— NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking today in the wake of the league’s multiple domestic violence incidents in recent weeks. ”I got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter and I’m sorry for that,” he said, promising to now “get it right.” (via latimes)
So Ray Rice, right?
There’s a lot more to the story, but the basics are that last week, TMZ uncovered footage of a Baltimore Ravens’ running back knocking out his fiancee (now wife) in an elevator during an altercation. After a pretty half-assed investigation and slap on the wrist by the National Football League, the media and the news are taking the NFL to task: ‘Why wasn’t this investigated further? C’mon NFL, this dude victimized this woman! How can you let him get away with it.’ Now, to soothe the backlash, Ray Rice has been banned indefinitely.
I don’t have a problem with him being punished but I do have a problem with how society is essentially acting as judge, jury and executioner.
Let me back up. First of all, hitting people is wrong. Not just men hitting women, not just parents hitting children. Anyone hitting anyone. Don’t hit people. Violence is unacceptable. Solange shouldn’t have hit Jay-Z. Ray shouldn’t have hit his wife.
She could have told him she gave him an STD. He could threatened to murder her. Again, nothing warrants violence but we as humans surely understand the urge to lash out when provoked (but if it was me, I wouldn’t lunge at a 200-plus-pound, testosterone-amped man who’s job it is to run around other testosterone-amped men).
But what I’m getting at is that this was a flash of their private lives (My more football-savvy friends tell me he’s generally a troublemaker, but bear with me).
What irks me, is that people are yet again scrutinizing and condemning a man so intensely, merely because he’s a public figure. If this is an actual chronic domestic violence situation and Ray Rice was some nameless paper pusher in an office, would his boss fire him for punching his fiancee? Would his office workers stand together and call for his termination? I’m thinking, no. More often than not, we’d prefer not to get involved.
But he’s a public figure and we hold our public figures to different - sometimes irrational - standards. We forget they’re regular humans, just like you and me, who are capable of being assholes (even though yes, sometimes they’re just assholes).
We forget that sometimes, one glimpse at a certain point or action in your life doesn’t necessarily define you as a whole. If your behavior doesn’t impact how good you are at your job, then I don’t care about your private life. That’s your business, meant to be handled by the people who are affected by it.
Bill Clinton was a great president. He wasn’t a great husband but did that impact how he ran the country? (I guess you could argue, yes since the media’s cup ranneth over with coverage, but still) The country was economically sound. We elected him to be president, not a faithful husband. That issue was for Hillary and her alone.
Ray Rice was hired to play football. His private life is none of my business.But we’re obsessed with our public figures. We put them on pedestals and expect them to be perfect. And that expectation trickles down into society.
Now, I get it. Ray Rice’s and Bill Clinton’s behavior reflect negatively upon the NFL and the United States, who want to control their image, just like anyone else would. I agree, I do that too.
But I’m uncomfortable at how much people love a good scandal. They love to see a hero fall.
So, this isn’t an argument for Ray Rice, this is an argument against society sticking its collective nose where it doesn’t belong. It’s about society raising up public figures only to watch them fall. It’s about treating the symptoms and not the cause. It’s about boundaries.
I would think that expecting us to treat everyone the way we would want to be treated isn’t too much to ask. I think you’d feel the same way if you were in his shoes.
What’s hip-hop’s definition of authenticity? As artists of all backgrounds continue to claim they’re “the realest,” Andrew Marantz notes that “realness in hip-hop has a slippery definition, related to the everyday sense of the word but not synonymous with it.”
Photograph of Iggy Azalea by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP
I’m almost 30 and I’m ready for it.
I don’t think I had an image for myself at this point in my life. No benchmarks or milestones I wanted to hit. Just lately, I decided that Alma at age 30 just needs to be a cool, relaxed, self-assured adult ready for the prime of her life.
So, here’s a list of things I’d like to start doing for myself, in no particular order, as I gear up to enter my 30s.
- Monthly facials
- Save more
- Dress like an adult
- Find a decent place for manicures and pedicures
- Go outside more
- Get massages
- Take time to write more
- Write a book
- Be OK with my decisions
- Be inspired
I’m sure there are more. In some way, I feel like these things might help me become a little bit more like who I want to be. I'm a work in progress.