Rice caked: Is Rice coming back to NFL that easy, or as fans will you walk away from league?

12/04/14 by Matthew S. Vandriak



The reinstatement of Ray Rice to the NFL has been in the headlines for the last week. Despite the opinion of many that he should never be allowed to play again, his suspension has been lifted and any team in the NFL can sign him. What happened in infamous elevator video with his now wife Janay is history. It can't be changed. That will always be attached to Rice whether he plays in the NFL, the CFL, the Arena League, or in anything else he does in life. There's nothing that can be done to change that. He has been reinstated, there is nothing that can be done to change that either. I know that makes a lot of people mad, but here's the thing. Don't be mad at Ray Rice. Point the finger at the NFL and at yourself.
First let's point the finger at the NFL. Rice was originally suspended for 2 games for the incident that occurred with his wife. He was originally eligible to play in Week 3 of the season. But that changed when the video of Rice actually punching Janay and knocking her out surfaced. After the video went main stream, and after the backlash that came with it, Rice was suspended indefinitely. The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell said they had never seen the video. But the reason Rice's suspension was lifted was because the NFL Players union appealed the suspension because Rice was being punished twice for the same violation. Goodell said that Rice didn't tell the whole truth and that the NFL didn't have all of the facts when they dished out the original punishment. Rice claims that he told Goodell everything that happened before the video surfaced. There were also questions about whether anyone at the NFL had access to see the video before it was shown by TMZ.
So what you have right there is a case of the NFL, and especially Roger Goodell, completely botched the entire situation. The way they handled this from the beginning has been wrong. Those running the NFL look like buffoons, and even more so now that Rice has been reinstated. But don't be mad at Ray Rice. Just like a coal miner or garbage man who felt he was disciplined unfairly, Rice went to his company's union, filed an appeal, and won. If you want to be angry, be angry at how the NFL handled this entire situation.

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But if you want to point the finger anywhere, and you're an NFL fan, you can point it at yourself too. Ask yourself this...if your team signs Ray Rice, will you stop watching them? Will you stop buying merchandise? Will you stop going to games? Unfortunately, the answer in most cases is no. Wherever Rice ends up at, whether it be this season or next season, the fans will still support that team. The stadium will be full. The jerseys will sell. The television ratings will be high. The NFL product is in demand and will continue to flourish no matter what happens with Ray Rice. If you're that appalled by what Rice did, do something about it. If your teams signs him, walk away. If you're that mad, stop watching the NFL all together if he plays again. How many of you fans are willing to do that?
I am in no way condoning what Ray Rice did. The video is awful and disgusting. It shows Rice as being a coward, because only a coward would punch a woman in the face like that. But if the situation and Rice being reinstated bothers you that much, it's not Ray Rice you should be mad at. Blame the NFL, because they definitely deserve it. But blame yourself to, because you know that even if Ray Rice plays for your team next season, you'll be back as a fan.

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