Ditch the jersey
On September 8, a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in an elevator made headlines. Rice's team, the Baltimore Ravens, cut him from its roster and the NFL indefinitely suspended him from the league.
But that didn't stop football fans—both men and women—from showing support for the former running back by donning his No. 27 jersey when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 11.
“I don't condone fighting … but they should not have took that man's job away,” one jersey-wearing female fan told USA Today.
The NFL has faced heavy criticism for its handling of Rice, but clearly we're to blame, too.
Even as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald is investigated on suspicion of domestic assault against his pregnant fiancée and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces felony charges for child abuse (both players are still active on their teams' rosters, by the way) we don't relent in our support.
For years, fans have looked away or made excuses for athletes, celebrities and other public figures—men and women—charged with physically assaulting partners or family members.
Chris Brown. Charlie Sheen. Sean Penn. Sean Connery. Emma Roberts. Mel Gibson. Tommy Lee. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman.
We wear the jerseys. We listen to the music. We watch the shows. We buy the tickets.
Enough is enough.
It's time to protest. It's time to boycott. It's time to demand change.
Otherwise, we're just part of the problem, too.