How Should the Baltimore Ravens NFL Football Team Respond to the Ray Rice Reinstatement?

In a recent turn of events, Ray Rice, who is a former running back for the Baltimore Ravens NFL Football Team was reinstated back into the NFL. Ray Rice appealed his permanent suspension which was handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Barbara S Jones determined that Ray Rice was to be reinstated and now has an opportunity to sign with any team in the NFL.

During the hearing, Roger Goodell and the NFL claimed that Ray Rice had mislead the NFL during an interview regarding a domestic violence incident with his former girlfriend and present wife Janay Rice. Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, concluded that Ray Rice did not lie to or mislead NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Jones stated, “In this arbitration, the NFL argues that Commissioner Goodell was misled when he disciplined Rice the first time. Because, after careful consideration of all of the evidence, I am not persuaded that Rice lied to, or misled, the NFL at his June interview, I find that the indefinite suspension was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated.” Roger Goodell and the NFL’s decision to punish Ray Rice a second time is paramount to double jeopardy.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the Double Jeopardy Clause encompasses four distinct prohibitions:

  • subsequent prosecution after acquittal
  • subsequent prosecution after conviction
  • subsequent prosecution after certain mistrials
  • multiple punishment in the same indictment.

Not only did Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL implement Double Jeopardy but the Baltimore Ravens also participated in the double jeopardy process.

The first thing that the Baltimore Ravens did was to deny Ray Rice any pay for the original two games that he was suspended. When Roger Goodell suspended Ray Rice from the NFL a second time, the Baltimore Ravens followed by eliminating his contract. Then they followed with a smear campaign regarding Ray Rice which resulted in fans returning their Ray Rice jerseys.

The Baltimore Ravens offered an exchange for Ray Rice jersey on Friday, September 19 to Sunday September 20 at the M&T Bank Stadium. According to NFL ESPN. More than 7,000 fans showed up to exchange their Ray Rice jerseys for those of other Ravens players during a two-day event at Baltimore’s home, team officials said Saturday. The Ravens handed out 5,595 new jerseys before running out before midday Saturday, then issued more than 2,400 vouchers for fans to pick up their jerseys once new shipments arrived later. The behavior of the Baltimore Ravens is typical to that of a dysfunctional organization.

Dysfunctional organizations exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to its existence. While Chris Argyris (1990) charted four factors that contribute to the dysfunctional organization, I propose that there are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization.

The foundation for the dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening. The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill. An incompetent skill that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine. Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork – the fourth level – happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies. Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. During organizational malaise – the final level – individuals in the organization – in this case which pointed to the exit of Ray Rice – will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The organization continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.

The Baltimore Ravens followed this process which resulted in them dismissing Ray Rice from the team and creating additional distance between them and Ray Rice by selling and trading for his jerseys. It was so bad that children began to wear the Ray Rice jersey as a Halloween costume.

At the root of the Baltimore Ravens response is racism. They overacted because Ray Rice is Black and the majority of their upper staff members are White. Ray Rice should have never been punished twice by the NFL or twice by the Baltimore Ravens. While this tragedy has illuminated the racial challenges that exist in the NFL, it is also an opportunity to enhance racial relationships within the team and the community. The Baltimore Ravens should take the following steps:

  1. Reinstate Ray Rice to the Baltimore Ravens
  2. Provide Ray Rice with all back pay
  3. Publicize an initiative with Ray Rice to enhance positive racial relationships with Baltimore Raven players and Baltimore Raven staff members to include coaches and owners
  4. Publicize an initiative to enhance positive racial relationships in the Baltimore community to include Baltimore Raven football players

Related Articles

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice wins suspension appeal

Potential landing spots for former Ravens running back Ray Rice

Ray Rice Ruling Highlights Roger Goodell’s Missteps

Armour: Time for Roger Goodell to cede some power

Finally, no more Ray Rice in Baltimore

Does the Ray Rice Domestic Violence Discipline Reveal a Racist NFL Culture?

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships

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“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”

~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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