The Janay & Ray Rice situation has legs. It went from a football discussion to the larger discussion of domestic abuse and how the NFL handles these situations with their players. It created a new personal conduct policy in the NFL. It caused hashtags of #WhyIStayed. And now as December begins the situation has turned to a Janay starting a media circuit and Rice being reinstated to the league.
I know that some people just want to discuss football. Here I will discuss the factory of sadness that was Janay’s first round on the media circuit. The football centric Ray Rice article will follow.
I don’t mean to keep dragging this through the mud. There are basics here that society as a whole appears to have grasped. Ray Rice hit his then fiancee in an elevator knocking her unconscious. The NFL commissioner tried to cover it up. Both these things are wrong. What I am most concerned about is the message that Janay Rice is now broadcasting in the media. This morning Janay was interviewed without Ray on the Today Show. She also sat down with ESPN’s Jemele Hill. Both these interviews were further justification of her husband’s actions. Janay mentions that alcohol was a factor in causing the incident. She has said that Ray had never hit her before, nor has he since the elevator incident. She returned to her earlier apology and reiterated that she is sorry for her role in the incident. That she should never have laid her hands on Ray. She also reveals that the Raven’s had provided her a suggested script that included an apology but she “owned” her words. Well, this is disturbing I’m not surprised someone put this idea of an apology in her hands.
Most surprisingly she reveals she has never watched the video of her being knocked unconscious. Janay refuses to be brought back to the incident. Although she doesn’t remember being in the elevator or even what the couple was fighting about. Apparently no one knows what they were arguing about that night. When asked what she asked Ray about the incident she said she wanted to know why he left her lying there. Ray said he was scared because security was there.
This is sad enough. Not her well being. But his own shock but who saw it and who would know what he had done.
The message Janay seems to want the audience to grasp is that this incident has a positive side. I have to use her own words here.
“I feel like God chose me and Ray for a reason, It was definitely to bring awareness to what people are going through every day. Even though it’s not what I’m going through every day, it’s definitely brought this topic to the forefront.”
I’m not sure if everyone will feel the way I did after reading through this interview, but my feelings on this can be summed up with sad. Sad for her and what she believes in. Sad that this is what the message a woman that millions saw be abused is broadcasting. Sad that Janay repeats the “no one is perfect” line like an excuse for her being knocked unconscious. Sad that the over consumption of alcohol is being named as a reason for the punch. And most of all, sad that she/her PR team are trying to make this incident in a positive. A message that domestic abuse is being discussed… what about about the consequence of it? Because if we are listening to Janay it sounds like the message to those being abused is to remember “no one is perfect” it “wasn’t him” and leaving him was never an option to be considered.