By now, you’ve seen the video of Ray Rice and his then-fianceé Janay going at it in a casino elevator. She comes at him, he hits her hard enough to knock her down, then drags her out of the elevator. Rice was suspended for two games by the Baltimore Ravens, who saw only the dragging; when the knockout portion was released, the NFL suspended him indefinitely and the Ravens cut him from the team.
So much wrong on so many levels with this one. And for many, the most shocking wrong is why Janay not only stayed with Ray, she married him after the assault.
A few suppositions:
It wasn’t the first time his fist had connected with her face. That was one well-practiced punch. It was only the first time it was caught on camera. And Janay knows it. The look on her face when they faced the news media was hard, cold and almost glaringly daring the press to ask her the obvious: What the hell are you thinking?
What is she thinking?
The NFL was as much her meal ticket as his. He had a $10 million contract with the Ravens. Plus the perks, prestige and popularity that goes along with being the wife of a professional football player. It’s gone and she’s not happy.
She remembers what is good about him, and knows he is capable of being that good person. What she does not realize is that the violent man is likely the real man; the good “outbursts” are only temporary.
She really thinks she can change him and make him a better person. Change never comes from outside, only inside. And if other women failed, you will, too.
She places blame on others; instead of acknowledging the real issue, she blames the media and the public for ruining their happiness by using the story for ratings. Honey, there’s more important stuff to pay attention to. And it’s not anyone’s fault that the casino happens to have a plethora of photographic devices. Casinos usually do.
Oh, and she does love him. A well-conditioned victim can love their abuser, even if it’s not love as most of us would define the word.
I may sound harsh, but I hold them both at fault here. I hold Ray Rice responsible for assaulting Janay Rice. And I hold Janay Rice accountable for her actions after the assault. No amount of money and fame is worth the price of your self-esteem.
Janay defender her husband with one of the saddest declarations I’ve ever seen, posted in her Instagram statement:
“This is our life! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels.”
Yes, Janay, it is your life.
And no one hurt, embarrassed or caused you more unhappiness that you did to yourselves.
It’s an odds-on bet that you won’t be living that life much longer. Standing by your man, not taking a stand that love shouldn’t hurt, that no one should be scarred for life or scared to die in a relationship means that Ray Rice now has a blank page to write the next more violent chapter of your relationship.