In the wake of the story surrounding Ray and Janay Rice, I have seen a myriad of emotions. I saw the video and was as shocked as anyone. When I saw that he’d been dropped by his team (albeit with a $25,000,000.00 pay off) and that his wife was defending him, I felt sad. It made me even more sad to see posts and comments calling her a “stupid bitch” and saying things like “she deserves an ass whoopin'”. Look, that guy punched her so hard that it actually knocked her out and then he dragged her from the elevator. Their history is one of violence and repeated police intervention. I don’t claim to know either of their backgrounds but, feel that it’s plausible to say that they both come from violent upbringings.
Janay Rice, is the victim. She is in a relationship that may never be healthy. There is a possibility that he may seek the help needed to learn to deal with his anger and frustrations in a healthy and productive way. I genuinely hope so. According to statistics, it’s not likely. Moreover, we may see a repetitive pattern in their children. This is a cycle of disease. Janay is defending her man, probably like her mother before her. It’s quite possible that she may never be in a healthy relationship. Of course, I am making assumptions all over the place. I have no idea what goes on behind their closed doors.
My question is this; Why are we so quick to jump on her for defending him? This is a sickness. Both of them need medicine. His punishment is, in my opinion, appropriate. I am glad to see a major sports organization declare that this behavior is not to be tolerated. It does beg the question as to why Michael Vick is still on the field, but I digress… Janay is somewhere caught in the middle.
Imagine a night out with friends. It’s been a few weeks, you can’t hide from everyone forever so, you decide to go out and try to forget your troubles. A couple of cocktails, and in conversation their friend offers condolences on the loss of his mega millions career. Does Janay’s stomach clench? The evening continues. A cocktail or so later everyone decides to move on, as you’re walking to your car, a stranger yells “way to fuck up your career, idiot!”. Ray acts as though he didn’t hear it but, his grasp on her hand is like iron. On the ride home it’s silent until he’s reflecting on the scene in the elevator and says, “Why did you have to *fill in the blank* and make me so angry? If you hadn’t done that, none of this would be happening”. Does Janay feel afraid? Does she try to comfort his rage away? Has she been here a million times before? Or possibly, she takes the bait and defends herself with fervor! Yelling back “This is your fault NOT mine!” Does it escalate from there? Does it end in violence? Maybe… Maybe not. What I do know is that none of us know the back story. What we do know is that he punched her so hard that it actually knocked her out and then he dragged her from the elevator. You should save your “stupid bitch” for Justin Beiber and your “She deserves an ass whoopin'” for that woman on the Facebook video who’s beating her child on camera. Janay Rice is the victim.