ON RAY RICE. I usually love your column, but I was troubled by the section in today’s MMQB on Ray Rice’s press conference with his wife regarding their infamous Atlantic City elevator incident. Domestic violence against men by women is a huge problem in our society due to our culture of male bravado and toughness leading to most cases going unreported, allowing the violence to continue. While it’s hard to conceive of a situation in which Rice was justified in knocking Palmer out, it is important to remember that if she was being violent with Rice, his first reaction (as with many people) could have been to fight. If that was the case, that his body’s first reaction to being attacked was to fight back, then it isn’t so hard to picture how he, a top-tier athlete, might have accidentally knocked out his wife before he could stop his initial bodily reaction. Saying that there is never any excuse to get physical with a woman is exceedingly ignorant and propagates the stereotypes and ideas that make life a living hell for men being abused by their wives or girlfriends. Women are just as capable as men of physically abusing their significant others, and should therefore be under the same scrutiny as men in a situation where both parties seem to be the obvious victim of domestic violence.
Sorry, Ben. I cannot see the argument the way you see it. It certainly is reasonable to suggest that the woman could have been at partial fault here. However, she was the one who was dragged unconscious out of an elevator by Rice. Are there cases in which females are overly aggressive and hurt males? I am sure there are. But there is absolutely no evidence in this case to suggest that.
ON A TOUGHER DUI SANCTION. While I would commend the players’ union for adding appropriate punishment to the substance abuse policy, a one-game suspension for a DUI conviction is a laughable deterrent. I would suggest at least four games, if not six. Make these coddled players seriously think about what repercussions their actions may cause by getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking.
—Jared, Silver Spring, Md.
Thank you for writing. While I agree with you that drunk driving should be penalized by the NFL more severely than it currently is, I cannot view a first-time DUI offense as being justifiable to miss 25% or 40% of the season. A one-game suspension is a good start and I believe it will be a better deterrent then the current system.
ON DAN SNYDER. Seems to me that the Washington football team’s name issue has been going on for many years and there is always going to be a stalemate because Dan Snyder won’t change the name. Has any thought been given by Roger Goodell and/or the other owners that if/when Snyder sells majority ownership of the team or if ownership is otherwise transferred, that a condition of sale or transfer would be a name change? Of course, you run the risk of the team not changing hands for years on end, but at some point, Snyder will either sell or pass away (sorry, I know that sounds morbid). In the meantime, hopefully they can negotiate for a name change, but this way, there is a guarantee that it will occur at some time in the future.
That is an interesting concept. But if Dan Snyder owns the team for, say, the next 25 years, and I believe that’s quite possible, this certainly won’t help the situation the league and the team is in now.
MORE ON SNYDER. The fundamental flaw in your Redskins argument is that you assume Daniel Snyder should, or would, do what is in the best interest of the NFL. After the way the team was treated in the salary cap episode, why in the world would he do something that is in the best interest of the league as a whole? At least without massive compensation from the league?
—Stephanie, Evansville, Ind.
The only motivation Snyder has to do something now, other than listening to his conscience, is that he risks the wrath of the other 31 owners by continuing to make this a story for the next two or three years. I am not saying that he will continue to make it a story. The outside world will. But a headline is a headline, regardless of who prompts it.
ON OTHERCAT. I am offended by the name “Othercat.” I hope you will join me in a crusade to persuade Mr. Benoit to change the name to a more cat-respectful name. Like “Mr. Fizzles.”
—Mike Y., Concord, N.C.
You start the movement, Mike. I will be right on your tail.