A Stones Throw 7-28-16

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The Indianapolis Colts should sign running back Ray Rice to a 2016 contract.

Yes, that Ray Rice – the one who became infamous when film surfaced of him knocking his then fiancé (now wife) out cold while in an elevator.

Ray Rice is a domestic abuser. He knocked his fiancé out and then dragged her limp body out of the elevator. The world immediately hated him. His team, the Baltimore Ravens, immediately severed ties with him.

The National Football League suspended him.

Ray Rice – the ultimate poster board picture of a domestic abuser. Why should the Colts ever consider signing him to a contract?

Easy.

The Colts need a Pro Bowl-caliber running back. Rice, a three time All-Pro, is only 31 years old and should have fresh legs. He has not played in the NFL since that elevator opened and he was seen dragging his fiancé’s body across the floor.

The Colts need Ray Rice.

Ray Rice needs football. He has done everything possible to show contrition. To show he understands the evil of domestic violence. To work to end domestic violence.

And, Ray Rice has pledged 100-percent of his salary to organizations that educate against domestic abuse as well as those who support and protect those who have been abused.

The Colts should sign Rice to a $1 million contract and stipulate that the contributions are shared between Indiana organizations and those of his home state.

This is a win-win.

The Colts get a Pro Bowl-class running back.

Ray Rice gets to put his money where his mouth is.

And most importantly, domestic abuse shelters and the education designed to stop the cycle of domestic abuse receive much needed funds.

Win-Win-Win.

*

Even more controversial, I have a lose-lose proposal.

I am getting tired of turning on the television or reading news online and seeing headlines where police officers and/or firefighters have been assaulted and often killed. I am tired of seeing protesters throw rocks at those officers and firefighters who are there to protect those very protesters.

I am getting tired of seeing protesters shutting down traffic by standing in the middle of interstates. I am getting tired of seeing protesters destroy businesses that support the protester’s neighborhood.

What I am getting tired of the most, is a new America where it has become “Okay” to assault and kill police officers in retaliation for the actions of one or two rogue officers.

Last week, two things happened that made me think.

First, was the shooting of the police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The second was the four game suspension of Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones for the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED).

While on the surface these two events don’t seem to relate to one another, they got me thinking.

Why don’t law enforcement and first responders use the same process the NFL and Major League baseball use?

In the NFL, the first positive PED test results in a suspension for ¼ of the season. In baseball it is closer to ½ of the season.

My idea: If a police officer, firefighter, or first responder goes to a neighborhood to protect the residents or their property, or to enforce the law and is assaulted, shot at, or killed, the entire neighborhood should be blocked off for a period of 100 days.

During that 100 days, no police protection would be provided. Crimes would not be investigated. Fires would not be extinguished. Ambulances would not respond.

Would this be fair? Of course not.

We can’t punish the entire community for the actions of a few. And, maybe the few aren’t even from that community.

But then, why not? It seems we can punish the entire law enforcement community for the actions of a few.

Perhaps 100 days without protection or support would change some ideas.

If not, it might at least save a police life or two.

It is time to look at law enforcement and first responders as heroes not as villains.

It is time we look at those who assault and kill law enforcement and first responders as the criminals they are – not as heroes and not as martyrs.

Each should earn 100 days of no protection for their community. How much support would they get then?

-Mike Cooney