Rightfully, we’ve been focused on what former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice did to his then-fiancée, who is now his wife. But not enough attention is being given to the assault on Janay Rice on two other fronts.
First, whoever sold the videotape to TMZ violated her and her right to privacy. And let’s be honest: We really had no right to see the horrendous hit she received from Ray Rice. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have been punished or that the NFL doesn’t have an issue with how it handles such cases. Or that the tape didn’t help authorities see the brutal truth. But our voyeurism has been as hard a punch to Janay Rice as the one she received in that elevator.
In an Instagram posting, she wrote, “No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family.”
Here’s the thing: The tape wasn’t released to help abused women. It was leaked to TMZ to make money off Janay Rice’s misery. A spokesman for TMZ acknowledged “that as a general policy, TMZ does pay for video,” Yahoo Sports reported .
“Tabloids have always trafficked in gossip and scandal-mongering,” the New York Times’s Jonathan Mahler wrote.
But the harshest attack on Janay Rice is criticism that she has stood by her man and her marriage just for the money. She’s willing to take a beating and stay because she’s a gold digger, people have said on various Internet sites.
Melani Ismail, the wife of former NFL wide receiver Raghib Ismail, spoke to the “Today” show about the gold-digger label for NFL wives.
“I think the first word that comes to mind is that we’re gold diggers, and that we don’t have a true love for our husbands, and we’re just in it for the money or in it for the fame or whatever,” she said. “The money comes and goes, and there is no amount of money that could even touch the injuries and the heartache and all the things that go with the NFL.”
We have no idea of Janay Rice’s motivations for marrying Ray Rice, and the speculation doesn’t help move forward the plight of abused women and the need for abusers to get help. It does, however, continue the practice of attacking the victim. And this time it’s even more reprehensible that people are making money off her.
“People who abuse their partners do so because they believe their victims don’t deserve physical safety or bodily autonomy,” wrote Katie McDonough, a politics writer for Salon. “The release of this video without Janay Rice’s consent is fueled by the same logic. Janay Rice isn’t a person in this footage. She is just fodder for the news cycle, a prop to teach Roger Goodell and the NFL a lesson. . . . No matter what happens, it will have happened at the expense of Janay Rice. Whatever consumer outrage that, newly ignited, may drive the NFL to act will have been done on her back. But it’s also disgusting that we needed ‘proof’ — every brutal second of that video — to believe that what Ray Rice did was wrong. That this video is now being consumed, and Janay Rice being victimized anew, every few seconds. That TMZ is making money off of it.”
I’m hoping both Ray and Janay get help. And although Ray has lost his job, if he’s saved even a small fraction of his multimillion-dollar salary, he should have the financial means to get therapy and take care of his family.
Join me at noon today for a discussion about money. I’ll take your financial questions. Submit your questions and join the conversation here.
I’m not ready.
I have yet to embrace any mobile payment activity. Just not willing to take that technological leap yet. I’m concerned for security reasons about using my smartphone to conduct personal business. I still get nervous depositing checks at an ATM.
This week, Apple introduced — along with a watch, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — a new mobile-payment system.
“With Apple Pay, Apple wants to make swiping credit cards and handing over sensitive information to retailers a thing of the past,” The Washington Post’s Brian Fung wrote.
The Post’s Craig Timberg and Danielle Douglas reported how it would work: “Apple Pay would allow users to buy products from many stores using credit card information loaded onto an iPhone by its owner. A consumer would merely need to hold a device close to a sensor and confirm the purchase with a fingerprint scan or other method. The merchant would get two codes: One would identify the credit card; the other would be a one-time authorization code. Even if a hacker somehow stole both, they couldn’t be used for any other transaction.”
How interested are you in using Apple’s mobile-payment system? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city and state.
Last week, I wrote about Web sites that let users bet they can lose weight. If they lose, they win.
So for the Color of Money Question of the Week, I asked: What do you think of people betting as an incentive to lose weight?
“I have been doing a few Dietbet’s for the last year,” wrote Sarah of Sykesville, Md. “It is amazing how motivating money can be, even if it’s small amounts. You get support from other members of your bet as well. All told since the beginning of the year I’ve lost over 30 pounds. And that really is the point isn’t it?”
Another reader wrote: “If it incentivizes someone to do what he needs to do about his weight, go for it. Doesn’t appeal to me, however.”
“Being a financially frugal person, I can’t bring myself to bet on losing weight,” wrote Lorna M. Gilkey of Alexandria, Va. “Betting would take away from the purity of my reasons to release weight; that I want to be healthier and live longer. If others need the monetary incentive and want to overcome one bad habit (overeating) with another (gambling), then that’s their choice. But for me, my incentive is to live a healthier lifestyle and release weight so I can chase my 18 month old granddaughter around the house and watch her grow up.”
Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or email@example.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com