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Trend- Reflections on Cultural Phenomena (Critical Analysis) Description

The episode involving a national football league (NFL) player on, who, beat up his then fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator brought up several reactions from the social media. Ray Rice was a national league football star who was playing for Baltimore Ravens, and he was engaged to Palmer by then. The two lovebirds were planning to be married unto each other later in that year. On a Valentine’s Day, a live video footage on showed a very disturbing episode of Ray exchanging words with Palmer and what followed was horrifying. Eventually, he reached out to his then fiancée with blows which made her to faint instantly in the elevator. He then pulled her out of the elevator as video cameras recorded the incident. Further Ray reached out to his pocket and got his cell phone to make a call. According to (2015) he was calling his mother to tell her what had actually happened. When the news had spread out to his football officials he was suspended from the NFL, and his contract with Baltimore Rovers was canceled indefinitely. The president of the team initially stated that he thought that, Ray was trying to assist his fiancé who had passed out only to see the real full video episode which shocked him considerably. He later sacked him without thinking twice, and his sports jerseys were also removed from stores where nobody could purchase it any longer.

In an interview, a year later, it emerged that the two had developed communication problems in their marriage. According to Palmer, she decided to stick to her fiancé whom she later on got married to because of the love they shared together.  It emerged later on, that she had a baby girl with Ray whom they named her ‘Rayven’. According to the Ray’s mother, the couple’s marital problems started when they bore Rayven. Moreover, Palmer stated that, her marital bliss began when Ray started to focus his entire life in football while neglecting his family’s responsibilities. She said that, she remembered having sleepless nights waiting to see Ray coming home, only for him to show up very drunk later in the night.


The file footage of the video of ray rice knocking out Palmer in the elevator attracted mixed reactions from the American social media. Although there were varied responses, a majority of the statistics were against the incident. Of over 2, 277,540 visits on only 1645 liked it. Further analysis is drawn to the understanding of what women experience in the hands of wealthy sportsmen. Domestic violence is not a new concept in the lenses of social scientists. The analysis of domestic violence ranges from the macro level (war, recession, and government) and extends to family level.

There are several theories put forward to explain this form of moral erosion, but the one theory that explains Ray Rice’s incident clearly is the patriarchal theory. The theory states that, men justify violence against women and children as a way to preserve their dominance. Within the theory, Biderman developed the brainwashing practices which he believed were in line with offenders’ character. The Biderman’s Scale of coercion shows how the behaviors that were listed in the range of pressure corresponded to those listed in Power and control wheel. There are five steps of gaining control according to Biderman’s range. These steps are: supremacy, intimidation of aggression and brutal assault, segregation, emotional mistreatment, and kindness. In Ray’s situation, the theory explains what he did to Palmer when he used threats of violence and when he enforced violent attacks on Palmer which led to her fainting. Communication issues were evident when Ray stated on that he got to the point where if he had any pressing issue he could just keep quiet. In those periods, there were no yells but silence occupied his house. Through this approach, Ray thought that, the problem was half solved because Janay could just handle the circumstances on her on without his intervention. According to Palmer, they had taken some drinks on that night which she believed led to the lack of control of their emotions. Janay said that being a celebrity’s wife was the most difficult thing she had to contend with, in her marriage because everything in their life was about Ray. According to Janay, there will always be a pain in any relationship, but she believes that, her fiancée is finding ways to cope up with the social derision.


The outcome of any domestic violent behavior is serious repercussions that result from it. According to the video footage on, Ray lost his contract from Baltimore Rovers. Moreover, he was suspended from playing on National League Football and that no one would buy his sports jerseys again. The video attracted several criticisms from activist of domestic violence, and this meant that his life was reaped apart. They took him to jail for sexual battering on his fiancé. Further, he became very remorseful and repented of his actions to the whole NFL society. He says that he learned his lesson the hard way and appeared very sorry to the whole of America.

What next for the future?

Domestic violence occurs as a result of two aspects: First, men demonstrate their dominance to women because of unequal power relations in society. Secondly, domestic violence occurs in causally because of the belief women occupy in their minds of being subordinate to men in society. Batterers do not just learn domestic violence rather they discover that, the behaviors are acceptable and reasonable ways of handling relationships so as to they can exert control and power. In the same way inequality between couples leads to domestic violence, while the same force strengthens sexual disparity. In the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the United Nations and its member countries denounced domestic violence as one of the “crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate positions compared with men”. In this sense, men need to appreciate the role women play in society because they are all equal. No discrimination or violence that is gender related should be encouraged by whatever means. Further, strict penalties should follow the batterers so that they can learn to love and appreciate their female counterparts evenly.

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