People need to stop telling Janay Rice what she should or shouldn't do and show more compassion instead, says the wife of a former NFL player in Mother Jones. Tracy Treu— whose husband, Adam, played 10 seasons—argues that most people can't understand the "incredible pressure" Janay had to have been under as a player's wife. Teams don't spell it out, but the message is clear nonetheless: "Don't be controversial. Don't talk to the media. Stay out of the way. Support the player and be quiet," writes Treu, via an MJ editor. The unspoken rule is passed along by the wives of veteran players to those of rookies: Do nothing to mess up your partner's prospects, or the team's.
"And I'm sure that sort of thing was going through Janay's mind: If I tell, and if I take away their best running back, and they lose on Sunday, that's my fault. I did that. I set that ball in motion," says Treu. It would have put everything in her life at risk. "She probably thought to be quiet was to make this go away. Because she needs it to go away." Treu makes clear she's not suggesting that any NFL wife who is abused stay silent. "Speak up," she says. "It's not a secret worth keeping." But she wants people to know the extra dynamic at play in this case. "I wonder now what the Ravens will do for Janay and her daughter." Click to read the full column. (Read more NFL stories.)