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How did the media coverage of the Ray Rice scandal influence the public’s perception of domestic violence?

October 15, 2014 Written by | No Comments

It seems as if the moment that TMZ released the second video relating to the Ray Rice case, the public was able to fully grasp the story.
Back in February of 2014, when the story first leaked it was destined for mainstream media attention and here we are EIGHT months later it still sits atop; with Rice’s hearing on his suspension appeal tentatively set for early November, as reported by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

All in all sports is a reflection of the media, and the media is a reflection of society. Whatever happens in the sports world can have effects on everyone not just fans. After reviewing the timeline on the Ray Rice case provided by ESPN.COM, one can easily tell that the media was a crucial part of the story from the start, but the media can’t tell why some viewers to ignore the issue of domestic violence until actions were actually able to be seen.
When the story was first released it came with a video of Rice dragging his then fiancé out of the elevator. It was scripted that he assaulted her causing her to fall, but many chose to speculate and think otherwise. Not just the fans but even the Baltimore Ravens. The organization did not cut him at the time portraying the idea that they had forgave Rice and didn’t fully believe that he assaulted her. The fans and in essence the public took this as a sign that the incident wasn’t that big of a deal and decided to cheer on Ray Rice during practice and preseason.
However once the second video was released and the public was able to see the actual left hook that was delivered by Rice; their opinions quickly shifted. There was a complete uproar that day whether it was by the news stations or social media, everyone was in complete shock and disbelief. It was as if they never read the story in which practically worded out the actions seen in the video.
The power of the media was shown here to a full extent. A video of the most popular story at the time had surfaced and now all of sudden everyone was able to understand it. Most importantly though, the media here was able to bring the ethical issue of domestic violence to light. The people now were so interested in the issue and they called for actions to prevent it. Particularly in the NFL, when the media caused for the public to want the league to deliver more harsh punishments in reference to the issue.
The public’s perception of domestic violence was greatly influenced by the media. In this case it was a good thing as it created awareness and made a call for help. The media was able to define an issue that exists in everyday society and highlight it so that anyone can understand. The power of video is the main strength of the media and in the Ray Rice scenario, the influence created can help prevent fewer domestic violence acts.


Categories: Domestic Violence · Media · NFL · Scandal