TIME

Chris Brown Gives Ray Rice Advice So He Doesn’t ‘Become a Monster’

Chris Brown Court Date
Chris Brown enters the H. Carl Moultrie I Court House of the District of Columbia Kris Connor—Getty Images

"I’ve been down that road," said the R&B singer, who pled guilty to felony assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009

The indisputable, visual evidence of abuse. The victim’s decision to stay. The high profile nature of what is usually a hushed crime. It was inevitable that Chris Brown’s 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna would be compared to indefinitely-suspended NFL player Ray Rice’s abuse of then-fiancée, now wife Janay Rice.

Although Rihanna hasn’t provided comment, she has been directly impacted by Rice’s abuse. CBS pulled her planned performance of “Run This Town” from the NFL pre-game show.

Interestingly, it is Brown who has spoken up about Rice’s act of abuse, as a man who has “been down that road before.” The main takeaway? Seek therapy, as Brown does twice a week, or else “you’ll become a monster.”

Here’s what Brown said to MTV News’ Sway Conway Thursday:

I think it’s all about the choices you make. With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past – not knowing how to express myself verbally and at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they are.

So I think help is great. I still talk to my therapist twice a week, and it helps me to…if I’m frustrated and I’m dealing with something, to vent and say what I’m going through so I can hear from an actual clinical person, ‘this is how you should react,’ or ‘it’s good to feel this way because feelings, emotions, and energy are supposed to come and go. It’s not supposed to stay there, you’re not supposed to keep it inside, because it’ll bottle up and you’ll become a monster.

For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up. For anybody who’s going through that situation or anybody who’s dealing with it — it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it’s all about the choices you make and how you control your anger.

To Ray, or anybody else — because I’m not better than the next man — I can just say I’ve been down that road. I deal with situations and I’ve made my mistakes too, but it’s all about how you push forward and how you control yourself.

As an act of solidarity with Janay Rice, who has been critiqued for choosing to stay with her husband, thousands of women have courageously shared their stories of abuse and the inherent complexity of their decision not to leave under the powerful hashtag #WhyIStayed. Robin Givens wrote her own account of staying with an abuser on TIME.

Hearing directly from abusers, however, is rare.

While Brown’s openness does not erase his crimes, it opens up a very important conversation that needs to be had on the other side of the table as well.

TIME

Chris Kluwe: NFL Would Rather Sell Women Pink Jerseys Than Protect Them

In football, and in the case of Ray Rice, the tape never lies. But the NFL sure has

“The tape never lies.” It’s an all too familiar saying in the NFL, an admonishment to players that no matter how well you think you did, no matter what excuses you make, the truth is always there for anyone to see. Game tape is who you are, the signature of your work, and it is one of the most highly rated metrics that scouts, coaches, and general managers use to evaluate you. If someone in football personnel doesn’t watch the tape, then they literally do not know how to do their job.

In the case of Ray Rice, Roger Goodell is claiming that he never saw the tape. Not the tape of Ray Rice’s on field performance, where he’s consistently been a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, but the tape of an elevator in Atlantic City, where Rice unleashed a brutal left hook into Janay Palmer’s face, slamming her head into the elevator wall and railing, knocking her out.

Roger Goodell — a man who spared no expense going after the New Orleans Saints during the Bountygate scandal, a man who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner time and time again in cases of player discipline, a man known predominately for his willingness to find and examine all forms of evidence in cases of perceived misconduct — now wants us to believe, in this particular instance, after months of reporting by trusted League sources that the NFL factored what was on that elevator tape into its decision to suspend Ray Rice a mere two games, that he did not, actually, see the tape, and is just as flabbergasted as the rest of us that this horrific act of violence took place. Oh lawdy, bring the fainting couch.

Based on everything I know from nine years of experience in the league, this is a lie.

Those same media outlets, the ones that so trustingly reported what their League sources told them to report, are furious, claiming that their sources are now trying to backtrack and prevaricate in the face of unrelentingly hostile public opinion at a decision that treats the abuse of a woman so cavalierly.

The public at large is furious at the decision to try and sweep under the rug an incident that occurs all too frequently in this country: a partner abusing someone who loves them. Nearly everyone is furious at the “business as usual” attitude of one of the most profitable sports leagues in the world, a business willing to blame the victim and make her apologize on national television in order to protect its brand.

We should be furious. This charade of accountability has been perpetrated for too long, let too many players skate by with no real consequences for their violence against others.

Ray Rice. Greg Hardy. Ray McDonald. Terrell Suggs. Perrish Cox. Chris Cook. Ahmad Brooks. Brandon Marshall. A.J. Jefferson. Name after name after name — a few who were cut by their teams, but most of whom were given a green light to continue playing in a league urging women to purchase pink clothing and apparel in order to drive viewership numbers up. It’s a league failing those same women when it comes time to do something that matters, to actually address the issue of domestic violence.

