Keith Olbermann had a meltdown on the air Thursday, delivering an on-point condemnation of the NFL’s pathetic sanctions against the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice.
Rice was charged with felony assault after police reviewed surveillance footage showing him dragging his unconscious fiancée from a casino elevator, however, as Olbermann points out, Commissioner Roger Goodell handed Rice merely a fine and a two-game suspension.
Olbermann showed the silent surveillance footage of Rice assaulting his wife, paused for nearly a minute and then noted that defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games for stepping on a player’s head during a game—an infraction the NFL took very, very seriously.
Olbermann then argued that this kind of leniency displays an offensive disregard for women.
After Rice’s February arrest, one of his attorneys called the precipitating incident a “very minor physical altercation,” but a police report said that “after viewing surveillance footage” the responding Atlantic City officer concluded that Rice had “struck” Janay Palmer—while video from that night leaked to TMZ showed Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of an elevator. (A subsequent police document posted here on Deadspin explicitly charged that Rice had knocked Palmer unconscious; Palmer was also arrested, for striking Rice.)
Rice was indicted by a grand jury on a felony assault charge, but avoided further prosecution by agreeing to participate in a pretrial intervention program. Rice and Palmer—who were married the day after the indictment—then held a press conference in which Rice, unbelievably, used the metaphor of getting “knocked down” to describe how he would recover from the incident, while Palmer apologized for her role in getting (allegedly) knocked unconscious.
You can watch Olbermann, below, from his YouTube page.