“Talk is cheap!” This is an old adage that is throwing a white-hot light onto the conversations that have been inundating the airways, viagra dosage mass media outlets and social media forums of late. Dialogues and debates are happening all over in local barbershops and beauty parlors about the TMZ video that shows pro NFL football player Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens knocking out his (then) fiance’ Janay Rice in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The entire incident was caught on the casino’s security cameras and released publicly a few weeks ago. The public outcry was immediate and prolific, shop driving the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens organization into BIG TIME defensive strategies and clean-up messaging. The outcome, of which, has thus far been a BIG TIME #FAILURE!
Domestic Violence and the growing climate of violence against women and children is a systemic and massive problem in the U.S., and the fact that the NFL has virtually ignored it at best and minimized its impact over the past decade is absolutely appalling and indicative of the organizations’ lack of attention or urgency where the issue is concerned. The efforts they are making at this point are inept and clumsy, making the outrage and so-called shock and awe they appear to be exhibiting, in hindsight, an even more serious fumble and #FAILURE. As professional athletes and representatives of big market franchises and commercial clients like NIKE, ANHEUSER-BUSCH, ADIDAS, WILSON and so on…it has now come to their attention that the public outcry could seriously impact their bottom-line. When the violent behaviors of their star athletes begin to diminish their ability to keep sponsors, big-time boosters and investors happy, AND THEN violence against women and children becomes their “first priority.” The feigned outrage that we are seeing across the board from the leadership of the NFL, the specific organizations (whose stars are currently in the media spot-light), and frankly, the public is nauseating and disingenuous. This is NOT a new issue, but too many are attempting to “all of a sudden” be coming into some type of consciousness or recognition about the issue? Unbelievable! I just don’t buy it!
We live in a country where we embrace violence as a part of our culture. We have a blatant disregard for the rights and safety of women and children, and we don’t even value or support the equality of women in the marketplace as exhibited by the massive opposition and failure to pass legislation that demonstrates such. It is appalling that it takes a video tape to surface surreptitiously and then be distributed salaciously across all forms of media for everyone to WAKE UP to the fact that domestic violence is an epidemic and tragic condition throughout the cultural landscape of this nation, and globally. What we DO from here will speak to whether our outrage is in fact truly felt or just a momentary schism. Will we once again go back to acceptance, ignorance, and “endless excuse making “where issues of domestic violence are concerned, especially when our most favorite sports stars are involved?? There is so much misdirection, blame shifting, silence, and pretense. So many teams and players are “laying low” right now, ‘less the white-hot light turns to them. Talk is cheap unless there is some ACTION in your OUTRAGE.
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director
The Conciliation Project and
Virginia Commonwealth University
Up Next Week: WAR TIME MENTALITY