By Avery Stone
Domestic violence in America: a priority, until football gets in the way.
On Monday night during the Arizona Cardinals-San Diego Chargers game, ESPN anchor Chris Berman was discussing former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL after TMZ published video that showed Rice slugging his now-wife Janay in an Atlantic City elevator.
But Berman interrupted himself mid-sentence as something else took precedence over addressing domestic violence: a blocked punt.
“It is clear to anybody playing football that the message has to go way beyond,” Berman says in the Vine video above. “And some need help AND THE PUNT IS BLOCKED!”
Vine user Sam Laird hit the nail on the head in the video’s caption: “Chris Berman explaining the intricacies of domestic violence but really just being a metaphor for America,” he writes.
Indeed. In May, the only video from the incident that was publicly available showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee from the elevator — but not what happened inside. The NFL suspended him for just two games, and the Ravens actually tweeted that Janay Rice was sorry for “her role” in what was clearly a violent assault.
Rice wasn’t suspended indefinitely or let go from the team until Monday, when TMZ surfaced footage from inside the elevator that showed him knocking his wife out with a left hook — video NFL executives may have seen before determining his earlier, considerably lighter punishment. Hours after the new footage surfaced, the Ravens finally removed their tweet.
According to the National Network To End Domestic Violence, three women are killed in domestic violence incidents in the U.S. every day, on average; the fact that a blocked punt could sideline conversation about it is both indicative and inexcusable.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Read more here:: Huffintonpost