Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | NFL | Ray Rice | video | football

Ex-NFL Psychologist: Ray Rice Episode Will 'Haunt The League'

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 03:31 PM

The National Football League and the Baltimore Ravens will be living down their handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident for a long time, a former NFL psychologist told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

Terry Lyles, once a team psychologist for the Miami Dolphins, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that the league, the Ravens, and Rice all forgot a basic truth in their lenient first response to Rice assaulting his fiancee: "Power, money, and fame bring huge responsibility — and people are watching."

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In the wake of a second, more graphic video of the Feb. 15 assault, Pro Bowl running back Rice's initial two-game suspension has now become a terminated contract and an open-ended ban from the league.

But the entire episode demonstrates how indulgently the league, teams, fans, and sports journalists have treated even criminal misconduct by many pro athletes, said Lyles and fellow "MidPoint" guest Evan Weiner, a journalist and football writer.

"This is nothing new," said Weiner, author of "America's Passion: How a Coal Miner's Game Became the NFL In the 20th Century."

"We've got [Panthers defensive end] Greg Hardy in Carolina right now who was arrested. You have another player, [49ers defensive end Ray] McDonald in San Francisco, who was arrested for domestic violence," said Weiner.

"These guys are gladiators; they're trained to kill," he said. "Sometimes they don't know when to turn it off, and we see it constantly . . . Sports has turned a blind eye to it.

"They seem to be more concerned about performance-enhancing drugs on the field . . . than guys beating up people — whether it's women, people in bars or [after] car accidents," said Weiner. "How many players have been arrested since the end of the last season, Jan. 1? I counted up over 30 on various charges. However, the fans accept it."

Weiner noted that it was an Internet celebrity gossip site, TMZ, and not an established sports media outlet, that found and posted a graphic video on Monday of Rice knocking out Janay Palmer — now his wife, Janay Rice — in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel in February.

Rice was initially suspended for two games, after surveillance video surfaced not of the actual assault but of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee from the elevator. In May, she apologized for any role she might have played in the confrontation.

She has continued to defend her husband and on Tuesday lashed out at critics and the media.

Lyles suggested that a spouse taking her abuser's side is not unusual in such relationships.

"For his wife, and women at large — so many women get caught in situations that they just don't know how to get out of or they don't know how to say they're in trouble: 'This is my husband, I love him, he loves me, and we're going to make it better.' Things don't always get better," he said.

Lyles said the athletes need to be monitored closely by team medical and mental health professionals for signs of both physical and emotional stress.

"Unless things are tracked on a regular basis," he said. "These kinds of events can take place and will continue to take place without education, awareness, and more coaching, counseling, and accountability."

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The National Football League and the Baltimore Ravens will be living down their handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident for a long time, a former NFL psychologist told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
NFL, Ray Rice, video, football
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2014-31-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 03:31 PM
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