Why did CBS pull Rihanna’s Thursday Night Football performance?


(Note: I already covered this story over at Pajiba with a slightly different angle. CB asked me to cover it here too as part of the ongoing NFL ruckus.)

This has been a rough week for the NFL. I wonder if they expected this Ray Rice fallout would eventually happen. Or if they simply assumed no one would ever see the horrific video footage, ever. Seriously, I bet all of the execs want to crawl in a hole right now. They’ve handled the situation poorly and could have dealt with Rice appropriately many months ago. Instead, they’re trying to cover their spandexed butts. It’s not working. Even though the Baltimore Ravens still have Janay Rice on their side, this is a PR disaster. I don’t feel bad for the Ravens at all. They fired Rice as a last-ditch measure and only because he became a liability instead of moneymaker.

Here’s the latest update to the Rice story. Rihanna was scheduled as the musical number for last night’s Ravens vs. Steelers game. CBS decided (at the last moment) that this was a bad idea. RiRi was supposed to sing “Run This Town” as Don Cheadle made team introductions. That didn’t happen. Why? TMZ has the lowdown:

CBS has pulled the plug on the musical opening of tonight’s “Thursday Night Football” — and it’s very clear it’s because they don’t want to feature Rihanna in the midst of the Ray Rice scandal.

The opening features Rihanna performing a version of “Run This Town” — while Don Cheadle introduces the teams and dramatically asks who will “run this town” when the game is over.

But with the Ray Rice scandal in full swing, it’s clear CBS didn’t want to feature another celebrity who was involved in a high-profile domestic violence incident.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus says, “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone coverage.”

The musical opening will be replaced by a discussion of Roger Goodell’s recent comments about the Ray Rice incident.

[From TMZ]

Neither CBS nor the NFL has actually said, “We didn’t want to have Rihanna sing because she was also involved in a prominent DV case.” Nobody mentioned the words “Chris Brown.” They don’t have to say it. It’s obvious. The NFL wanted to distance themselves from any further controversy. This is sad because Rihanna is not only a DV victim but also a DV survivor. She could have gone onstage and shown the world that she runs the place.

The execs can say what they want about their decision. I want to know how far in advance Rihanna was scheduled for this game. Was she booked last winter before Ray Rice attacked Janay Palmer in that fateful elevator? I doubt it. They still don’t know who’s performing at this season’s Super Bowl. Yeah. Rihanna’s been booked for a few months. The NFL execs just assumed the Rice footage would never surface. Now they’re punishing a woman (again) for having the audacity to be punched by a dude. What a disaster. Doesn’t the NFL have publicists?


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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131 Responses to “Why did CBS pull Rihanna’s Thursday Night Football performance?”

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  1. MollyB says:

    This p-sses me off. Pulling her performance makes it seem as though Rihanna is somehow also a guilty party in her own assault. Which is actually something the NFL probably believes, so . . . .

    • krastins says:

      I like to think they pulled her because they need all the money they can get for the upcoming onslaught of legal action against them. But I’m a wishful thinker.

    • denisemich says:

      Sorry Molly, but I agree with the NFL.

      RiRi is not the right face for survivors of violent assault against women. She has defended Chris Brown repeatedly and then went back to him years later.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        But this is how most DV victims are before they break the cycle. We just know about every detail because she is famous.

      • WTF says:

        I think she is the perfect face for DV. On average it takes a woman 7 attempts to leave her abuser. If you think about how hard it is to leave, and how much shame there is, then add to that the shame of going back and trying to leave again, I think seeing that other women have done it would be comforting.
        It would be great if she would speak about it, but the fact that she has moved on is such a gift.

      • Shelley says:

        Agreed. She kept going back, and would probably still get back together with Chris.

      • Brasileira says:


      • Brittney B says:

        And THAT line of thinking is exactly what makes this choice so appalling.

        There’s no “perfect” domestic violence victim, nor should there be. In fact, the textbook domestic violence victim actually does behave exactly like Rihanna, and exactly like Ray Rice’s wife. She’s broken down and devalued so much that she starts apologizing for the abuser’s behavior. She’s terrorized to the point that returning to him seems like the only logical choice.

        This might help: http://jezebel.com/5983447/piling-on-rihanna-accomplishes-nothing

      • feebee says:

        Yeah but I don’t think that’s the line of thinking the NFL had going on. They’re not thinking she is or isn’t the right face for ‘DV survivors’, I doubt they even know the term.

      • fairyvexed says:

        Try reading ANYTHING about DV. Women who leave batterers get killed.

      • Kimberly says:

        @denisemich……….I 100% agree to.

