Through Ray Rice, All Professional Sports Leagues Must Act To End Domestic Violence

The video of Ray Rice harming his wife (then fiancé), disturbing yes, but at the same time a lesson learned for not just the NFL, but all of professional sports, at least it should be. Then again, it must.

As questions of “who knew what” have begun to speculate, it’s now that harsh penalties need to become a reality for this type of act.

The NFL might have recently announced a six game suspension for those that commit such an act. The question here is, from a league standpoint, is six games enough?

While Rice might be suspended indefinitely, let’s eliminate 2014. He will not be playing for an NFL team this season. But does “indefinitely” mean a “lifetime ban?” Not formally, but if no team does not take a shot come the end of the 2016 season, then perhaps we can say that a lifetime ban is a reality. After all, Rice will turn 30 in January, 2017. Once a running back reaches 30, the word “old” becomes attached to you, young in life years one might be.

In a professional sports landscape, where there’s one new commissioner in the NBA’s Adam Silver and one in-coming next year with MLB’s Rob Manfred, in addition to a veteran in the NHL’s Gary Bettman, the time has come for all professional sports leagues to put certain economic issues aside and come to the agreement that domestic violence has no place in society, and the respective leagues can take a forefront in setting an example.

If these leagues have to meet with the players unions to set zero tolerance policies, then so be it. Let what happened has happened with Ray Rice become an example as to how professional sports leagues deal with domestic violence.

It might have taken a video, but the sad truth is, it takes something to this effect to learn a harsh lesson.

Frank Sprankle

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