Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice

Less than a day after the release of a new surveillance video showing the full extent of the physical assault he inflicted on his then girlfriend in an Atlantic City hotel elevator, Ray Rice has been cut by the Baltimore Ravens:

The Baltimore Ravens terminated running back Ray Rice’s contract Monday after a graphic video emerged of him punching his former fiancée, who is now his wife, in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City in February. The video raised fresh questions about N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the situation; in July, the N.F.L. suspended Rice for two games.

The team, which had not previously disciplined Rice in any public way, announced Rice’s release on its Twitter account Monday afternoon. Shortly afterward, Goodell announced that Rice had been suspended from the N.F.L. indefinitely.

TMZ published the video Monday on its website. It showed Rice and Janay Palmer, in an elevator, where Rice punched her. He then dragged her unconscious body from the elevator.

The release of the video triggered outrage against the league and Goodell.

Previously published video of the incident was taken from a camera outside the elevator. Rice was charged with felony assault in March, but after Janay Rice declined to testify against her husband, charges were reduced to court-supervised counseling.

After the episode, the Ravens said on Twitter: “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”

Rice, with his wife at his side, apologized publicly. Rice’s coach, John Harbaugh, said he stood by his star running back.

Rice and Palmer also met privately with Goodell, who said he suspended Rice for two games because of his contrition and because the charges against him were dropped.

Goodell’s penalty was immediately and loudly criticized by women’s advocates and even N.F.L. players who said the league was not treating the issue of domestic violence seriously enough. The N.F.L. received hundreds of phone calls in protest, and petitions with tens of thousands of signatures were collected.

Some players said the two-game suspension was too light compared with the full-year suspensions that some players received for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. While Goodell controls suspensions involving violations of the league’s personal conduct policy, he has no say in cases involving recreational drugs and performance-enhancing drugs. Those penalties were established by the league and the players association.

At the end of August, a month after his initial decision, Goodell reversed course. In a letter to team owners, he said he took responsibility “both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right.”

The National Football League has also suspended Rice indefinitely in light of the new video. Both the league and the Ravens say that they were unaware of the newly released video until it became public this morning, but there is at least some suggestion that this may not be the case. In any even this is effectively the end of Ray Rice’s short career in the NFL. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess, but I doubt we’ll see him playing on a Sunday any time in the future.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jr says:

    What Rice did was awful, but the hypocrisy of not only the NFL…..but general public is startling IMO. What makes what Rice did any more heinous then what Greg Hardy got convicted for in July? If there was no video, Rice likely plays last sunday and no one would fuss about it.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    I am not defending domestic violence.
    Rice is suspended for a couple games for the incident…and by all accounts is a good guy who made a mistake…until the video comes out and then he is summarily fired?
    The only thing the video proves is that both Ravens Front Office and the NFL screwed the pooch on this and that’s where heads should be rolling. Ray Rice is no different than he was two days ago…before the video came out.
    What’s different today is the optics…the PR…the leagues image…and it’s not his fault this has been handled terribly from the get-go.
    Fire Harbaugh and Goodell.

  3. Guarneri says:

    Well there you have it. When a ginormous pro athlete strikes “an unarmed woman” unconscious
    … his bosses. Makes sense. I expect the Furguson cop to be reinstated immediately and his bosses summarily fired.

    I suspect MSNBC is in a dither. Why don’t they just put Al Sharpton and a women’s rights advocate in a cage and lock it until only one comes out. Now back to football……

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Well sure Drew…because his bosses royally f’ed up.
    They should have fired Rice on day one.
    But they didn’t. Now, faced with graphic evidence…they have. And in the process they have done harm to the Ravens and the Leagues image.
    I’m not sure what all the other nonsense you typed was about.
    You probably don’t know either.

  5. SKI says:

    @C. Clavin: The word out of the Castle (Raven’s offices and training facility in Owings Mills) is that when the video came out today, it was clear that Ray lied to them about what happened. The previous story is the reason for why they acted the way they did and the sense of betrayal is why they cut him so quickly.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    All I ever heard about the “inside the elevator tape” was. “What if the other tape shows what she did to him first?” “In the other tape she provoked him somehow.” “She slapped him. The other tape shows it.”
    Well, here’s the other tape. (Where the fuk has it been all this time?)
    TMZ scores again!!!

