Much of the sports world, and even many outside of sports, were outraged when it was learned that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had been suspended for only two games by the NFL for allegedly knocking his then-fiance unconscious.
The major criticism was that others in the NFL had received much harsher penalties for lesser crimes. While Olbermann does touch on that issue, he takes the criticism even further. Olbermann’s major point was not that Rice got off easy, but that the NFL failed on a much larger scale. The NFL had an opportunity to stand up for women and did not.
Olbermann started the episode with several examples of men demeaning women in sports (e.g. calling a female sideline reporter the b-word).
“You don’t do that. You don’t do any of that. Because by some tiny amount, each one of those things lowers the level of basic human respect for women in sports. And sooner or later, there are so many tiny amounts that the basic human respect is gone altogether. And eventually, after all the B-words, and hoe comments, and penis remarks, and nudity demands, and waitress jokes, the most powerful national sports league in the world can then get away with suspending a wife beater for just two games.
“The National Football League’s concern for Janay Palmer Rice is slightly less than the concern for her that Ray Rice showed on that tape. After he hit her, after he dragged her, after he propped her up, at least he didn’t try to sell her anything…The message to the women who the league claims constitute 50% of its fan base is simple, the NFL wants your money. It will do nothing else for you. It will tolerate those who abuse you verbally and those who abuse you physically.”
Olbermann then showed this bedazzled Ray Rice jersey that the NFL will gladly sell to women for $US59.95 along with the NFL shop’s own condescending description.
Olbermann than lowered the boom on the NFL, explaining that the league’s lack of respect for women leads to women in sports being viewed as “less human than the men.”
But Olbermann wasn’t done. He had one final shot at the NFL Network who referred to the suspension of Rice as “the iron fist of the NFL.”
Here is the full video.
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