Financial Lovemaking: Is Janay Rice making a deadly mistake by standing by her man?

by Dr Boyce Watkins

There’s been a great deal of controversy surrounding the video released of NFL superstar Ray Rice and his decision to physically abuse his then-fiancee Janay. After the video emerged showing Ray dragging Janay out of the elevator in the middle of the night, critics are charging that he was so far out of line that he deserves everything he gets.

They might be right. Ray has been indefinitely suspended from the NFL and lost a contract that was worth millions of dollars. The strongest reaction from the NFL occurred after the video inside the elevator was released, which became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

In this episode of Financial Lovemaking, Ebony Magazine Entertainment Director S. Tia Brown and I talk about what happened between Ray and Janay Rice, whether the punishment makes sense, and whether Janay is taking too high a risk by deciding to give Ray another chance. Women are killed by their abusers every single day, and it’s difficult to believe that Janay could actually be safe in this relationship.

Since the suspensions and public reaction have occurred, Janay has been adamant in her defense of Ray, stating that he made one mistake and deserves another chance. But after a punch that was so ferocious and so harmful to his wife, is it logical for a woman to believe that a man like this can ever be redeemed? On the flip side of this conversation, what are the implications for the Rice family and their child if they choose to stick it out? Families have tried before, and some have actually won this battle of love.

We at least assume that Ray has been humbled after losing his job and being criticized in the public eye. He may never work for another NFL team again. This would be a huge loss for sports fans, since Ray was one of the best running backs in the league. However, there is a price to pay when you make mistakes of this magnitude.

I wrote an open letter to Janay Rice yesterday that you can take a look at here. The spirit of the letter is related to the kind of conversation I’d have with one of my daughters if she were going through a similar situation. I don’t condemn or support Janay’s decision to remain with Ray, but try to honestly reflect on the good and bad of going in either direction. Life and love, like nothing else, are constant risk/return tradoffs similar to the stock market, and that’s exactly the kind of thing we discuss in Financial Lovemaking.

My conversation with Tia is at the top of this article:

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