In the predictable public clamor for as many heads on a platter as possible, some important questions about the Ray Rice debacle not only remain unanswered but appear to have been deliberately shunted aside.
There's no question that Rice acted unconscionably when he knocked out his then-fiancee (now wife), Janay Palmer, in a hotel elevator, and that the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens and the criminal justice system all failed in how they handled the situation. What hasn't been addressed is the nature of the dispute between Rice and Palmer, and whether it was an isolated incident or they were already in an abusive relationship. Not that a one-off could be rationalized - in fact, it would suggest the beginning of a pattern of abuse.
When a social plague is exposed in a spotlight as bright as the one that shines on the NFL, it's an enormous opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue aimed at understanding the problem and working towards solutions, but one of sports journalism's most prominent commentators, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, was suspended for even daring to speculate about the root causes of domestic violence.
There is only one politically and socially acceptable position - Ray Rice struck a woman and that's wrong. Yes and yes, but focusing only on what happened and shutting down debate over why it happened is worse than useless.
It's inviting the plague to perpetuate itself.