John Harbough Doesn’t Fucking Get It

Tonight, while the Detroit Lions were taking a fifteen-minute break from their otherwise uninterrupted assault upon a thoroughly unprepared New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh strutted out in front of a camera to undertake the unenviable task of announcing the team had fired Ray Rice after reviewing a video in which the star running back can be seen knocking his then-girlfriend completely the fuck out in a Las Vegas elevator. The announcement was sadly — and predictably — tepid:

“After seeing something this morning, seeing the video this morning, we had a chance to get together with Steve, Dick, Ozzie and myself and we had a meeting. It was not a long meeting. We came to the decision we came to to release Ray and that’s what we did,” Harbaugh said. “So you know that. I had a chance to talk with Ray along with Ozzie this afternoon after we did it.”

Asked whether the Ravens saw the video prior to Monday morning, Harbaugh claimed the team saw it for the first time Monday and “it changed things.”

“It’s something we saw for the first time today,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things of course. It made things a little bit different.”

Harbaugh was also asked if his feelings toward Rice — he stood up in front of a podium and defended his (now) former player just months ago — had changed. He said no.

“Everything I said in terms of what I believe I stand by. I believe that still. I’ll always believe those things,” Harbaugh said. “And we’ll always stand in support of them as a couple. That’s not going to change.”

The Ravens coach even went so far as to say he and his wife would offer Rice and his wife support as they move forward, even though Rice is no longer on the team.

“When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences it is tough and it is hurtful. My pain is for both of them as a couple,” Harbaugh said. “From everything talking to Ray, up until his suspension, talking with him a lot, was they were working hard and doing well. If I can help them in any way and if my wife and I can help them in any way, we’ll do that.”

Harbaugh also said the video “wasn’t made available” to the Ravens until Monday morning when it went public.

“It wasn’t made available to us. It wasn’t there for us,” Harbaugh said. “As far as I know yeah, it wasn’t something we ever saw or had access to.”

Why not? Harbaugh had “no answer for that” though he does “absolutely” believe the Ravens did their due diligence to find all necessary video available.

Yeah, that’s bullshit. Every stinking fucking line of it.

What the fuck has changed, exactly? The sordid tale of Rice cold-cocking Janay Palmer is, by now, old fucking hat. It broke back in February of this year.  Harbaugh himself has known about it since at least July, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally got around to handing Rice the ever-so-appropriate two-game suspension as punishment for his crime… a whole four months after Rice had been indicted by a grand jury (seriously, those who think the American justice system is inefficient should get a good look at the NFL). But we’re to believe Harbaugh didn’t understand what had happened until this very afternoon? Are you fucking kidding me?

I can’t imagine, for even a second, that Harbaugh didn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation until he saw the video, that it could have possibly depicted anything less violent or disturbing than it did. If he expected anything else upon hearing that the 218 pound Rice had punched Palmer in the goddamned head, then he’s a fucking moron; completely and utterly unqualified to comment on such a situation, much less dispense apropos punishment upon players involved in such grisly antics. Or he knew full fucking well what had happened, and didn’t do shit because he didn’t have to. If no one had said boo about it, Rice would have been running the ball up and down the fucking field this weekend.

But people did say boo, and they said loud enough and often enough that Ravens management simply couldn’t ignore it anymore. They fired Ray Rice not because they were disgusted with what he had done, or because making an example of entitled pricks like him is the right thing to do, but because they couldn’t continue to make excuses once the video was out. Everyone knows about it now, and no doubt for them to hide behind remains. So, they reluctantly let Rice go.

And what stern words does Harbaugh offer to those who brutalize women?

“My pain is for both of them as a couple.”

Oh, fuck you.

Fuck football and its culture of violence, fuck the NFL and its toxic hypermasculinism, and fuck you for making excuses for the both of them.

 

 

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