I think it’s pretty safe to say that Ray Rice is a disgusting human being. Any man – rather, any human being – that can physically harm a person they purport to love in such a violent and aggressive way can’t be anything but. And while there is much controversy over how much the NFL turned their heads for as long as they could or the fact that the woman in question, then Rice’s fiancée and now his wife, supports him wholeheartedly and believes Rice is being bullied for his actions, here’s someone who actually has been penalized: Rihanna.
You see, Rihanna was due to perform at the Steelers/Ravens game last night, but the NFL cancelled the appearance last minute. Why, you ask? Well, because Rihanna was the victim of assault by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown, so the organization thought it sent the wrong message to viewers. You know, seeing a woman who was once battered might be a little too close to home and remind people of Rice’s crime.
The opening features Rihanna performing a version of her hit “Run This Town” — while Don Cheadle introduces the teams and dramatically asks who will “run this town” when the game is over.
But with the Ray Rice scandal in full swing, it’s clear CBS didn’t want to feature another celebrity who was involved in a high-profile domestic violence incident.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus says, “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone coverage.”
I’ve been trying to understand this, and I just can’t. After all, Rihanna was not a perpetrator of violence, she was the victim of it. Frankly, I doubt she cares either way about performing at a football game, but the point is this: why is Rihanna being punished because she was a victim? Shouldn’t she be a beacon of someone who got out (albeit after a lengthy period of time) and who is still strong, independent and successful? Why are we trying to shush her?
I suppose it makes people uncomfortable to think about domestic violence, so with the Ray Rice situation in full swing, Rihanna will remind everyone of the seriousness of the situation. Can’t have a bunch of macho football fans upset while they’re trying to pound some brewskis and watch the game, I suppose.
Yes, insert eye roll here.