On Monday, the NFL indefinitely suspended running back Ray Rice in the aftermath of new tape showing him clocking his then-fiancee into unconsciousness. That suspension has effectively brought an end to his once-promising career.
There is good news for Rice, however: criminal abuse of others isn’t the final nail in the career coffin. Rice will have plenty of other opportunities. Here are some of his top options:
ESPN. After Rice’s suspension was announced, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis commented on the situation on ESPN, where he is an NFL analyst. Lewis called the incident “disappointing.”
Of course, Lewis should know something about “disappointing” incidents, given that he was charged with two counts murder in 2000 after an incident involving the stabbing deaths of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker. The white suit he was wearing at the time of the murders went missing. Instead of going forward with the murder charges, prosecutors charged him with obstruction of justice. But Lewis didn’t turn on his compatriots, and they were let off the hook.
Lewis refused to acknowledge any oddity in this juxtaposition in his commentary on ESPN: “[T]here is no comparison of me and Ray Rice. It’s night and day. It’s night and day of anything we’ve ever been through and that’s why both situations are totally different.”
They are somewhat different. But not different enough that ESPN couldn’t hire Rice. After all, Rice was never charged with murder.
Huffington Post. After 10-year NFL veteran Donte Stallworth pled guilty in 2009 for DUI manslaughter, he was suspended for the season by the NFL. He’s now working as a politics fellow covering national security for the Huffington Post, based on his stellar knowledge of 9/11 and vaccination conspiracy theories.
NBA Coach. In 2001, NBA All-Star guard Jason Kidd of the Phoenix Suns was charged with assault against his wife, Joumana. He allegedly took a French fry from his kid’s plate, and after she commented on it, he allegedly spit the fry in her face and then hit her in the face while carrying a container of yogurt. “There’s just a bad history here,” she told police in a 911 call. “I told him this would be the last time, and he popped me right in the mouth.”
Now Kidd has been held up as one of the iconic faces in the league. After a playoff season coaching the Brooklyn Nets, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he will coach next year.
Pistachio Spokesman or Unofficial Ambassador to North Korea. In 2003, NBA star Dennis Rodman was arrested for allegedly hitting his then-fiancee. In 2008, Rodman pled no contest to domestic assault after a woman accused him of hitting her. Now, he’s a spokesperson for Wonderful Pistachios. And he’s a great friend to Kim Jong Un.
Hollywood and Broadway Actor. In 1991, boxer Mike Tyson was arrested for allegedly raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington. He was convicted in 1992 and spent three years in prison. Now, he’s a star in The Hangover, and had his own one-man show on Broadway.
NFL Network Analyst. Former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin reportedly settled a sexual assault suit against him in 2011. The woman said that Irvin assaulted her in 2007 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. As ESPN reported:
According to the woman’s lawsuit, Irvin got her drunk and took her to his hotel room where he and another, unidentified man insisted on sexual favors. The woman claims Irvin raped her and the other man forced her to perform oral sex.
Irvin now works for NFL Network.
So, good news for Ray Rice: bashing your future wife in the head doesn’t cut off all future career paths, even from the networks celebrating your ban from the NFL. Until the media and sports leagues begin taking all crime – even crime without tape – as seriously as Ray Rice’s crime, they’re simply hypocrites.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.