    • Eleonor says:

      Agreed she has been fired because it would be embarassing putting a victim on stage??

      • denisemich says:

        No Agree she is not the right face of a survivor.

      • Brittney B says:

        Do you hear how that sounds? “The right face of a survivor”? Who are you to determine whether a woman’s abuse is legitimate or deserving of sympathy? Who are you to hold survivors to an impossible standard, despite the fact that the vast majority of victims do return, again and again and again?

      • Jarredsgirl says:

        Tell me, what is the “right face of a survivor” ? Rihanna SURVIVED. She may have gone about it in a particular way, but who are you to say that it was the wrong way? And what evidence is there that it was the “wrong” way, when, hello, she’s not dead, so obviously she did something right. (not that i think CB would have killed her, I’m just saying. Did he beat her twice? Not that we know of).

        There’s always these unspoken conditions for women.
        +You can be a domestic violence survivor (but we’ll only commend you if you act a certain way)
        +You can have a fat ass (but only if your waist is skinny and toned)
        +You can walk around at night in a mini skirt (but only if you accept responsibility if you get raped)
        +You can be a CEO (but only if don’t act like a bitch)
        +You can have a career instead of a family (but only if we get to call you a barren spinster)

        AND SO ON.

    • aang says:

      The face of any survivor is the right face. Every woman has her own journey. And blaming and shaming a woman until she does what you think she should do is another way of abusing her.

      • T.C. says:

        These comments coming from women about who should be the “right” face of DV is so sad. RiRi is constantly put under pressured and shamed for not doing what people think DV victims SHOULD be doing. I have worked with DV victims and can tell you everyone breaks away at a different pace. Some women stay for decades. Smart, professional women on top of their field included. You have to walk in the shoes of a specific victim under their specific conditions to understand.

        Shame on CBS for pulling a DV victim and survivor from the line up just so they can make more money and avoid the DV issue from being brought up. All these corporations along with the NFL care only about money and keeping the patriarchy alive. Shame on them and we are surprised when players continue to engage in DV.

      • Elle Kaye says:

        Very well said. Thank you

      • andypandy says:

        Thank you for this its very easy for people (my self included) to get all self righteous and judgy of women who not only stay /keep going back but defend their abusers
        Your perspective was eloquently humbling

      • Jarredsgirl says:

        TC I think what you have said can be applied to almost every area of life. The phrase “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” is so relevant. The problem is, most people don’t know how to do that 🙁

    • Christo says:

      I think they did this all because of what they feel is bad PR.

      1. You have the Baltimore Ravens team, whose player just got sacked from the team for knocking his wife out cold in an elevator.
      2. You have said team playing the Pittsburgh Steelers whose quarterback raped a woman in 2008.
      3. You have a singer who was battered by her boyfriend, headlining said game.

      • Brittney B says:

        I would give these same exact three points as an argument for why they SHOULD let her perform.

        Silencing an abuse victim for good PR is exactly what they’ve been doing all along. It’s unforgivable that they still haven’t learned their lesson.

      • Eleonor says:

        My point is: they booked a Performer a singer not the victim of the violence, and they choose to not let her perform because at a certain point of her life she was a victim, and THAT is bad pr, when in their team they have players who are abusers.
        Is Rihanna the one who is embarassing ?
        I don’t want her to be the posterchild for DV if she does not want to, but I find disgusting she is silenced because an a-hole beat the hell out of her. I think there’s something really wrong in this logic.

      • drea says:

        It’s not that she wasn’t allowed to perform because she was beat up by an a-hole. Seems to me that she wasn’t allowed to perform because she made a very public show of defending that a-hole (her “best friend”) to the world. Much like the way Ray Rice’s wife, Janay, is doing now. The convoluted, issue-laden relationship that the abused have with their abusers is a complicated thing to explain to the general public.

        Can’t say I agree with their reactionary move, but I can see how an organization like the NFL (run by an old white male patriarchy) would rather we talk about this now, rather than have the PR clusterf-ck trifecta, as outlined by Christo, making headlines across all markets.

        It’s stupid and unfortunate all around.

      • Jarredsgirl says:

        Drea I doubt that it was because Rihanna defended her abuser. My impression was that the NFL WANTED Janay to defend her abuser. I think that they pulled Rihanna’s performance because some people look at Rihanna and think about the CB Incident. And if you’re watching a footy game, thinking about that incident, you are going to be reminded of the Ray Rice incident – one of the NFL’s biggest scandals to date. They just don’t want to remind everybody…

        The NFL didn’t think this decision through. They should have spent more time thinking about it, because in a way, they have just given a slap in the face to Rihanna, DV victims/survivors and actually women as a whole. At this point, can anybody really doubt that the NFL is a sexist organisation? The way that they have reacted to these incidents show their true colours.

