Ray Rice and Domestic Violence – The Questions We Should Be Asking

“Battering is a pattern, a reign of force and terror. Once violence begins in a relationship, it gets worse and more frequent over a period of time. Battering is not just one physical attack. It is a number of tactics (intimidation, threats, economic deprivation, psychological, and sexual abuse) used repeatedly.”

Dynamics of Domestic Violence,

In-Service Training For Police Officers

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice


In a world littered with opposing opinions about everything – political, religious, economics, etc… – there’s one thing that the internet agrees on: domestic violence is never a one-time incident. In fact, most sites – like the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence – state that the severity of the violence increases over time.

TMZ released a video showing Ray Rice punch his now-wife Janay in the face, rendering her unconscious. And the only thing people are talking about is his future in football, which seems like a moot point now that the NFL has suspended him indefinitely and the Ravens have released him.

Why aren’t we asking the real questions, discussing the real talking points?

Statistically speaking, the likelihood that this was Rice’s first instance of domestic violence is low given the absolute brutality of it. And, yet, the subject hasn’t been broached. The rhetoric has been all about Rice’s future in football, the $20+ million he’s raked in over the last couple of seasons. At least people have finally stopped defending him, though.

[Remember when the Ravens PR department though it was prudent to Tweet that, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.” Or how Stephen A. Smith said, “What I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family…is that…let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions.”]

This isn’t to suggest that the world take on a mob-mentality, pitchforks in hand, and charge forward with visions narrowed. But why aren’t we asking what, exactly, is Rice’s history towards women? It certainly needs to be asked and at the very least be investigated by the powers that be.

Why isn’t he in jail?

The question(s) surrounding his football career are foolish and will continue to be foolish. And, frankly, should be the last thing on everyone’s mind. Instead, what is Rice’s future as a free citizen? There is now irrefutable, indefensible, concrete evidence of a brutal attack. How is the law going to respond?

Let’s be honest, though, there are a litany of questions that need to not only be asked – especially by someone other than myself, who falls so far down the the social totem pole– but also answered. It’s time.


After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.