It is incomprehensible to many that in 2014 injustices exist, therefore the tendency is to turn the blame on the victim.  If you really want to make a difference, if you really care, recognize that Ray Rice is one piece of the puzzle.  When we acknowledge the greater issue, the issue that required Janay Palmer Rice’s most horrifying moment of her life to be played out for the world to see over and over before there was real outrage.

That video was not for you or me to see and judge her.  The burden of proof is put on the victim because it is easier to blame the woman.  It was easier to believe that the NFL had to know something about her that justified her beating.

As I said in an earlier article, Ray Rice, Roger Goodell – Who Is Public Enemy #1?, how women are treated on a daily basis is very much a part of this story.  It angers me that anytime women point out that correlation, the tables are turned back on the females. Yes, we have a responsibility to fight for our rights, but someone who does not even recognize the fight as real, does not get to speak to my battle.

Every single day is a fight.  Every single day is a battle.  I do speak out.  I do fight my battles.  You do not see them because my voice is not important.  My stories are told differently than a 22-45 year old male because I am not a 22-45 year old male.

I am a female that knows and loves sports, yet my passion and knowledge are questioned and scrutinized on a daily basis.  If you hear a struggle I encounter, you dismiss it as whining.  If you do not have video proof, you assume it does not happen.

My stories are told from my perspective, a perspective that gives me something in common  with almost half of NFL fans – we have boobs.  (Boobs that God intended us to have, not because of the amount of beer we drink or exercise we are not doing).  It is easy to write off what I or any other female in sports have to say because males represent the majority.  It is easy to say that I do not convey my message in the same way you would or how every other person on this site does, so I am not the voice that will best connect with you.   It is easy to disguise dismissing me as any reason other than because I am female.

All the excuses that diminish a female’s role are preciously why you should be listening to me and anyone else who thinks, looks, acts, or believes differently than you do.  We should all be listening to views that are different from our own.

When society stops patting women on the head for having an opinion, when women stop taking twice as long to write a story or craft their message so their knowledge is not called into question, when women stop having to justify every word, then we are moving in the right direction.

It is naive to think that all women have to do is speak up.  We are speaking up, but it is easy to just not hire us or limit the people who hear what we have to say.  Every battle we fight has to be chosen carefully, or we not only risk our current jobs, but future employment as well.

We are speaking up, but how many of us have actually been asked our opinion on domestic violence?

The fact that video came out 8 months later causing the victim to go back to that place is Roger Goodell’s fault.  Had he levied a swift fitting punishment, that video would not have seen the light of day.  For lying about having seen the video, he should be fired.  The second video should not have been necessary to make the appropriate decision in punishment.  The cover up is further proof that money is more important than anything.  It is obviously more important than the life of a woman who no one would know the name of if neither of the videos had been released.

The fact that the insinuation of provocation tempered response and excused the NFL’s actions is society as a whole’s fault.

A smart man pointed out to me that something is wrong when I am quiet.  If you are not hearing me, I challenge you to ask yourself why.

 

Katie Nolan of Fox Sports posted the above video.  Her video expresses exactly the things that go through my head when doing my job.  It also prompted a debate that women in the sports industry are not speaking up for themselves.

 

Follow Leslie on Twitter @LK_Comm.

 

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