    • marta says:

      did you all forgot that she got back with her assaulter?They did it right in my opinion.Make sing somebody who stand against violence not somebody that somehow justifies it

      • Eleonor says:

        A lot of women go back to their abusers I don’t know why, but I don’t want to condamn their choice: breaking a DV relationship it’s hard for everyone, even for Rihanna.

      • marta says:

        eleanor I’ve been one of them and I know how it feels like.But even when I was in that position I was conscious of being in a sick mental place and not able to get away for f cked up reasons…and I felt ashamed of myself.So I’m not condamning Rhianna but as I was conscious I really couldn’t go out and stand for it not beig able to get rid of it,itwould be senseless for her to be there in my opinion

  2. Kimmy says:

    What disgusts me the most about this whole thing is that Ray Rice will more than likely be back on a team next year. Just like Chris Brown at the Grammys and MTV. Just like Michael Vick. (Sorry, I’m a crazy dog lady. What he did was pretty damn sick and unforgettable.) There just seems to be no real consequence for these guys.

    • krastins says:

      Don’t be sorry for being mad at Vick still. I am as well. I think it takes a special type of evil to hurt animals, because they’re more helpless than people. It’s almost like attacking a child. If any of us did what he did, our asses would still be in jail

      • Amanduh says:

        Completely agree….I think any crime against animals should be treated the same as a crime against a child-both are dependent and helpless.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        I’m a card-carrying member of the Crazy Dog Lady Association, Vick will never, ever (thanks, swifty) get my approval.
        BTW, Kimmy when elections roll around, I will be putting you in for President 🙂

      • Wren says:

        I agree, and I’ve read that people who are cruel to animals usually have little trouble being cruel to people. The leap is not very long, and may even just be a step on the road for sociopathic behavior. Personally I believe that and have nothing but loathing and contempt for Vick and anyone like him.

      • Jay says:

        amanduh… slippery slope. so it should be a crime to abuse cats and dogs but not to torture and slaughter cows, pigs, chickens etc?? what makes a dog inherently better than a pig? i love animals, but come on.

      • Amanduh says:

        Jay: I agree and obviously they’d have to look into a few legalities before they pass a law that some chick proposed on Celebitchy. But maybe a separation between “livestock” and domesticated animals (although I would be just as horrified if livestock was abused)?Maybe this would tighten up the practices where farm factory animals come from (ie. much tougher punishments for cruel treatment)?
        I just think something needs to be done/change as I’m hearing a lot of heartbreaking animal abuse stories. If you can beat a dog, I don’t see why you’d hesitate to beat a child.

      • fairyvexed says:

        There’s more animal shelters in this country than shelters for battered women. And if you hurt a dog you get more time than if you hurt a bitch. Cause, you know, bitches have it coming.

      • Francesca says:

        +1 Fairyvex. Women advocate for the rights of so many groups and yet are so underserved themselves.

      • Jadzia says:

        Seriously. I am an animal lover myself, but when was the last time you heard an animal activist promoting women’s issues? Yet women step up for other groups all the time.

      • Amanduh says:

        As abused, beaten down, and emotionally effed up a domestic violence victim may be, they DO have a choice, whether they think they do or not. I get that they’re usually in dire circumstances/situations/psychological mind frames…but oftentimes, they have a voice and the means to flee. Animals, like children, are at our mercy…they depend on us.

      • homegrrrl says:

        The weird thing about beaten down women is the soul is crushed; that takes away the ability to “choose” to leave. It’s a nearly unfathomable sequence, whereby the woman is gradually criticized to the point where she can barely choose a pair of socks, let alone have the ability to leave a man especially with children and a home and she is financially dependent. More women on here need to study the psychology of abuse because I hear a lot of victim shaming. There are ways to measure soft tissue damage, but psychological damage isn’t visible, hence the shaming and blaming and “why didn’t you leave” or “why did you go back?”

