, instead of undiluted punishment on the banished-to-Elba model.
We’re not big fans of punishment culture. When we’ve read the occasional comment like Reimer’s, we’ve thought of Edie Dugan’s speech to Terry Malloy in the beautiful female undercard of the beautiful film, On the Waterfront.
(The featured thread in On The Waterfront involves Terry’s pitched battle with the big rough boys. The more beautiful secondary thread involves Terry’s desire to be more like Edie, who he sees is the better person.)
Out of respect for those who want punishment, we’re not going to post what Edie said. But you can read what she said to Terry.
To do so, just click here.