Of course, I believe, the NFL, and by extension, Roger Goodell, watched that video. The tape never lies; that’s the mantra of the League, at every level. The NFL employs many people, who are very good at their jobs, to make sure they have access to that information, to get that tape, and the truly chilling part of all of this, is that the people in charge, almost exclusively men, saw that video and made a conscious decision to do nothing about it until their hand was forced by public opinion.

Those in charge felt that this was just one more incident to be pushed to the side, ignored by both the front office and the team itself in pursuit of ratings and money. Those in charge felt that a woman being beaten into unconsciousness, right in front of them, did not matter as much as the perceived value of Ray Rice on the football field, scoring touchdowns and selling jerseys. Those in charge chose convenience over ethics, profit over a person. All the evidence was there, clearly on tape, but the will to act, to force change in a culture that desperately needs it, was not; not until public outrage grew so large that the NFL felt compelled to try and salvage some shreds of morality.

The tape never lies. The signature of the NFL is one of enabling abusers, batterers, and worse, caught on police records all across the country, still employed by their teams because the NFL doesn’t think you care about wives, sisters, daughters and mothers, but only about your entertainment.

The tape never lies. Numerous reporters went on record with information from trusted league sources, information that was nothing but public relations and smears, an attempt to minimize the shocking events the NFL thought we would never see.

The tape never lies, but apparently the NFL does, and it is past time we held them accountable for their actions.

Chris Kluwe is a retired NFL player who played for eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

TIME domestic violence

13 Thoughtful Tweets About Janay Rice’s Instagram Statement

The wife of disgraced NFL player Ray Rice stunned observers on Tuesday by lambasting critics of her relationship and her husband

Many were quick to applaud the firing of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was unceremoniously suspended from professional football Monday — likely spelling an end to his career — after a video of him violently attacking his then-girlfriend Janay Palmer went viral. Some criticized the NFL’s lenient punishment of Rice before the entire video was made public.

Twitter reacted with a mix of horror, bewilderment and sympathy as the news sparked a broad based conversation about domestic violence organized around two hashtags: #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

This morning, Janay, who is now Rice’s wife, defended her relationship in an Instagram post that lambasts the “media and unwanted opinions from the public” for causing her family pain: “If your intensions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels,” Janay said.

That statement caused another social media firestorm. The reactions ranged from sadness and sympathy to criticism of Janay. Here are some of the most powerful tweets:

 

TIME NFL

10 Intelligent Tweets About Violence in the NFL

Football players and fans are demanding the NFL to do better

While it’s hard to see positive outcomes in the wake of ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice’s suspension from the league for domestic abuse, the incident has at least inspired an important conversation about how the NFL’s role when it comes to players’ acts of violence off the field.

Here are 10 insightful tweets, from both football players and fans, about how the league needs to address domestic abuse going forward:

See Also: How Twitter has taken a stand with Janay Rice with #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft

TIME Football

Here’s Where to Exchange that Ray Rice Jersey for Free Beer or Pizza

Wild Card Playoffs - Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game on January 6, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Patrick Smith—Getty Images

Ravens official store will accept exchange of #27 shirt for other merch, but local bars and pizzerias get in on the action too

Baltimore Ravens fans who have purchased a Ray Rice jersey from stadium stores will be offered another, less controversial jersey in exchange, the Ravens announced on Tuesday.

The offer comes amid signs that stores and fans are dumping the #27 jersey in droves, following the leaked video of the running back violently assaulting his then fiancé, now wife, in an elevator.

Local merchants told an ABC News affiliate in Baltimore that sales of Ray Rice merchandise had already been slipping since news of the assault first broke in February. When the startlingly graphic video surfaced on Monday, stores and restaurants in the city began issuing a recall of sorts.

No Idea Tavern offered a $10 tab to any customer who turns over a Ray Rice jersey at the bar. A local pizzeria, Hersh’s Pizza, also offered an exchange of free pizza plus a donation of $2.70 to the women’s shelter House of Ruth Maryland.

“These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week,” the restauranteurs added on their Facebook page.

TIME NFL

White House Hails Cut of Ray Rice for Domestic Violence

Baltimore Ravens v Dallas Cowboys
Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens sits on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

"Domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society"

The White House expressed support late Monday for the Baltimore Ravens’ decision to terminate Ray Rice’s contract after leaked video footage showed the running back committing a violent assault against his then-fiancee.

“The President is the father of two daughters,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “and like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society. Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football—and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

Vice President Joe Biden joined the chorus of condemnation in a Tuesday interview with the Today show. “When the video was out there,” Biden said, “and [they] saw how brutal it was, the Ravens did the right thing: fired him immediately.”