      • Amanduh says:

        No, no…I totally get that. It’s a horrible cycle and it’s deeper than I’ll (thankfully) ever know.
        I’m merely debating the actual literal sense in that a woman could potentially have a way to get help more so than an animal. If someone is asking you any of those questions, then you’re obviously able to express the awful circumstances in which you found yourself in; get some insight, vent, grieve-get the help you need to move forward. A dog literally couldn’t do that. They’ll be euthanized because they’ve been too beaten down to function.
        An animal is more often trapped in a house without a means to reach out for help (as in, can’t use a phone), they can’t literally ask for help (as in, they can’t use words…). People are given like, 6 months probation, a ban from having animals, and/or a fine here in Canada if they beat their cat or let their dog starve to death.
        Whereas a woman can usually speak, call someone/a hotline/police, get psychological help, plan an escape, go to a shelter, think ahead. A dog couldn’t do that for itself. I’m sure the chances are that some of us have had some sort of interaction with a victim (and may not have known) and they could have said/expressed “I’m being beaten…” A dog literally couldn’t do that: they’d look at you or slink away… That’s all I’m saying.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I’m going to go on record saying that I don’t think Ray Rice will ever play again. Dude’s done.

      • M M says:

        I agree, he is toast. Crumbs.

      • RJ says:

        I agree–this has been too public. He’s done, better invest the $20 million he got wisely. If he and his wife are smart, they will work with Domestic Violence organizations & get the psychological help they both obviously need as a victim & perpetrator.

      • fairyvexed says:

        Don’t believe it. The commission is already talking about how he might come back.

    • Elle Kaye says:

      Vick showed no remorse, just like Rice showed no remorse….until they were forced by their attorney. If you beat innocent dogs or women…or children like AP, you don’t get a pass with me.

  3. kri says:

    This is so weird, because the other day when the whole video came out, and Janay made her statement, I thought of Ri. Ri has so much power and influence-I wish she would use it to bring attention to DV. Maybe start a foundation. So many girls/women are fans of hers-she could reach so many people.. As for the NFL, I can no longer watch football until the league cleans itself up. As a woman, I can’t support this organization any longer in its current state.

    • Bee says:

      Yes and yes and yes!
      I won’t be watching any football either, they’re grossing me out with all of it.

    • Shahrizai says:

      I get what you’re saying, kri, but I respect Ri’s stance on not being a role model or poster woman for DV. For some victims of abuse – any kind of abuse – being the face of an awareness movement is too much of a trigger than is healthy. I respect that it may be so for her, given that she’s said said she doesn’t want to be a role model (http://madamenoire.com/346056/rihanna-role-model/) and notes that she’s had a ton of ups and downs and her own ish to deal with that she is still dealing with. Maybe the DV she experienced is still part of that?
      On the flip side, though, I do think that it’s stupid for her intro song to have been cut. It’s reactive and is just drawing more negative attention because now people are looking for the motive behind it and making connections between Ri’s DV and Rice’s DV situations. However, I do think that it is opening dialogue and discussion, and I hope THAT makes an impact, because in her place, this happened: http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2014/09/12/3566738/cbs-host-domestic-violence/
      I’m hopeful…

      • homegrrrl says:

        Taking abuse can be cultural for some women. I saw footage of woman wearing Rice’s jersey, (27?) saying to the camera, “if you hit a man, he can hit you back”. So there is an entire culture that sees DV as part of being married and or part of romance. I am saying this in RiRi’s defense, as I’ve never experienced her to have learned empowerment or education from her experience as a victim.

  4. Ag says:

    in addition to this bs, the NFL currently has two employees playing who have recently been involved in DV. greg hardy (panthers) was convicted in july of beating his girlfriend, and ray mcdonald (49ers) is out on freaking bail for beating his pregnant fiancee last week. the NFL, and their respective teams, have two f*cks to give apparently, since both of those men are practicing and playing scheduled games.

  5. word says:

    That black top, white skirt combo is fantastic !

    Also, why punish Rihanna? How is that fair?

    • Kiddo says:

      It’s a weird conundrum. For a while, she basically was the poster child for domestic violence. With the same pattern of returning to her abuser, who hasn’t exactly changed in terms of rage issues. She didn’t really come out with very strong statements about lessons from that experience and acting as a role model or spokesperson cautioning against this type of relationship. Having her perform sends mixed messages in the wake of this entire clsuterF*ck.
      It’s the huge elephant in the room.

    • Pager90 says:

      She did go back to Chris after the abuse. Maybe they just don’t want the controversy she might bring with questions on how she went back to an abuser.

      • Wren says:

        While your or I or anyone may not personally like that she did go back, I think it’s important to discus that women DO go back to their partners and it ISN’T as simple is “just leaving”. Instead of blaming her, again, which is exactly what such rhetoric does, why not turn it into a conversation of the pervasiveness of abuse and how it truly and deeply f*cks with the victim? It’s not just the punch or the whatever, it’s a deep level of control the abuser has over the victim and not acknowledging that just allows people to dismiss the situation.

        But that would be way too intelligent and demonstrate a much higher level of awareness than the NFL has currently shown.

