Words by Preezy
Throughout 2014, domestic violence became a hot-button issue thanks to some high profile incidents involving celebrities. Physically abusive relationships are nothing new to this nation or the world as a whole, and have even been encouraged in various cultures during certain points in time, but last year, the darker aspect of relationships came to the forefront in a big way.
NFL player and former Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice catalyzed the national discussion after his arrest for assaulting then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, after an altercation between the two while in an Atlantic City casino on Feb 15, 2014.
At first, the news seemed to amount to nothing more than a blip on the radar, but when media outlet TMZ released video footage of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator by her shoulders just days later, the content of the video appalled many. The visual sparked a heated and emotional conversation with everyone from entertainers, politicians, athletes, and people on social media chimed in en mass.
Initially receiving a two game suspension from the NFL in July of 2014, the incident seemed to be behind Rice until more footage surfaced in early September, this time of Rice striking Janay Rice – whom he had married just months earlier – with a vicious blow to the face. If the first video sent the public into an uproar, the second one was a four-alarm blaze, causing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s brain-trust to receive a substantial amount of scrutiny and negative press. In turn they attempted to mark Ray Rice as the scapegoat, implying the running back had not been truthful about what transpired and suspended him from the league indefinitely. The Ravens, who had stuck by his side as an organization up to that point, released him almost immediately following the news of his suspension and Rice was now viewed as the poster-child for physically abusive men across America. When the dust cleared, it was proven that Rice did in fact tell the truth about the incident and was completely transparent in the depiction of the events that transpired on that fateful February night, but the damage was already done and Rice’s once wholesome image was now tarnished and nearly irreparable. However, Rice has since been reinstated into the league because of the commissioner’s fumbling of the investigation, and is seeking new employment.
Since the Ray Rice incident, domestic violence committed by men against women has been under the microscope and rightly so. Domestic violence shouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstance and is a bane of society as we know it. But an interesting thing happened while at a bar the other night. Me and a colleague – who shall remain nameless – were out having a few drinks and shooting the sh*t, for a lack of better words. Among the topics discussed in the conversation was the arrest of “Love And Hip-Hop: Hollywood” cast member Princess Love after she allegedly assaulted boyfriend and fellow cast member, Ray J, during a stay at a hotel. According to several sources, Ray J and Princess Love got into an argument at the hotel room the two were sharing after a night out at a strip club. It’s then alleged that Princess went into an uncontrollable rage and began assaulting the singer, resulting in Ray J suffering several cracked ribs, a busted lip, and a torn ACL. But as Eve once famously spat, “love is blind and it can take over your mind,” Ray J paid her $10K bail after having been seriously hurt by her.
It’s noteworthy that controversy in their relationship is nothing new, as the pair also made the news late last year after Princess love called Ray J and threatened suicide after allegedly seeing pics of him and Chris Brown’s on-and-off again boo Karrueche together. Clearly they don’t have the most healthy relationship.
However, when discussing the incident, both of us got a kick out of imagining the hilarious, yet irritable Ray J getting his ass beat so bad that he had to escape and be rescued by hotel security, who allegedly caught footage of Princess Love chasing a bloody and bruised Ray J down a hotel hallway. The reaction on social media was much of the same, with many not wasting anytime to poke jokes at Ray J for his unfortunate encounter with a woman fed up. There was little show of concern for his injuries or his safety in such a toxic relationship.
After getting our laughs in, my colleague mentioned that what happened with Ray J was about as bad as what happened between Chris Brown and Rihanna, but would never get the same media coverage and Princess Love would come under a minimal amount of scrutiny or backlash for her actions, pointing out that she’s even been praised by some women for what they deemed as Princess having a no-nonsense attitude when dealing with men. We glazed over the topic and began talking about other things, but what amounted to a minute exchange in the grand scheme of our conversation stuck with me going into the weekend and I was compelled to rationalize why it is that few people had a f*ck to give about Ray J’s assault.