5/27/14

Ray Rice . . .

Well, well, well . . . I've seen a whole new LOW in the crazy, unacceptable, disgusting world of sports in America.

The Baltimore Ravens HOSTED a press conference where they put one of their players and his wife in front of their logo and their "official partner" sponsor (and Baltimore-born company) Under Armour (and shame on YOU, Under Armour for letting your logo be splashed behind this fiasco) for the lamest press conference in the history of the sad excuses for human beings making excuses for being pathetic.

If you're not sure what I'm raging over - Ray Rice is a FANTASTIC (as sports journalists insist on clarifying) football player and WONDERFUL COMMUNITY MEMBER (as the Baltimore Ravens and NFL Player's Union wants to remind you every chance they get) for the aforementioned Baltimore Ravens. He is also a full grown man and professional pugilist who knocked his then fiancee (now wife) UNCONSCIOUS in an Atlantic City elevator and then DRAGGED her from the metal box of punishment.

No. I never watched the footage. I don't like violence. I am pissed at Scandal for all the stabbings, shootings, teeth pullings, face spitting, and cheek licking this season. I don't need to see actual footage of actual people physically assaulting each other to know it would make me crazy. But the link above will show it to you in all its (non) glory.

Yes. Apologists . . .  I know it was an alleged "mutual" attack. A 105 pound woman attacked a 212 pound SPECIMEN of human being fitness and strength. I'm sure he had NO choice but to knock her out and drag her away. Seems totally worth injecting in to the conversation. Thanks for reminding me.

But - it's cool . . . he's really, really, REALLY sorry. Yeah. He held a seven-minute long press conference yesterday where he vaguely read notes from his spiffy iPhone and mumbled on about getting back up. You can watch the whole thing here. You should (especially if, like me, you like public relations, media relations, communication, speeches, and strategic communications - because this is the poster child for how NOT to do all of the above).

If you don't want to watch all 7:11 of it (and I don't think you will be a better person for enduring it) here are a few of my "lowlights" . . .

00:00 - You're really going to use your iPhone for notes and a guide? Who IS your publicist? Who IS the publicist for the Ravens? Do they know you are in front of their logo? Is Under Armour okay with their logo being tied to this?

00:32 - You MISSED one on your initial apology - your WIFE. Point of order you NEVER apologize to her during this horror show of a press conference.

00:49 - There is no WE, Ray. Unless your wife had a gun (or other mortal weapon) pointed at you and was 100% sure to use it - you acted ALONE in the ways that you need to apologize. Her job is not on the line. Her public perception is not on the line. You did this to you, dumby.

01:27 - Yes. You have a "very powerful job" . . . oh, oh. You meant playing a game for a living. I thought you meant being a father, husband, son, community member, etc. My bad. You're worried about your millions. Got it.

01:55 - Would you elaborate on the "failure" part of all this? In your own words? Yes - you can check your iPhone for talking points. I'll wait, silly pants.

02:00 - Rule #1, Ray - Don't use analogies like "Knocked down and getting back up" when the symbolism is so closely tied to the actual problem. And stop using the same analogy over and over again as we go on.

02:07 - Rule #2 - Ray, Ray, Ray (Can I call you "Ray"? You're not going to knock me out and drag me around if I do? Promise?) - You can't say "Make sure I HIT on everything." while the wife you knocked out is just feet away. Come on, man. You're wearing a tie. You woke up this morning intending to really TRY to do this the right way, right?

02:20 - We need to talk about your body language. You know - for the next time (yes - shame on me for presuming there might be a next time).

02:30 - Did you just take full responsibility for failing your "business relationships"? Very big of you. You don't want to share the blame for that elevator ride with Under Armor, and other sponsors like you do with your wife? Maybe you were wearing some dri-wick underpants or a Ravens logo somewhere. They might have been there, too. You're STILL going to take sole ownership? I'm proud of you, Ray. (eye roll)

02:50 - You are NOT likely to go down as a "role model" to your daughter. The statistics are against you here, Ray. Girls tend to distance themselves from the men who smack their mothers around in public (or in private).

03:42 - Yes, Ray. You are the SAME Ray Rice. You were always capable of knocking your wife out. Just like even at his most jovial, OJ Simpson was capable of (allegedly) killing his wife and her lover. Don't pretend like donating money and time at the soup kitchen makes this just a fluke in an otherwise good life. It is PART of that life. If you accepted that and spoke to that - I might find you vaguely respectable for a few seconds.

03:50 - Oops. Seconds are over. You would have had EIGHT seconds of my respect. Quick reminder . . . Stop. Saying. WE.

04:15 - No. No, no, no. You don't get to bring up that you really didn't have a dad growing up. That's not why you leveled a woman and dragged her from the scene. Stop it, Ray. You are trying to tell me you are a good, solid man and you're going to blame your deadbeat father? Tsk, tsk.

04:51 - Don't talk about "best interest" of anyone or anything. That ship has also sailed. You only care about YOU, Ray.

05:30 - Congrats, Chaplain. You are bringing some healing. (That is not sarcasm - that is the only positive thing I have to say about this whole debacle.)

05:55 - WE will earn back your trust? Is your wife lacking trust from people these days? Not getting invited to spring off season workouts? No longer welcomed by her friends and family? Daughter avoiding her? What trust did she lose when you knocked her out? Is it there in your iPhone? Scroll to the very bottom - it MUST be there.

06:05 - You lost 100% of your credibility when you just sort of SAY the ONLY reason you're at that mic is to get your job back and to remedy that part of your life. Thanks for trying.

06:35 - No. No. NO. Your hack, loser PR people who all but forced this woman to sit at that table and then SPEAK should have to walk planks in the harbor . . . NONE OF YOU (Ray Rice, publicists, lawyers, etc.) should NOT have ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER let her think she needed to apologize for "her role" in that night. I don't care what she did - truly not. She should NOT be apologizing publicly (let that be private between him and her - her career is not on the line - the logo of her employer (unless she works for the Ravens or Under Armour) is not there.

06:58 - Nice body language, kids. I believe you still love each other very much.

X:XX - Way to NEVER make eye contact with the woman you "love" and are so "sorry" about knocking out.

You failed, Ray Rice. You failed at all of this.

One could argue there are parts of the world where husbands abusing wives is considered part of marriage and considered none of our business and something we should just ignore in the context of everything else . . . those parts of the world apparently include BALTIMORE, MARYLAND!