    • word says:

      I understand that, but the NFL has dealt with domestic issues for years…this is not new. She was the one brutally attacked, and yet the stigma follows her everywhere while Chris Brown is enjoying his popularity. He just performed on Jimmy Fallon last night. No one is saying “oh we better not hire him to perform in the wake of the Ray Rice story”. Really not fair if you ask me.

      • Kiddo says:

        Well, he wasn’t scheduled to perform for the NFL, so there’s that. The thinking is that there were too many parallels to Janay, and by having Rhi on it could take on the appearance of the NFL co-signing onto women who return to abusers. Especially since they had no punishment for Rice to begin with. It’s about not sending a subliminal message that, “hey, see, we hired an abused lady who went back. It’s no big deal”. I don’t think it’s punishment, but being wary about perception in light of this scandal and how they initially handled it and what they felt was insignificant.

      • Sayrah says:

        Jimmy Fallon had CB on his show? Last night? Ugh. What’s he thinking?!

      • Kiddo says:

        Fallon and Kimmel are supreme celebrity ass kissers.

      • Chris2 says:

        Indubitably……Chris Brown learned valuable lessons from the way that abuse was received…….he learned that there wasn’t much retribution, and only temporary and localised anger, and that he definitely needn’t try to curb his innate violence, as he can reoffend all he likes and still be fêted as a star. (I mentioned ‘mediaeval justice’ t’other day. Well, with gits like this, I’m all for it. Clip his ears, tattoo his forehead, brand him ‘a proven menace’.)

      • word says:

        @ Kiddo

        Yes, I know he wasn’t scheduled to perform for the NFL, but he did make a public performance on a show that gets huge ratings (lots of young viewers). Also, stats show the MAJORITY of women do go back to their abuser, some stay for a bit, some leave quickly after, and some never leave again. It’s not fair that Rihanna has to have that stigma follow her wherever she goes…she’s not the one that knocked someone out and then fled the scene. Chris Brown isn’t getting this type of punishment…he’s everywhere right now promoting his new album. People are gladly allowing him to perform. It isn’t fair. That’s my opinion…and I respect yours.

      • mia girl says:

        @Kiddo – Yea, I kinda looked at it that way as well. Like the NFL already had the audacity to have one DV victim apologize for her “involvement”… and then they are going to have the public balls to have another DV victim represent them in a positive manner in the midst of all of this?!

        That said, they get NO pat on the back from me, because let’s not lose sight of the fact that the NFL, plagued by DV issues for years (not just now) and right after their controversial two game suspension of Rice showed they had the tone-deaf balls in the first place to even ask a DV victim to represent them at all. They announced the special Rhianna opening on Sept 2. It was apparently filmed shortly before by CBS sports.

        The NFL sucks.

      • Kiddo says:

        @mia girl, I hate the NFL, what it represents and the sport itself. So I’m biased and attempting to think outside of my own prejudice.

      • mia girl says:

        @Kiddo – so agree. I hate them right now and giving them any benefit is hard… but I don’t see how they could have made any other decision than not to air that pretaped opening. It should have never existed with Rhianna in the first place.

        And apparently the plan was to use the segment to open Thu Night Football for the entire season. So I am curious if they are putting it aside forever, using it later or making a new one.

      • Kim1 says:

        GMAB Do you have a problem with Charlie Sheen appearing on Kimmel he has abused multiple women.? Or Sean Penn or Josh Brolin, etc?

    • Kiddo says:

      @word, I don’t disagree at all with you. The point is that a lot of the stupid fans will make excuses for him, take leaps, and would interpret the Rhianna performance as co-signing onto Janay’s decision. The NFL should have brought in DV experts to discuss the entire thing. I know football fans come in all shapes and sizes, but we can’t dismiss the faction of chauvinistic grunt men who watch. And some of them even broadcast: where that guy called Janay ‘pathetic’ for staying with him, instead of calling Rice a monster.

      • word says:

        @ Kiddo

        Oh I agree, I HATE the NFL. On the news yesterday they did an entire story about women who are supporting Rice by wearing his jersey. It’s like “hey look these women like him and support him, YOU shoud too! ” It’s ridiculous. Anyways, we all agree the NFL has had a long history of supporting abusive men. They are just “pretending” to give a sh*t now just because that video got out.

    • word says:

      @ Kim1

      YES ! An abuser is an abuser, doesn’t matter who they hit, or what color their skin is !

  6. Jem says:

    Wow. Who the heck is making all these horrible decisions? Who could be that clueless? Pulling her from the performance just draws ALOT more attention to it.

