Arguments happen all the time and I can understand someone getting angry and having that emotion affect their behavior, but to let it get to the point where you would close your fist and strike another person in the face, knocking them to the ground is criminal. When the aggressor is more than a hundred pounds heavier, much taller, and a highly paid athletic gladiator the common crime turns sinister. You know what I’m writing about. Both the NFL and a common citizen received a black eye when a Baltimore Ravens football player closed his massive fist and struck his smaller victim in the face, rendering them unconscious. As bad as it may appear in text, the video unveiled the true evil in this barbarian’s actions. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will face very pointed questions about how he handled the heinous act of violence committed by Ravens’ player, Jah Reid.
The 6’7,” 340 pound man not only knocked his undersized victim to the ground, but allegedly proceeded to kick him in the chest, and when police arrived the report says Reid punched the officer in the face as well. Shocking right?
I had to research an NFL arrest database to find out about Reid. No sports radio shows talked about it, no one demanded he get fired, and there were no congressional leaders petitioning the NFL for swift justice. No national outrage. Not a single comment after the Baltimore Sun article. Nobody seems to care about a big, strong NFL player assaulting a smaller, weaker person yet we’re on the verge of lynch mobs over what Ray Rice did to his then fiancée.
Is it because Rice is a bigger star?
Maybe it’s because Rice has darker skin?
Or maybe it’s because Rice exacted his violence against a female.
In the letter sixteen female senators sent to the NFL we see clearly the source of our collective outrage,
“We are deeply concerned that the NFL’s new policy, announced last month, would allow a player to commit a violent act against a woman and return after a short suspension… If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL.” (source)
The White House Press Secretary released the following on behalf of President Obama,
“Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football — and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.” (source)
Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio host) ranted about guys making excuses, and I paraphrase, “But what if she’s got a machete, and is 6’8”, and is a trained fighter? It doesn’t matter, you don’t hit a woman.”
The question we must consider is why Cowherd’s statement didn’t just say, ‘you don’t hit another person’? I wonder why we believe Rice committed an unforgivable, instantly get fired offense whereas we’re pretty quiet about Reid’s violence.
The answer is simple – men and women are different. There are some things men do that women shouldn’t and some things women do that men shouldn’t. And while I’m disturbed by the way Rice assaulted a woman who agreed to marry him, I’m more frustrated with a culture that’s been demanding us to ignore the obvious differences between women and men for decades suddenly crying foul when Ray Rice did exactly that. He treated his fiancée, a female, the same way Jah Reid treated his victim, a male. And we asked for it.
I’ve been teaching my sons they are expected to honor and defend the women in their lives. They have a mom, a little sister, aunts, grandmothers, and girl buddies and they are expected to act toward them with gentleness. They might roughhouse with each other, but they are not to act with aggression, even playful aggression, toward their sister. They are being taught to always place their bodies between women and danger so they lead a woman down the stairs and follow her up.
Ray Rice is twenty-seven years old. He’s grown up watching women box, wrestle, and now compete in ultimate fighting on television. He’s heard our elected leaders demand women have access to combat roles in the military. He knows showing deference toward a women is now chauvinistic. He’s seen bathrooms become unisex and been exposed to words ideas like gender neutrality and pansexuality. If he’s really paying attention he’s aware of females suing their employers for using feminine pronouns because she doesn’t identify herself as a female… or a male. We should’t be surprised if he’s confused.
I wonder if President Obama or Colin Cowherd, both big proponents of this “progressive” thinking about gender and sexual identity, would be angry with Rice if his then fiancée had just told him she no longer identified herself as a woman but decided she was actually a man trapped in a woman’s body. Can he knock her out then? Seriously, if an individual is biologically a woman yet identifies as a man is it okay for a man who identifies as a man to hit her/him?
What if former NBA player Jason Collins, who after years of being engaged to a women decided he preferred having sex with men, got in an argument with his fiancée after telling her of his change of persuasion and, after things got intense, he knocked her out. Since he was already beginning to identify with female sexual persuasion would he be able to make a case that his violence was more like Reid’s than Rice’s?
Ray Rice might be the lightning bolt, but these “progressive” ideas on gender and sexuality produced the charged atmosphere that led to the electricity.
If we are going to allow females enter male domains like bathrooms and athletic contests because they identify as men we will also be forced to treat them as men in the blind eyes of the law. If we are going to argue there is no inherent difference between genders we will be forced to eliminate things statutes like domestic violence and treat Ray Rice no different than Jah Reid.
Here’s the truth, God created us in his image, male and female in his image. We have equal worth in his eyes yet beautiful, complementary uniqueness. God commanded men to honor women, to love them as Christ loved them, to serve them and protect them. A mentor used an illustration portraying men like Tupperware – rough, durable, and not offended by tough use, and women like fine china – delicate, elegant, and deserving of gentleness and I think it’s a helpful illustration that speaks to the Ray Rice issue specifically.
Rice treated that woman like he might have treated Jah Reid, like Tupperware. And we, knowing there was something inherently wrong with what he did, cringed as that delicate china crashed to the elevator floor. But we must remember we’ve been telling men for decades women are Tupperware, too.
So if Cowherd, President Obama, the outraged senators, school teachers, psychologists, social workers, football coaches, mothers and fathers, you and me really want to see violence like this stopped we need to stop pretending there is no difference between males and females and instead teach our little boys and young men to honor women as the distinct, delicate creations they are, full of true feminine strength.