Rihanna Segment Cut From Thursday Night Football in Light of Ray Rice Incident
An opening segment featuring the Rihanna/Jay Z song ‘Run This Town’ was cut from the Baltimore Ravens’ Thursday Night Football pre-game broadcast last night (Sept. 11) in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus further explained the decision to Sports Illustrated, noting that the network wanted to ensure that they had the “appropriate tone” following the shocking incident.
“It’s important to realize we are not overreacting to this story but it is as big a story as has faced the NFL,” he said. “We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage. A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated because of time or tone.”
It is worth noting that Rihanna is a victim in one of the most high-profile domestic abuse cases, although CBS did not mention it in their comments.
Former Baltimore Ravens’ player Ray Rice was prominent in the media this week after video footage was released of him knocking out his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer in February 2014. The footage not only shows Rice punching Palmer, but hitting her so hard that she fell against an elevator wall and was knocked unconscious. The video also shows him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator.
Rice was initially suspended from only two games after the incident, but was quickly terminated from the team and suspended from the NFL after the video was released.
The pregame opening segment last night instead featured CBS anchor Norah O’ Donnell interviewing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who previously admitted that he “didn’t get it right” in regards to Rice’s initial punishment.