Sticks, Stones, Names and Faces

The National Football League has suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the 2014 season, following Rice’s arrest on aggravated assault charges against his then-fiancée in February. Rice was arrested after surveillance video showed him dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel/casino.

Police have video of Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, before they entered the elevator. Rice was indicted on aggravated assault charges but, as a first time offender, was allowed to enter a diversionary community service program that will allow him to avoid jail time.

However, the Minnesota Vikings have suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games, saying he has to donate $100,000 to ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’ rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer. The coordinator can attend sensitivity training and get his suspension reduced to two weeks if Vikings ownership determines he is ready to return.

It’s pretty sad that an incident of physical harm verses an incident of verbal ignorance could come to such different disciplinary results. Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones, but names and faces can’t hurt me?

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