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.