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Baltimore Ravens Fans

Baltimore Ravens Fans

A female Baltimore Ravens football fan: “I still support Ray Rice. I just don’t believe one action or mistake should define a person.”

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith: “Ray is still a great guy. He’s a model man. He made a huge mistake, but he’s still a great person. Take away those two minutes of his life and he’s a great model citizen. He’s a great person.”

These are not new arguments. We’ve heard them many times before. Only the setting was different.

The setting where we’re used to hearing sentiments such as these is a courtroom, during hearings on the sentencing phase of trials for offenders who have been convicted of violent crimes, from basic assault and battery all the way up to murder.

You shouldn’t judge a man just by this one action, the argument goes. There is so much more to him.

The basic flaw in the argument is that you can’t take away “those two minutes,” or however long it took the offender to seriously hurt or kill his victim. Like it or not, we are all defined not by our everyday actions, but by the best and worst moments of our lives. If Mother Teresa had murdered someone, despite all her good works, she would have been immediately transformed from saint to killer; that’s just how life works, and in a moral society, it can be no other.

So we’re sorry, Mr. Smith. You may still consider Mr. Rice a “great guy,” but he is far from a “model citizen.” Model citizens do not beat their fiancés unconscious in public elevators and then drag them down the hall to get them out of the way. Is this the example you want to set for the youth of America?

Here’s another female Baltimore fan: “I absolutely 100% support him. I do. It had nothing to do with his job. He should not have lost his job.”

Well, maybe not. But here’s another thought: If he had received a sentence that was appropriate to his actions, he would have lost his job just the same, because it’s difficult to play professional football when you’re in jail.

Maybe the attitude is best summed up by yet a third female fan: “I’m supporting him all the way around. I think he’s an awesome guy. I think he’s an upstanding guy, and I think he’s an awesome football player.”

Just as Mr. Smith wanted to take away those two minutes, if we take away the observation that “he’s an awesome football player,” does the equation remain the same?

In handing down a mere two-game suspension after reportedly hearing directly from Ray Rice what he did in the elevator to Janay Palmer, did National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell consider how he would have felt had it been one of his twin daughters in there, or did he just consider that Rice is an awesome football player and therefore beneficial to the product he is handsomely paid to protect?

Unfortunately, there is a direct connection to the old sick punchline, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the theater?” But that is just the point. That night’s entertainment, obviously, became irrelevant after President Lincoln’s assassination.

And the same is true about a man’s character even if he is particularly effective in Sunday’s “big game.”

Because you can’t take away those two minutes.

9 Responses to Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln . . .

  1. ajmurphy57 says:

    Can’t believe I only found out about this site now. Love the books. You guys are heroes.

    As for this case, it’s the Hollywood thing. Money and fame DO buy freedom, sometimes no matte how horrific the crime. Rice should definitely be in jail. If he killed her that night, I can see him reacting no differently. Just dragging her around like garbage.

  2. Zeno says:

    This is a off topic question for Mark and John. Do either of you have any thoughts on the claims that the baby that was discovered and claimed to be the Lindbergh Baby was not the actual baby?

    • Yes, Zeno. We have seen absolutely no credible evidence for any of the claims and even though the body was partially decomposed, the physical characteristics made it clear that this was the baby. These claims are even more tenuous than in the Princess Anastasia case.

      • Zeno says:

        Here is another conspiracy theory It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on.
        This is the recent one about the Tylenol Poisonings have been done in the the plant and Johnson and Johnson covering it up. Let me say I am a bit skeptical of these claims but it would be interesting to hear your thoughts since John worked on the case. The two of you wrote about this in Anatomy of Motive.

        One possibility that seems more likely is that one person was targeted on purpose and the others were victims to make it look random.

    • Zeno, we place no credence in the idea of the Tylenol poisonings coming from someone inside the plant. There would have to be strong evidence before we would go with this one. The circumstantial evidence regarding specific tampering at specific stores is just too strong.

      • Zeno says:

        Yes that is why I think the idea that that one person may have been targeted and the rest were unfortunate victims might be looked into. A former high ranking official also thought this. It would also explain the inconsistency that is talked about regarding one of the victims. You might know who I mean. This person may have been the intended target.

  3. watson says:

    I saw the video…..he was guilty of assault and battery and criminal domestic violence. He punched the woman one time unconscious, then dragged her body about…..but….I think that should be a criminal penalty and not a career penalty.

  4. Cornerstone says:

    It sickens me when I see women defending abusers. These women pass their tolerance of abuse down to their children and perpetuate the cycle. I was never so disappointed than when Rhianna chose to forgive and help her abuser rehabilitate his career. It sent the worst possible message to her young male and female followers.

    I believe the female fan(s) who are standing by Rice are hoping to somehow eek opportunity out of doing so, whether it be attention from Rice or other players or simply putting themselves in the spotlight. While it’s possible they may be trying to validate their own abuse, I doubt their own abuser would “allow” them to be drawing attention to themselves, so I think it’s attention-seeking. Next they’ll be trying to get jobs as interns and trotting muffins into the Oval Office.

    • Billie Jo says:

      Until you have been one of those female defenders of abusers, you really cant pass judgement on them. Some are victims of the abuser, controlled by them mentally so much that they cant really hear or see whats really happening because the abuser convinces them its not worth alarm. Some abuse supporters whom do not intimately know the abuser fall for their charm or as in the case of Mr, Rice, their fame. And there are some whom were abused as children whom don’t know the difference between what is love and what is abuse.

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