Yes, blame the NFL. Yes, blame us all. But I think the moment calls for us to consider some more fundamental cultural framing of sports. What I particularly want to focus on is how I think many white people in the US regard African American men in sport.
It is important for everyone to become more savvy about abuser's excuses because many people unwittingly reinforce them in how we respond to the abuser's "explanations" for his/her violence, and to understand what taking real responsibility means.
We must encourage men to have a voice in this discussion because while the majority of domestic violence victims are women, every year in the U.S., about 3.2 million men are the victims of an assault by an intimate partner.
So far, based on the disclosure on its website, the bottom line appears to be that the NFL has raised about $7 million over 5 years in its breast cancer initiative. Given the billions in revenues the league and its teams have made in that same period of time, this amount seems paltry.
Football isn't the only culprit in this category. The same dynamic takes place in crime shows, action movies, and other media. Most of us have seen the statistics around this.
Presumably, the idea of an elevator speech is that 30 seconds is the time it takes to hold someone "captivated" as they wait for their destination. Elevator speeches came before Twitter, and as such, are a form of an in-person tweet.
As a society, it seems we have simply come to expect that rich and famous individuals will always find ways to get off easier in matters of crime and punishment. The latest case to prove the legal system's celebrity favoritism? Ray Rice.
We need to be true to our sisters, even when they don't stand up for themselves. We have to be the voice that says we demand dignity and refuse to support a sport that does not take women -- all women -- seriously.
If you live in New York State, you can actually help change things and codify equal rights for women by voting for the Women's Equality Party on Election Day.
To be sure, many men who hit or emotionally abuse their partners were themselves abused as kids, but many men have also risen above their brutal childhoods and broken that cycle. Being abused doesn't automatically make you an abuser.
The NFL has been tackled this year by violence - domestic violence, whoopings and concussions. I'll leave the sport and its rules to the NFL, but the issue of violence in the home is one that we should be long past by now.
The original sin is not knowledge, it is rape. When men, women, and children are rendered powerless in the face of violence, there should be no tolerance for that.
While recent high-profile examples come from the United States, violence against women is a global issue, and remains one of the most entrenched and horrific forms of gender inequality.
Those angry with LeBron James for simply changing employers began burning his jersey mere hours after the announcement, not waiting seven months to hopefully exchange them. I seem to have missed the videos of fans burning the Rice jerseys. Maybe changing teams is a greater offense than delivering a hook to the jaw of a woman in an elevator.
There needs to be a cultural change with the league's front office. It can no longer be the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about. We're talking about it and we're talking loudly about it.
ESPN has the responsibility to report on the issues surrounding our favorite sports, and sometimes, unfortunately, those happen to be moral and legal issues. However, it is not ESPN's responsibility to uncover facts and break stories.