It is important to be familiar with the entire sequence of events surrounding the Ray Rice situation prior to reading the following opinion-based article - SB Nation's Louis Bien thoroughly summarizes them here.
Anyone with an iota of morality will agree that the acts of Ray Rice are atrocious. I'll further assert that the subsequent coverup of such acts by the Baltimore Ravens, Roger Goodell, and the National Football League are disgusting.
There is no doubt in my mind as to whether or not the Ravens and/or NFL representatives viewed the un-abbreviated surveillance tape prior to its release this week. In fact, I am even willing to say that one or more front office executives saw the tape within hours of Rice and Palmer's arrest. I'd be willing to bet that Rice's first call was to his lawyer, who immediately began strategizing with his employer, the Ravens. Next, I'd guess that damage control commenced; including a comprehensive internal investigation, which led to obtaining and viewing the surveillance video. I envision Rice's legal team, the Ravens, and Roger Goodell assessing risk and strategizing how they'd "control" the situation.
While I am at it, I'll even go so far as to speculate that Rice and Palmer were advised to immediately get married. Why? Well, if his then fiancée wasn't going to press charges, she surely wouldn't press charges as his wife. Furthermore, should additional legal accusations surface, Mrs. Rice would not be subpoenaed to testify against her husband. Maybe you think I've been watching too much Law and Order, but the fact that Rice and Palmer were engaged in 2011, had a daughter in 2012, then suddenly (and inexplicably) rushed a private ceremony in March 2014 (just one month after the incident), seems highly suspicious.
That being said, anyone who thinks these are the most atrocious acts that have taken place in the NFL (or any organized sports group in the United States) must love having media-hyped wool pulled over their eyes. It doesn't take much to recall the countless times the league, at-large, has turned a blind-eye to blatant crimes that would get the average civilian incarcerated.
My biggest qualm in all this lies with those who suddenly woke up, hopped on a soap box, latched it to the band-wagon and became an overnight advocate of women's rights. What about the countless other accusations of abuse and sexual assault? There absolutely needs to be a demand for the awareness and eradication of violence and abuse, particularly in the NFL. It is not, however, going to remarkably occur with the condemnation of Ray Rice and/or Roger Goodell. While Rice and Goodell should absolutely be severely penalized, real change will only take place when the NFL's pocket book is sacked. True activists of the cause must take a comprehensive look at the overall organizational structure of the NFL. Once this is done, it's easier to understand that it is not Roger Goodell who is in "control." As the Commissioner, he oversees a non-profit league which represents 32 for-profit clubs/owners. So, you see, the power and onus lies within each respective club.
If one wants to assist in eradicating criminal behaviors and injustices in the NFL, then there must be an on-going, direct involvement between the fans and clubs. Fans must make it known to their club's respective owners what they value, then regularly hold the club accountable.
As fans and community members, we have a social responsibility to actively involve ourselves in the ongoing betterment of the NFL - not just rant when there is something so heinous that it's impossible to ignore.