These days it just isn’t real until we can see it online. Now that video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice savagely punching his then-fiancee, now his wife, in an elevator earlier this year, he has been let go by his team and suspended indefinitely by the National Football League.
And we are going to have to endure a lot of debates about trivial nonsense while the most important issue gets little play.
We’ll get to hear about whether the team did the right thing. For itself? For its image? For its fans? And even for the victim, Janay Rice.
We’ll get to hear about whether the NFL did the right thing, with its initial two-game suspension, or the current one. And the talk will be about whether the league is hypocritical, or only cared about the violence once the video disgusted enough people, or didn’t have a strong enough reaction until it realized how very angry women and men who oppose violence against women were.
All of this will be debated ad infinitum on talk radio and sports television. But what won’t get nearly enough attention is the only important thing here:
Stop beating women. Stop accepting men who beat women. Stop teaching young men it’s okay to beat women. Make every conversation about this a real conversation, not about marketing or products but about ending violence against women by abusive men.
That’s what the NFL should be talking about, what ESPN should be talking about, what the Ravens should be talking about and what everyone involved should be talking about.
Everything else is trivial in comparison.
Lane Filler is a member of the Newsday editorial board.