The NFL has suspended Ravens RB Ray Rice for two games without pay and fined him $ 58,000 following his domestic violence arrest in February for assaulting his then-fiancee. The internet was left scratching their heads at Roger Goodell’s obvious bias in doling out suspensions. Twitter erupted in shows of sarcasm, anger, disbelief, and shame. Sports Illustrated put out, not one, but two articles seesawing the consequences of the decision.
The truth is that no matter where you fall on the judgement of this incident, Roger Goodell made a horrible call in a time of social media power. Now the NFL will experience the backlash from social platforms. This is a giant step back, for one of the most powerful sports leagues in the world, to attract female viewership and fans. All women have to do is scroll through their Twitter timelines, Facebook stories, or Instagram feeds, and they will get the impression that the NFL simply doesn’t care about women.
It’s a hard subject to talk about, and social media is creating a ton of ways to be involved in the dialogue. Perhaps, the silver lining is that this social conversation will spark change and create a better understanding of how females are viewed by sports leagues.