THE BLOG
09/16/2014 04:25 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2014

Speak Up, Stand Up, Live Up: Beyond Ray Rice and the NFL

You've probably read and seen the same things I have. It's everywhere we look. Ray Rice. The Ravens. The NFL. Roger Goodell. With more released and uncovered each day.

I saw a parody article someone shared on Twitter entitled "NFL Announces New Zero-Tolerance Policy On Videotaped Domestic Violence." Pathetic. But it got me thinking...

Why did the Ravens and the NFL wait so long? Are leaders not capable of doing what's right until they're afraid of pain? Is that the reason why we haven't gotten diversity and inclusion right in the business world?

The answer? YES.

The Ravens' management team was afraid. That is why they finally released Rice. The NFL was afraid, too. They knew that second (horrible) video would be released. They knew it was bad. They knew the women consumers who spend millions watching games and buying their merchandise would be sickened. Shocked. Mad.

But why wasn't the first video enough to make the move? What happened to the notion of do what's right even if no one is looking?

But this never seemed to be about doing the right thing. It was about money. Pure and simple.

Let's learn from this. Let's stand for what's right even if we're standing alone (together). Let's make it better. Make our country better. Make corporate America better - equal. Once and for all.

Maybe I'm old school, but wrong is wrong and right is right. The Ravens were wrong for not taking action sooner. The NFL was wrong. And Ray Rice was definitely wrong.

And corporate America is wrong, too. Let's not stand for it anymore. Let's speak up, stand up and live up to what we know is right.

While we're speaking up, standing up and living up to what we know is right, I had to end with these wise words my husband, Mike Bourgeois, recently wrote. No more silence...

Domestic violence is a serious issue in the African American community and not often spoken about.

This situation offers an opportunity to bring this problem to the forefront and engage in some courageous conversations. Black men need to step up and own their actions. There is no excuse for a man hitting a woman - ever - period. The NFL has a cultural issue that must be addressed. This unfortunate incident reinforces the need for the NFL to establish new policies and hold themselves accountable for role modeling behavior worthy of following.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

#SilenceIsEndorsement