The NFL has indefinitely suspended Rice after TMZ released a video showing Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator and then dragging her unconscious body into the hallway of an Atlantic City hotel.

TIME justice

Rick Perry Booked in Politically Charged Abuse of Power Case

Rick Perry Mugshot
Texas Gov. Rick Perry gets booked on abuse of power charges at the Travis County Sheriff's Department in Austin, on Aug. 19, 2014. Travis County Sheriff's Department

The Texas governor faces two felony charges

Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned himself in at the Travis County Courthouse Tuesday on two felony charges of abuse of power.

Perry, who has vowed to contest the charges stemming from a threat and ultimate veto of funding to the state’s public integrity unit, surrendered himself to Sheriff’s deputies to be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken. Perry is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

Outside the courthouse, Perry allies protested the indictment handed down by a grand jury Friday evening. “I am here today because I believe in the rule of law,” Perry told a crowd of cheering supporters before entering the courthouse. “And I am here today because I did the right thing.”

Perry was indicted for threatening and then ultimately vetoing funding for the unit after its head, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated. Perry demanded that Lehmberg resign and, when she refused, vetoed the funding.

“I am going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but also right,” he added.

The governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate has hired a high-priced legal team and deployed his political machine in his defense, which has become a rallying point for Republicans across the country. Democrats, including former Obama strategist David Axelrod, have also expressed doubts about the merits of the prosecution.

Perry cast the criminal complaint as “an attack on our system of government,” arguing it was well within his rights to veto the funding. “If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again,” he said.

“I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being,” Perry said before turning to enter the courthouse. “And we will prevail.”

Perry’s political action committee, RickPAC, released a new video defending the veto Tuesday.

After he left the courthouse, Perry tweeted that he went to purchase an ice cream cone.

 

TIME Religion

Christianity Today Should Not Have Published a Rapist’s Story

The former youth pastor doesn't sound as repentant as he claims to be

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This article originally appeared on Patheos.

Remember when the Good Man Project posted an article by an unrepentant rapist, supposedly as an example of things to avoid? Well, Christianity Today recently posted an article by a youth pastor who had sex with one of his students and is supposedly repentant—but doesn’t really sound that way. In fact, it squicks me out exactly the same way the Good Men Project’s posting of a rapist’s story does. Maybe worse actually, because this guy is supposedly repentant. Except not.

In the article, the unnamed jailed former youth pastor, whom we will call Tim for the sake of ease, describes his offense as an “extramarital affair” and assigns as much guilt to his victim as he accepts himself. She sinned, you see.

Tim begins his article by talking about how he grew dissatisfied with his wife. Parenting small children, he says, took a tole on their relationship. Tim says he was very successful as a youth pastor, but didn’t feel appreciated by his wife. So he looked elsewhere.

Meanwhile, there was someone else in my life that appreciated me very much. Seeking approval and appreciation, I gravitated toward that person. She and I were always happy to see each other and looked forward to each other’s company. Before long, we were texting each other and interacting through social media. Nothing scandalous or questionable—a Facebook “like” or comment here, a friendly text there. Things friends do.

But I knew what appeared innocent was, in reality, wrong and very dangerous. Red flags kept popping up. Why was I not talking about this “friendship” with my wife? Why was I being secretive and sneaky about it? Why didn’t I, in the earliest stages, when I knew the “friendship” was rapidly escalating beyond what it should be, slam on the brakes?

What Tim doesn’t mention at this point in the article is that this “friend” was underage. She was, you see, one of the teenagers in the youth group he pastored.

In the early stages of this extra-marital relationship, I thought that I was seeking approval from someone other than my wife because I was not receiving it from my wife. But me seeking approval and appreciation elsewhere had dramatically impacted how I related to my wife. The unaddressed sin—my selfishness—caused my wife to respond to me differently. I see now that I failed to nurture our marriage properly, but at the time I silently blamed her for driving me away.

The “friendship” continued to develop. Talking and texting turned flirtatious. Flirting led to a physical relationship. It was all very slow and gradual, but it was constantly escalating. We were both riddled with guilt and tried to end things, but the allure of sin was strong. We had given the devil far more than a foothold and had quenched the Holy Spirit’s prodding so many times, there was little-to-no willpower left.

An “extra-marital relationship,” he calls it. An extra-marital relationship between a youth pastor with a wife and children and a girl of 16 or so. Right. Note too that he speaks of the allure of sin affecting both of them, placing even responsibility on his victim. Neither of them, he says, had the willpower to end it.

You may have guessed by now that the “friend” in my relationship was a student. She was one of the core students, involved from the very beginning. Our families were very close, which meant a lot of time together over the years. She adored me and I loved the adoration.

And here he finally gets around to telling us, for the first time, that “friend” he had a “relationship” with was one of his students. It’s about time, don’t you think?

