Happy with Ray Rice punishment? Thank a journalist.

As basically everyone knows by now, NFL running back Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league after video surfaced of him assaulting his then-fiancé and now-wife.

Let’s get this out of the way.

(No, I’m not blowing it off to imply it isn’t important. Just want to talk about something else here.)

What Rice did is despicable. The word “assault” seems too cavalier for what really happened – this guy treated a person like a bag of shit. To make matters worse, he married her not long after the incident. I fear for her and any child(ren) involved in this relationship.

Make no mistake about it: Ray Rice does not deserve to breathe the same air as a free man.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT is cool about this story? His punishment would have remained a two-game suspension had it not been for TMZ obtaining the surveillance video from the elevator where the assault happened and sharing it with the world.

Had it not been for the media, boys would have continued to stick Ray Rice Fat Heads and posters to their bedroom walls and wear Ray Rice jerseys. Grownups would have continued to hope Rice makes big plays for their fantasy football teams. Had it not been for the media, no one would care that Ray Rice knocked cold-clocked a woman in an elevator, dragged her out like a 50-pound bag of dog food and hovered over her exposed, lifeless body like a lion that just killed a hyena.

Of course, we can thank the media – that damn media – for possibly stopping whatever cover-up the NFL might have been working on with this one. League officials swear they hadn’t seen the complete video as shared by TMZ this week, but come on. Anyone falling for that? The guy’s been to court for this incident. He was accepted into some goofy pre-trial intervention, which meant he didn’t have to stand trial and the criminal charges will be dropped upon completion, but I find it hard to believe the prosecution hadn’t subpoenaed the same surveillance footage that sickened the entire nation this week.

Translated: the NFL more than likely had access to this video. If the league didn’t watch it, shame on it. If it did and still decided on a suspension half as long as a guy got for taking a fertility drug while trying to have a baby with his wife, even more shame.

But thanks to the media, Rice is being held accountable … as is the NFL and the criminal justice system, which gave him the wimpiest slap on the wrist of all.

I KNOW I’M BIASED when it comes to the media because I used to be a journalist myself. I’m not naïve enough to say all of the flack reporters, newspapers, magazines and news stations get isn’t warranted – there are entities such as MSNBC and Fox News. But folks are so quick to jump on “the media” for doing a bad job.

It’d be nice to see people notice when it does a good.

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