What is NFL saying?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 26, 2014

A dart must go to the National Football League for the deplorable message it sent this week by giving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice only a two-game suspension for beating to unconsciousness his then fiancee.
The punishment is way out of balance with much harsher penalties the league has handed down for other offenses. One can easily make the case Rice’s violent act against a woman is more tolerated than certain tattoos, text messages, free gifts, marijuana smoking and gay and racial slurs.
Don’t forget, in February an Atlantic City casino camera captured Rice carrying his then fiancee’s limp body out of an elevator and dropping her to the ground after having knocked her out.
A grand jury ended up indicting Rice on a third-degree aggravated assault charge, which had the potential of sending him to prison for three to five years. But after the indictment was handed down, Rice married his fiancee, and by May, he had worked out a deal in which he would enter a program for first-time offenders.
If he meets certain conditions of the program, which includes family counseling, Rice will have the charge expunged. He’ll also be back on the playing field before October.
Meanwhile, a player such as Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon faces a yearlong suspension for smoking pot. Richie Incognito lost pretty much an entire NFL season for bullying a teammate through text messages.
Racial and/or gay slurs have cost other players many more games than Rice will be missing. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor received free tattoos while playing at Ohio State, and the NFL suspended him for five games because of that offense.
Given the NFL’s tolerance for domestic violence, Pryor could have knocked out two women and been suspended only four games. Huddle up, NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell. Make sure violent acts are punished much more severely than non-violent ones.
Laurels are in order for Theresa Brandt, who is raising money and going through training to prepare for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in late October.
Brandt volunteered at the event last year as a way to celebrate her mother’s one-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. It inspired her to become a 2014 participant, but Brandt knew for her to complete successfully the two-day, 39.3-mile walk would require a complete lifestyle change.
She’s now halfway to her goal of losing 80 pounds, and she’s building up her stamina step by step. She is finding a way to make her story of personal achievement translate to the bigger message of creating awareness for the effort that never ends — finding a cure.
Laurels to the Rowan Museum for deciding its special exhibit on World War I has to stay up for a year, so that all the third- and fourth-graders in Rowan-Salisbury Schools get a chance to see it.
For most of these kids, it will be their first exposure to the “war to end all wars.” Of course, we know how that prediction turned out.