What if Ray Rice was your son? [Letter]

September 18, 2014

Recently we have often been asked: What if your daughter had been in Janay Rice's shoes, wouldn't you demand stern justice? As the mother of a daughter, the answer is that of course I would. However, I am also the mother of a son. Why don't we hear the question: What if your son had been in Ray Rice's shoes? If my son had been in that position, I would demand stern justice as well. However, I would demand justice to be rational and consider that — by all accounts — there had been no pattern of abuse and that, also certainly relevant, there had been a long-time and consistent pattern of exemplary community service and outreach by Mr. Rice. Furthermore, after the event, there was full cooperation with counseling and all other stipulations put in place by the justice system.

I happen to agree with those that think that a two-game suspension was inadequate, and I am well aware of the tremendous injustices suffered by women in domestic abuse situations. However, I think the de facto destruction of a career that has been meted out by the Ravens organization and the NFL to be cruel and unjust given the set of facts that has been presented to us. A just response requires a consideration of the facts of each specific case. Each situation is unique, and we owe it to both our daughters and our sons to give them the justice they deserve.

Brenda Rapp

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