It's quite often that sports organizations throw around terms like "family" and "close-knit community" for marketing purposes. In reality there are numerous instances that rubbish those doctrines and prove that sports, just like everything else, is a business – and a very dirty one at that.
The National Football League's recent handling of one of its star players has reinforced this point. The man at the center of football's latest controversy is the Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice.
This 27-year-old isn't the first wife-beater by any means, as several before him have held this unenviable title. But what's different in Rice's case is that his moment of domestic battery against his wife Janay Rice was caught on tape and shown to the entire world by the ever-efficient TMZ.
While any form of violence is horrific, this one was brutal. According to an eyewitness, it was a full-blown uppercut that sent Mrs. Rice tumbling to the ground and left her unconscious. It's a shame that he escaped any legal repercussion, thanks to a pre-trial diversionary program and that he is a first-time offender.
While that was a major disappointment in itself, not much blame can be attached to the Justice Department because that's just the way the law is. It sent the ball in the NFL's court because the league has the powers to take disciplinary actions against its players.
For an offense that nearly killed a woman, NFL should've at least topped the 16-game ban it imposed on Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon for smoking a bit of weed. In a shocking revelation, however, the league has dismissed the case with a token two-game ban for Rice that will cost him a grand total of $705,882. That's pocket change for a guy who makes $7 million a year.
The NFL has taken a number of measures in the past decade to add female fans to its growing fanbase, which had led many to believe that it cares about them. But its deliberate injustice in this case indicates that it sees the opposite sex as only a way to make a buck and nothing else.