I hope I will be forgiven for once again moving the next chapter of “Sam Lacy – He Made a Difference” to the back burner.


Before I get started, I want to make it clear that my job is not to take sides, but to make it clear that there are two sides to every story and we shouldn’t be too quick to rush to judgment.

The hottest topic in sports news is the Ray Rice story. And, if you count the number of people lined up on both sides of this issue you would have enough to start a small war. My wife is a walking opinion, and she is among those holding out for crucifixion. She has had a frown on her face since the report of Rice fighting with his wife hit the news. I have to agree with her feelings, but I also take into account that she is a Washington NFL team fan.

It is very hard to find a way to accept the punishment handed out by the Ravens since every day
a new piece of information is revealed. As of this writing, the suspension of two games and a fine seemed to satisfy most fans until it was revealed that the NFL had been holding on to evidence since April. With this new evidence available to the public, Ray was fired and banned from football. In the next breath, Roger Goodell was saying he may be reinstated.

I am dealing with equity of punishment as my main issue. At the moment there are 14 NFL players dealing with domestic violence issues. And, through the years, there have been too many to mention here. Kevin Williams, Seahawks, beat his wife for not wearing her wedding ring. He received one year probation and a $1,000 fine. He was never suspended. Frosty Rucker, Cardinals, was convicted of two counts of spousal battery, and received three years probation, 750 hours community service, a $520 fine and a one-game suspension, which was never served because he won an appeal. If you are looking for a player with star status, look at Santonio Holmes. The mother of his child told police he had choked her, thrown her to the ground, grabbed her arms and slammed her into a door. Holmes was sentenced to counseling.

Roger Goodell, in an effort to shine a positive light on this issue has instituted a consistent punishment rule. First offense garners a six-game suspension. Second offense and you are banished from the League. Before the ink could dry on this document, it was revealed that the League had been withholding evidence in Rice’s case, leading some fans crying for Goodell’s firing.

In the case of Rice, his now-wife is against all sanctions, and has asked for their family to be left alone.

Reactions from the fans is a mixed bag. The Ravens have offered to buy back Ray Rice jerseys, and on the other hand there is a movement for fans to wear their Ray Rice jerseys in support.

You figure it out.

Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO