Friday, September 19, 2014

Domestic Violence; Rice, Hardy, and the NFL

There's been constant talk lately about Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy, and the NFL's inconsistencies with regards to their knowledge about both situations, and their handling of other similar situations are coming up in posts and comments.

Domestic Abuse is a very serious issue and comes in various ways; be it verbal, emotional, mental, sexual, and physical. All have and leave severe effects on the abused.

*One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 
*Women are more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than men. 
*Every year, one in three women who is a victim of homiced is killed by a significant other.  
*Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners or someone they know.

The Ray Rice issue put Greg Hardy's issue in the spot light, and now Arizona Cardinal's Jonathon Dwyer is in the hot seat. The NFL's inconsistencies, lack of public disclosure and seemingly inadequate investigations, processes and procedures have the public questioning not just the NFL's processes but their level of integrity. Who is the NFL protecting?

Once I actually viewed the Rice video, which for a long time, I couldn't bear to a woman, I was appalled and disgusted. I was even more disturbed when I saw Mrs. Rice's comment the next day. Some people felt I was passing judgement when I posted my intial opinion after viewing the video on my Facebook page... 
"So Ray Rice lost his job...good! But his then fiancée, now wife needs some self-esteem, self-respect, and needs to learn self-love. It baffles me how society is quick to jump on a man but not hold the woman accountable for her part.
Fellas: There's never an excuse to hit a woman, if she pushes you to that level, she's a liability, NOT an asset.
Ladies: If a man abuses you, mentally, physically o
r emotionally, he has no respect for you; so do yourself a favor and bounce. There's no amount of money in the world for you to ALLOW a man to disrespect you... have some self-respect and dignity. A destructive, toxic relationship IS NOT LOVE. There's no way I'd have married him. The love of money is a shadow for fools."
The list of excuses I read in the comments on my post as well as other posts, were sad. We live in a society that makes excuses for everything and everyone, and medicates everyone for everything. The issue here is that there are women looking at this situation and thinking this is acceptable. 

If Janay Rice is okay with being belittled and treated like crap, that's her prerogative, but we need to stop making excuses for people's behaviors. 
Honestly, if she's okay with it, I'm okay with it. She's right, it's her life, and however she decides to process the lack of respect and value her significant other has for her and she has for herself, is her right. 

If the NFL and the Ravens saw the Rice video and allowed Rice to play, then the NFL has continuously shown us that they will stand by their athletes for the love of the almighty dollar. Now a 911 call has surfaced about Hardy. Pittsburg Steelers Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of rape several times and all the NFL has done was suspend him... It makes you wonder if women are worth anything more in the NFL macho male club other than being sideline watch pieces during timeouts?!

Now I will be honest here...I know a lot of women. Some of you, are cool, it takes a lot to bring a level of emotion or bring you to a point where you may check a man with regards to his behavior, and some men will push the envelope, I get it. But, some of you are flat out crazy! No excuses. I have seen women that I know personally, slap men that they weren't even in a relationship with, curse them out, and disrespect them in public.
That being said, I can see how some chicks can cause someone to lose control...not every man was raised right, not every woman was either, and some folks will not hold themselves accountable for their own actions and practice self control. That being said, this is not domestic violence, this behavior is of a dysfunctional person/relationship, and therefore I'm terming this.."dysfunctional violence." No my dears, that's NOT love. Stop the dysfunctional excuses for your dysfunctional behavior. 

Please understand, I am completely against a man putting his hands on a woman UNLESS she's coming at him with a weapon, then you have every right to protect yourself. The same is applied to women, there's no reason to get violent or hit a man, period, unless he is hitting you. Respect goes both ways. But seeing some of these crazy chicks in action, I think they get off pushing a guy's buttons, thinking he won't touch them... this is not domestic violence to's just needy chicks asking for attention. 

The sad part of this, is though some women are crazy and will provoke a man and even make stories up when they're not getting the attention they want, there are a lot of women out there that are NOT provoking a man, not even touching the man, but are verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically beat down on a daily basis- that is Domestic Violence. Those are the women I'm afraid for, care about, and that we need to pray for and be concerned about.
They will see and hear Mrs. Rice's stance on her situation and feel that they too should stand by these monsters. They would see nothing wrong with staying in these disturbing, painful relationships and raising their kids in destructive environments. 

Ladies, keep your hands to yourself. If a man is being disrespectful or acting crazy in the beginning, he's only going to get worse as time passes and he starts to feel more comfortable with you. Fellas, same goes for you. If she's pushing to that point, leave her alone. 
We feel vibes, get signs and see red flags all the time, but we tend to ignore them, make excuses for them, or think the person will change, or better yet, that we can change that person. If you see the flags understand what you're dealing with, talk to the person about how the flags are affecting you. If the person continues, that's called a pattern, and patterns don't change, unless the person makes the effort, most times they don't change. Quit keeping hope alive and let them go. 
Women, justifying putting your hands on a man that is not physically hurting you, doesn't make you a woman, and most definitely not a lady, that's little girl behavior. 
Men, justifying your actions and putting your hands on a woman who is not trying to hurt you physically doesn't make you a man, it makes you a boy. Definitely not gentleman behavior. Pay attention to patterns and behaviors- people will tell you who they are, stop making excuses for them.
To quote the late Dr. Maya Angelo, "If a person shows you who they are, believe them, the first time."

Real love is not dysfunctional, it doesn't belittle, disrespect, or hurt...period. 

October is Cancer Awareness Month (Pink), as well as Domestic Violence Month (Purple). Please support these great causes.

For statistics and information on Domestic Violence please visit the following sites: 

Or you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 
and remember...Silence Hides Violence.

Peace, Love & Light,


Monday, September 15, 2014

A Torn Tale Between Two Cities

Sunday, September 14, Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a nice, cool, Sunday in the Queen City- great day for some good 'ol American football. I have been living in North Carolina for the past six years, the last four in Charlotte. Today, my home team, the Detroit Lions, play the Carolina Panthers. I have been super excited about this game since the Panthers and Lions released their schedules late spring. 

My very first Panthers game was last year, when they played and crushed the New York Giants 38-0; I was hyped, sporting my Lions tank top, hanging with my girl Sheila, also from The D. Lions blood has flowed through my veins for twenty-five years...that's a quarter of a century! Up until January of this year, I had never worn or owned any other pro football team paraphernalia, ever! 

In December 2013, I lost a bet to a friend. The Lions with a winning record in their division, started to lose games and dropped in their ranking when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were struggling to stay alive last season. The Panthers played the Jaguars the week after the Lions. I was being facetious.."The Bet" was.. should the Panthers win against the Jaguars, I would purchase a Panther something, and should Michigan State win The Rose Bowl vs Stanford, my friend would purchase a Michigan State something. The loser would wear the item and take a photo. Well, I lost and bought a Panthers hat. He lost and bought two Michigan State shirts (one for me...too sweet!). As the Lions spiraled from a winning streak to a losing one, my friend, clearly a Panther man, tried to recruit me into Panther Nation. His argument was for me to at least support them seeing I now live in Charlotte. His argument was well made, understood, considered and implemented. 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that friction started between us. As the Panthers vs Lions game drew closer, I grew anxious. I made my mind up that I didn't care who won. I would support both teams- yeah, I know that's straddling the fence but I was going to be okay with it either way, lol. Then I decided to support the Panthers fully, gear and all. To show allegiance to my new home team and to someone that supports me at all times. I was crushed when my show of support was criticized and disbelieved [enter friction here]. I couldn't even sit where I was initially sitting. With an emotional blow to my heart, I graciously accepted my other seats and let it be. 
After the blow, and being asked over and over by my friends who I was rooting for, I started to agonize over my support and gear, even asking my NC family (Nina & Allen) for help. I felt torn between two teams, two cities that I love, and found myself questioning my friend's actions and his faith in my support... what I had felt good about initially, started to give me anxiety attacks as the game approached. I finally decided to revert back to my initial plan and show support for both teams, whew! 

Yeah! Game Day is finally here!! I threw on my Panthers shirt and my Lions hat- Panthers blue and Lions blue clashed a bit, but hey, blue is blue and I am down for a good game. I expected nothing short of a good game! 

Instead what I witnessed was a terrible game...for the Lions anyway! A feeling of unease started twirling in my gut. Though I went in with the mindset of not choosing sides, that I'd be good with whatever, and sincerely happy for whomever wins; I did not expect the Lions to play so poorly. The bad plays started to make me nauseous. I found myself clapping for Carolina and wanting to cry for Detroit. I started praying a familiar prayer- Dear sport gods, why must we go thru this? Why must we (Lions fans) be subjected to such debacles year after year. The Lions were not ready and clearly unprepared for the Panthers defense. I wasn't mad that Carolina was winning, I was frustrated and perturbed with how poorly the Lions were playing. The Lions, once again, showed they were stuck, high on their egos coming off off their Monday Night game win against the Giants.
The Lions may have a different look and a different coach, but under that Lions blue and silver armor flows the same Lions blue blood of games past...bring you up, only to let you down. 

It was a bittersweet day in the Queen City. I never knew Charlotte had so many Lions fans. They were out in full force, representing hard, doing what they've done forever- win, lose, or draw, they still showed up, showed out, and showed love, even after the loss.

Don't get it twisted, I am very proud and happy for the Panthers!! They have been working hard for a couple of weeks preparing for the Lions, their defense and stopping Calvin Johnson aka Megatron, and it showed! It was a well executed game by the Panthers, and though I didn't mind the win at all, it honestly pained me to watch the Lions take a beating. I was ready and mentally prepared for a good game; but I wasn't ready or mentally prepared for a piss poor performance or an @$$ whoopin'...or what I felt...the team spirit of a ghost Lions past. 

Someone once said, "Proper Preperation Prevents Piss Poor Performance"...The Lions need this quote inked in Lions blue on everything they have. 

On Any Given Sunday, you will win some and you will lose some, but you need to come to play!

Great game Panthers!!! #KeepPounding