When my wife discovered incriminating text messages on my phone, I knew instantly that everything was about to come crashing down. After hours of screaming and crying, she packed some bags, loaded our 2 kids into the minivan and left the house at 3 AM. I have not seen my kids since. It has been over a year. The only time I have seen my wife has been in court. We have not communicated in one year. I lost my job, and was required to drop out of seminary. I pleaded guilty to 2 felonies, am serving time in prison and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of my life.

You know what’s interesting? Tim doesn’t even bother discussing how this “extra-marital affair” affected his young victim. He talks about how his life came crashing down, but he doesn’t spare another word for his “friend.” Literally—not a single word. He left his victim with a shattered life and only seems to care about the fact that he lost his ministry. Oh noes.

While Tim wrote the article anonymously, there is a note at the bottom:

The writer serves as a GED tutor and helps lead the Christian community at the facility where he is serving his sentence. He is due to be released in the fall of 2015.

Maybe it’s just me, but given how this article is written, I’m thinking this guy really isn’t ready to step back into leadership.

Fortunately, readers took Christianity Today to task in the comments, arguing that they should not have posted an article of this sort by someone who so clearly had yet to take full responsibility for his actions. One of the editors later added this note to the end of the article:

In response to readers’ concerns, the author of this piece has offered the following clarification: “I recognize that what I initially considered a consensual relationship was actually preying on a minor. Youth pastors who do the same are not “in relationship” but are indeed sexual predators. I take 100 percent of the responsibility for what happened.”

I’m not buying it. The article was not written like it was by someone who took “100 percent of the responsibility,” and the author very clearly described himself as being “in a relationship” rather than as a sexual predator.

And Christianity Today posted this piece. Christianity Today is fairly mainstream for evangelicalism, so much so that I grew up thinking it was liberal. The editors of Christianity Today ought to know better. If evangelicals are going to step up and get serious about sexual abuse in their communities, they have got to stop publishing things like this.

Blogger Esther Elizabeth is calling for Christianity Today to take the post down:

Can you imagine the OUTRAGE if a Catholic Priest was allowed to publish an article describing his “relationship” with an “adoring” altar server? And that outrage would be absolutely JUSTIFIED.

Why?

Because a predator loses the right to tell his side of the story right about the time he decides to PREY on a CHILD.

Because the ONLY story that should garner attention is the VICTIM’S story.

Libby Anne is a blogger for Patheos.

Read more from Patheos:

TIME North Korea

North Korea Says Life in U.S. Is ‘Living Hell’

Undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on April 26, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting a shelling drill of an artillery sub-unit under Korean People's Army Unit 681 at undisclosed place in North Korea.
Undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on April 26, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspecting a shelling drill of an artillery sub-unit under Korean People's Army Unit 681 at undisclosed place in North Korea. KNS/AFP/Getty Images

Investigators in North Korea have released a report detailing the lives of "wretched" American citizens and calling the U.S. the "worst human rights abuser" just two months after a U.N. council slammed the Hermit Kingdom for "crimes against humanity"

Two months after the U.N. Human Rights Council excoriated North Korea for “crimes against humanity”, the reclusive kingdom has released its own analysis of the “serious human rights situation in the U.S.”

According to the report, the U.S. is the world’s “worst human rights abuser,” with its citizens trapped in a “living hell.” The report paints a dystopian nightmare of soaring crime rates, enabled by lax gun control laws and rising unemployment, abetted by a rapacious ruling class, and racism spreading under a mysterious law identified as the “citizenship act.”

And as his administration heaps abuses on its people, President Obama, the report finds, “indulges himself in luxury almost every day, squandering hundred millions of dollars on his foreign trip in disregard of his people’s wretched life.”

The “analysis” was published on a North Korean newswire last week. The U.N.’s Human Rights Council has yet to weigh in.

 

TIME Argentina

Argentina Rescues Girl Imprisoned in Garage for Nine Years

The 15-year-old was discovered by one of her biological sisters

Argentinean police said Wednesday they rescued a 15-year-old girl who had been severely beaten, starved and locked in a garage for nine years by her foster parents, the BBC reports. The girl was found in the Buenos Aires by one of her biological sisters, who had previously lost track of her.

Argentine officials said the girl was taken into foster care after a court declared her biological parents financially unfit to provide for her along with their seven other children. The girl’s biological family lost track of their daughter after 2005 for reasons unclear.

The girl had reportedly only been fed bread and water while in captivity and barely weighed 44 pounds when she was discovered. She had apparently been out of the garage twice in nine years, with only a dog and a monkey for company while she was detained. She claimed her foster parents physically abused her if she tried to eat any of the leftover food given to the pets.

The girl has been taken to a local hospital for treatment while her guardians have been arrested and charged with slavery and abuse.

[BBC]

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