The Ray Rice “fiasco” is now over.
Baltimore’s running back, who was already serving a two-game suspension for domestic abuse towards his then-fiancee, now-wife, Janay Palmer, is now without a job after Baltimore released the one-time star today. The trigger?
Until today, the public only had seen clips of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of a elevator at Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The clips themselves certainly seemed to insinuate Rice playing a disturbing role in Palmer’s state, but there was no video that explicitly showed Rice hitting her.
That didn’t change how people responded to Roger Goodell and the NFL when it was announced Rice would be serving a two-game suspension for the incident on February 15. There was public outcry and a general consensus that the two games was woefully inadequate with many comparing it to the season-long suspension of Cleveland’s Josh Gordon following a number of substance abuse violations.
The recently released video demands even more attention from the masses though with it clearly showing Rice and Palmer arguing before Rice pushed her. She approached him and Rice threw a punch, hitting her in the temple and causing her to drop to the ground, but not before she hit her head again on the elevator hand rail. The video is below.
Current and former NFL players are expressing their frustration with the two-game suspension on twitter, according to USA Today, and the NFL has said they could revisit their stance on Rice’s suspension. After all, the public outcry from Rice’s initial suspension resulted in a new NFL policy on dealing with domestic violence where players would face a six-game suspension for a first incident and would face a potential lifetime ban for their second.
Goodell has said he made a mistake with Rice and now this video makes that even more apparent. In a matter of hours since the video went viral, Baltimore has now stepped up and released Rice. The NFL has also announced that Rice is indefinitely suspended from the league, which likely ends his career in the NFL and, frankly, nobody seems to be that broken up about it.
I was raised under the assumption that under no circumstances is it ever okay to hit, punch or harm others, much less those close to you. Rice was wrong. The NFL was initially wrong with Rice and now Rice is likely done in the NFL because of it. Good riddance.
The last thing I will say is that the comparisons between Gordon and Rice are a little far-fetched. Gordon did something lesser than Rice, certainly, but his year-long suspension was due to repeated offenses – think “three strikes, you’re out” – rather than the NFL simply thinking domestic violence was a lesser crime. Rice’s suspension was certainly inadequate, especially considering today’s video, but Gordon and Rice were in very different boats when they received Goodell’s message about their suspensions. Now, the NFL has a domestic violence policy that dwarfs the substance abuse policy and, even then, the NFL is reportedly working to revise their substance abuse policy.
Either way, Rice is now without a team and an indefinite suspension, which seems to be a much more accurate and warranted punishment.