  7. Jr says:

    @SKI: I call bull****, there is no way the Ravens or the NFL did not know about this video.

  8. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    You are the one making excuses for Ray “The Good Guy” Rice. Not me. If you have a point, make it. Or are you pointless?

  9. SKI says:

    @Jr: And your evidence they are lying is?

  10. Jr says:

    @SKI: Because it is the NFL. The league and NFL front offices do thorough investigations and background checks(a ton of ex-detectives ,SS agents work for them).

    There is no chance in hell, the league and the Ravens did not know about this video. They are covering their asses, because the new video looks worse. If they had been harsher with Rice from the start, they wouldn’t be in these PR mess.

  11. SKI says:

    @Jr: So on one hand I have your “gut belief” and on the other, people I know and trust in the building who have talked with team officials and players as to what Ray was telling them.

    If they had seen the video, they would have already known that Ray lied to them. They didn’t know (and they are pretty pissed).

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Can you read?

  13. Guarneri says:

    One wonders when the Players Union, noted protector of women’s rights and all things good, will bring suit against the Ravens and NFL.

  14. Guarneri says:


    I can read, “but,”…….. You ain’t talkin your way out of this one. Rationalize Rice’s behavior if you want but they ought to shut the whole league down. It’s infested like ticks with sociopaths.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    Your explanation makes sense … but doesn’t excuse the Ravens front a office or the league for mis-handling this terribly.

  16. C. Clavin says:

    Apparently you can’t.

  17. SKI says:

    @C. Clavin: I would differentiate between the two.

    The Ravens trusted a person they have known for years and who had an incredibly stellar reputation for off-the-field behavior, community service and leadership. They were not responsible for punishing him and did not investigate independently.They messed up but it is understandable how and why.

    The league investigated the situation and interviewed the officials in New Jersey and had primary responsibility for determining how to punish Rice. They really screwed that up and it doesn’t make sense why or how.

  18. anjin-san says:

    The NFL lost any credibility it had on character when they let Michael Vick come back. It’s strictly about money, and they decided Rice had become a liability.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    I’m not buying it.
    TMZ got the tape but the Ravens and the NFL couldn’t?
    Remember …it’s the cover – up…not the crime.

  20. Jr says:

    @anjin-san: Vick paid his dues and did his time. I had no issue with him getting a second chance.

  21. anjin-san says:

    @ Jr.

    Vick paid his dues

    Throw him in a pit with some angry dogs and get back to me about him paying his dues. Torturing living things for amusement is not a line you can walk back across from in my book.

  22. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: seriously? so it’s ok for a black man to pummel his woman and get a pass? that’s what it’s all about- oj got one too .
    that 2 game layover was due to his race, and that’s what’s wrong with all of this. i’m 6’1″ and 200 lbs and i never hit a chick, even if she hit me.
    @anjin-san: you’re right, but they were again playing the race card- and money as always.

  23. Anonne says:

    The day wouldn’t be complete without someone calling the race card.

  24. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    playing the race card

    Seriously dude, get some new material. Do you have any idea how lame you sound serving up warmed over Fox talking points?

  25. bandit says:

    @anjin-san: We live in a society governed by laws – be went to prison – I also heard a guy today saying that the league has little discretion on suspended players reapplying – ie. Dontae Stallworth, Michael Vick, Pacman Jones – they really can’t deny someone reapplying if they have no pending legal issues

  26. Jr says:

    @anjin-san: Thankful, that is not how our justice system works.

  27. Tyrell says:

    @Guarneri: Where’s Al ?

  28. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Looks like Ginger may be given the bum’s rush. Capehart is keen on Condi to replace him. I think we’ve seen enough of that stategery [sic], personally.

  29. Tyrell says:

    The NFL is definitely having some problems, but not to the point of needing to be “saved”.
    Saved from what ?