  7. OTHER RENEE says:

    Yes but Riri also willingly went back to her abuser as soon as she was legally able to do so despite there being no evidence that he was remorseful or had changed one bit. She is NOT the poster child for surviving DV.

  8. Jaderu says:

    Way to go NFL!!
    Rihanna’s only claim to fame and reason for existing is as a victim of domestic violence!
    You’re just handling this mess so well!
    My eyes just rolled out the damn door.

  9. Anna says:

    I heard some people wanted the commissioner of the NFL to step down and at this point I think that’s the best decision considering all that’s happened. It’s wrong to have punished Rihanna and I think she could’ve been something positive to see during this whole case.
    One of the worst things that’s happened since the video was released is seeing all the jerks online who try and justify Ray’s attack and say that Janay “had it coming” (because she confronted him about his alleged cheating with Teyana Taylor and to them women have to right to question their boyfriends I guess). I even saw one guy reference what Whoopie Goldberg said a few moths ago to justify domestic assault. I wonder how Whoopie feels now.

  10. Nicole says:

    I feel bad for their wives.

  11. Chris2 says:

    Gosh, I took a different vibe from this, though doubtless I lack a lot of info about Rihanna in general.
    I’d have thought that from Rihanna’s own POV it’d be tasteless and tactless, never mind CBS. I had the idea that she hasn’t been particularly vocal against violent partners qua social problem, where some hoped she would be, and therefore many dimwits could mistake her participation in this event as endorsement of Rice. Bad for her rep, certainly. It hadn’t occurred to me to read it as CBS victimising her, so comments here will interest (and instruct) me.

    • Zwella Ingrid says:

      Good point. I hadn’t thought about it from that angle.

    • mom2two says:

      I kind of was thinking from the same lines. Keep in mind, she was scheduled to do this before all of this blew up. I think they thought in the first game since all of this blew up big time in their faces that having someone perform (be it Rihanna or anyone else) would look like the NFL was ignoring a serious matter and pretending everything was fine.
      Not trying to defend the NFL here, they’ve handled this so wrong

  12. FingerBinger says:

    I don’t get why they’re punishing Rihanna. She was a victim of domestic violence and CBS is kind of victimizing her again in a roundabout way.

    • Pager90 says:

      She also went back to her abuser.

      • FingerBinger says:

        Most women go back to their abuser. I don’t understand your point.

      • Shahrizai says:

        Ditto what FingerBinger said… I’m not sure why this is justification? I would imagine that is exactly what would make her a “perfect” example of a DV survivor. She had to live through the nightmare of the DV itself, the enforced break up, the back and forth, on again off again behavior that is very, very common (see statistics up thread) for abusive relationships, and she’s currently not with the person, so I’d call that survival. Maybe it’s not what WE want for her, but WE aren’t the ones living in her shoes and with her decisions.

        I don’t believe in judging a victim until you’ve been in their place… it’s just revicitimzation and putting the responsibility and culpability on them, not their abuser. Everyone has their own path to overcoming trauma like this.

      • tarheel says:

        Shameful. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  13. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Ok, so they want to stop Rihanna from performing because she was “involved” in a DV case. By “involved” I guess they mean “participated in.” As in, she was there while Chris Brown was beating her. So yeah, fire her, punish her for her “involvement.” That’s fair. Glad to see you’re catching up, boys.

  14. funcakes says:

    several points
    -bored with riahanna even without the dv controversy
    -sports of any kind is a boys club. This comes down to one thing: money.
    -rice married his baby mama to save his a$$ in court
    -Janaya backed up rice to keep the money train going. It appears they were booth abusive toward each.other in that vide0
    -I would love to see that prenup. She has him by the balls.

  15. Zwella Ingrid says:

    You know when I first read this, I had temporarily forgotten about Rhi Rhi’s DV past. I’m getting old and am suffering from brain slippage. My first thought was maybe they thought her performance would be too provocative, and they wanted to tone their image from sexy to more family oriented. After remembering what she has been through, that seems the more probable reason, but it might have been a combination of both. Its too bad she hasn’t handled the aftermath of her own personal case differently. She could be a real voice for DV victims.

  16. the original rachel says:

    The Baltimore Ravens just released a tweet saying Rihanna would like to apologize for her role in getting fired. #f***heads

  17. Gina says:

    That butt wipe Fist Brown is going to follow her…if only through her career for the rest of her life. I despise him.

  18. Jes1632 says:

    The bottom picture could be a poster for manolo’s. She is always and forever gorgeous

  19. Skins says:

    Enough of this already

  20. COSquared says:

    Pager, you clearly don’t understand the cycle of abuse that millions of women find themselves in.

  21. Coco says:

    I think they pulled the performance to dedicate time to a discussion about the events, not because of Rihanna’s past.

    • Shahrizai says:

      I hope this is the case! Some of the quotes coming from that discussion are really pretty constructive, so I hope it resonated with the audience.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      +1. I actually watched the discussion and the game, and it very much seemed like they were intentionally using that time to have a dialogue about the Ray Rice situation and how the NFL should handle it.

      Also, I don’t see how CBS (she was hired but CBS-not the NFL) choosing to not air Rihanna’s music number is ‘punishing’ her? I can pretty much guarantee that she got paid (maybe even extra for not airing it) and it’s not like she’s a newbie who needs the exposure. Shows choose to go in a different direction all the time-actors learn at premieres that they got entirely edited out of movies, or they’ll shoot scenes then another actor will be hired to replace them. To be honest, after the years of stress following Janet Jackson’s boobie I’m surprised CBS hired someone who performs as sexually as Rihanna often does.

      • homegrrrl says:

        I have to ask, also, if anyone thought Rianna would be a bit of a “wild card” and have something to say on the issue during her performance, either in defense or against the DV scandal. Honestly if it was my company i might pay her extra to -not- perform and use the time to have an on air discussion. This issue needs no further confusion.

  22. bns says:

    The ignorance surrounding domestic violence is staggering. “She went back to him!” Studies show that A LOT of victims of domestic violence go back to/stay with their abusers. Ray Rice wouldn’t have been suspended if this hadn’t become public, so LOL @ the NFL pretending to give a fuck about DV.

    RiRi doesn’t need them.

  23. anne_000 says:

    I don’t know everything about Rihanna & CB but my perception is that she basically excused what CB did, publicly supported him in his career not being hurt by his DV upon her, worried about any potential loss of income & reputation for him, came to his defense, didn’t use her position to advocate against DV but rather downplayed it as much as possible, was desperate to get back with him repeatedly even though he was still not ‘rehabilitated,’ seemed like she would still be with him if he hadn’t turned her down, and generally tried to get the public to consider his actions against her as not that bad…. which is basically what Janay has been doing.

    Rihanna, imo, is like a Janay if Ray Rice left Janay for another woman.

    I can see why the NFL would be uncomfortable having Rihanna as their star performer. Maybe they can get an ACTUAL strong, independent woman instead.

    • Shahrizai says:

      Wow… that’s a low blow. If someone SURVIVES abuse, PERIOD, that does make them “an ACTUAL strong, independent woman.” Implying that they aren’t is feeding into the belief that they are in part responsible for their victimization.

      • anne_000 says:

        @Shahrizai Just “surviving” an attack doesn’t make one “an ACTUAL strong, independent woman.” Janae survived a blow to the head, but she’s on Ray’s side. Rhianna survived a beating to her face, but she’s on CB’s side and has been trying to get back with him time and again. The only reason they’re not back together again is because CB doesn’t want her back. If she had it her way, they’d have stayed a couple all this time, imo.

        If they had acted the opposite of how they have and did their best to stay away from their abusers, then I’d say that they were strong women who had self-respect for themselves and were secure & independent enough as grown women.

        And yes, when these women are making excuses for their men’s violence towards them, and doing whatever they can to stay with their abusers WHEN they have a choice to leave, then they’re partly responsible for their victimization.

        There are women who feel they don’t have a choice to leave. I consider these women more of a victim than those women who, like Rhianna & Janay, have the opportunity & resources to leave but choose not to.

        So no, Rhianna who showed she wanted to get back with CB & got jealous & angry that he wouldn’t take her back isn’t a show of strength & independence.

      • Shahrizai says:

        Which complete negates the abusers’ responsibility in the situation, because you’re putting it on the victims to “not get abused” rather than telling the abuser “don’t abuse.” The cycle of abuse is systematic, and it often involves demoralizing and devaluing the victim. Once someone’s been knocked that low it is a PROCESS to be built back up, and that process, as has been stated in statistics noted above, often involves a battle of on again off again with the abuser. Having seen this first hand within my own family and life, I can only tell you that putting the responsibility on the victims only alienates them, which makes them more susceptible to staying with their abuser, because they don’t feel they have any support otherwise. The victims are on their abusers’ “side” for any number of reasons… go read the #whyIstayed posts on Twitter. Staying despite abuse does not mean they are NOT actual, strong, independent women. It means they are caught in a cycle of abuse and do not have the support THEY need, not that WE THINK they need, to break the cycle.

    • Pager90 says:

      Exactly. Excellent points.

    • LAK says:

      @Anne-000: may I say, excellent points and Tina Turner!!!

    • allheavens says:

      This is why many women don’t report abuse because you’ve got people like Anne_000 sucking their teeth sitting in judgement.

      Just trifling..

  24. ohdear says:

    Why are you not mad at the prosecution???l. One thing is NFL, but come on, it is the prosecutions JOB to make sure the violator gets the punishment deserved, at least try to. The prosecutions should have obtained the tape, not the NFL. The prosecution should have brought this to court and have a jury decide. And now the Raven’s fans are supporting Rice? WTH is going on?? I am outraged.

  25. lucy2 says:

    I’m guessing the NFL just wants to avoid anything that could be seen as controversial or keep the conversation going. My feeling is they hoped this was a small incident they could sweep under the rug like before, but the days of that are gone – with social media and videos going viral, this whole story has gone global in no time, and everyone has an opinion on it. That is probably the last thing the NFL wanted. I imagine they thought by canceling Rihanna, who’s presence there could have been another round of headlines with the words “NFL” and “domestic violence”, would save them that, but it’s too late. They’re trying to put the lid on something that has exploded, and they’ve handled it so poorly.

  26. M M says:

    …because of those ugly-ass, crude tats?

  27. ravensfan says:

    the ravens lost money by releasing ray rice. it was not a money decision, they did not drop him when he was no longer a ‘money maker”, per his contract he will still be payed, unfortunately. and taking rihanna off of the opening was ridiculous, if chris brown had been planned to open the show than that would have been the right move.

  28. Nymeria says:

    The way domestic violence keeps being framed by commenters on various Internet sites makes it is abundantly clear that the dynamics of domestic violence are poorly understood by most people. As I said in my comment yesterday, abusive men are looking to abuse; abused women are looking to be abused. Both parties get a psychological payout from the abuse. It’s sick, and it’s sad, and most women never leave it because they are actually getting something out of it, as incomprehensible as that seems. People like Rihanna and Ray Rice’s wife are clear-cut examples of this; they have the financial means to leave, but they choose not to. Both adults in such relationships have agency. Children in such relationships have no agency whatsoever.

    • Zoe says:

      It seems awfully unfair to say that abused women are looking to be abused. I’m a DV survivor and in a survivors group where many of us were abused by one person, got out, and got the help we needed to move on. Yes, there’s certainly a deprogramming of sorts because abusers groom you for so long before the abuse starts and you have to sort if relearn to trust yourself again, but to say abused women are looking to be abused again implies that abused women deserve their abuse. Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t understand abusive relationships.

  29. feebee says:

    I’m not surprised to hear this news. But let’s face it, they would have been/are screwed either way. It’s like being caught red-handed and your options are, stand there with your pants down while the door’s knocked down , or jump through the window that’s 3 stories high.

    No sympathy, they’ve systematically done it to themselves.

    Two things I think though:
    1) They still have to PAY Rihanna. Plugging the plug on her was not owing to an ‘act of God’ or anything that she did, so they should have to honor the contract. I believe Mr Rice collected most of his yearly salary before this suspension and from what I read he keeps it.
    2) Whomever that woman at the NFL office is on the voicemail, I hope she gets some representation for obvious reasons.

  30. tarheel says:

    Basically everyone goes back to their abuser at least once or/and continually excuses them. It’s called Stockholm Syndrome, it’s called being debased and humiliated until you believe everything they say. It’s called fear.

    God knows I did, and I am an educated, strong woman. It’s like a dream when I look back on my life then. Another reality.

    Those judging Rhianna, and calling her a “bad” example of a DV survivor are just appalling, and need ti quit judging her. Are you even listening to yourselves??? She is a bad example of a DV survivor, really?

    Is this Backwards Day on CB???

    Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves.

  31. Wens says:

    I find the double standards of the celebitchy team unbelievable. Yes, this whole mess is disgusting and he should be crucified for what he did to his wife but where was the backlash when Solange Knowles attacked her brother in law in an elevator?
    Granted woman aren’t necessarily as strong as men and a full on attack from them isn’t going to cause as much damage as a man could to a women but it was still an attack…… and a disgusting one at that – why wasn’t her name dragged through the mud – instead it was all about what he could have done to provoke her attack – no one is asking this question of Rice’s wife – you can see she’s slapping him from the videos – just saying double standards for men and women yet again!

  32. msw says:

    Bad decision, making the victim suffer for her connection to this.

    The NFL has screwed up, massively. They need to decide, fast, what kind of standards of behavior they expect from their athletes and enforce penalties and contract breeches accordingly.