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Roger Goodell on Ray Rice punishment: ‘I didn’t get it right’

Ray Rice apologyThe NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have faced an enormous amount of backlash since the decision to punish Ray Rice with only a two-game suspension after he assaulted his now-wife Janay Palmer. On Thursday, Goodell sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams outlining a new policy that will help to avoid a similar situation in the future.

“Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant,” the letter read. “Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.

“A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.”

[Previously: Maine governor blasts Roger Goodell's punishment of Ray Rice]

To his credit, Goodell directly addressed the Rice situation and admitted he made a mistake in only handing down a two-game suspension.

“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

Rice and the Ravens are fortunate the NFL didn’t smarten up sooner.

Nick Sundberg defends Brandon Meriweather at the expense of Ray Rice

Brandon-Meriweather-RedskinsWashington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for an illegal hit on Torrey Smith. Meriweather is a known head-hunter, and the league noted that the hit on Smith was his “sixth violation of unnecessary roughness rules relating to his hits to defenseless players and impermissible use of the helmet.”

Despite the fact that Meriweather has been a dangerous player throughout his career, several of his teammates came to his defense after the punishment was handed down. Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg wondered how Meriweather’s suspension is the same length as Ray Rice’s.

Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said that Smith ducked rather than Meriweather aiming high and urged his teammate to keeping playing the way he has been.

“Keep hitting,” Hall said Monday. “I’ll pay the fine.”

[Related: Martellus Bennett wants to punch 'scumbag' Brandon Meriweather]

Meriweather, who knocked Eddie Lacy out with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit last season, has always been a dirty player. The hit on Smith was borderline, but he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

As for the Rice comments, the league is going to hear that a lot. The NFL has been heavily criticized for only giving Rice a two-game ban after he was seen dragging his wife out of an elevator, which is why the league is considering harsher punishment for future offenders.

GIF via @cjzero

NFL considering harsher penalties for domestic violence

Roger Goodell

The NFL has been roundly criticized for letting Ray Rice off with just a 2-game suspension despite the domestic violence he allegedly committed against his wife, and they appear to be ready to respond.

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske says the league is considering harsher penalties for those who have committed domestic violence. The penalty would be a 4-6 game suspension for a first-time offender and possibly a one-year ban for a second offense.

These are penalties that are currently being considered and have not been put into effect. The NFLPA has not been included in these discussions yet, Maske reports.

Though Rice pleaded not guilty to the alleged domestic violence, video showing him dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator in Atlantic City sparked public outrage. Even if we don’t have the complete picture of what happened between Rice and his wife, the appearance was that the NFL did not take domestic violence as serious as it should. When guys are being suspended four games for taking Molly while on vacation, domestic violence suspensions should not be for half the amount of games.

Ravens brag about Ray Rice getting standing ovation

Ray-Rice-story

Ray Rice was given a hero’s welcome in his return to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Rice, who has been busy in court and disciplinary hearings this offseason after a domestic assault incident involving his wife Janay Palmer, got a standing ovation from Ravens fans as he took the field at an open training camp practice. We know this because the Ravens proudly pointed it out.

One of the top stories on the Ravens’ official website describes the warm welcome Rice received. He was described as “emotional” in his return and the story was written in the type of tone that would be taken if a player returned after losing a family member. The Ravens also shared a video of Rice’s reception through multiple social media avenues.

You probably don’t need us to explain how this is an issue, but we will anyway. Fans have the right to react to Rice any way they please. That said, this is a guy who was seen on video dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator. Police also reportedly had video of Rice knocking Palmer out.

Had it not been for Palmer begging the NFL to be lenient with Rice’s punishment, he probably would have been suspended for more than two games. He’s lucky he’s not in jail. Rice’s “return” shouldn’t be celebrated, and the Ravens certainly don’t need to bring any added attention to him at a time like this — especially positive attention.

H/T SB Nation

Ray Rice’s wife reportedly pleaded with Roger Goodell for light punishment

Ray Rice girlfriend fiancee Janay Palmer

Ray Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for his involvement in a domestic violence incident with his wife Janay Palmer at a casino over the winter. Given that the public was shown a video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator and police reportedly had footage of the Baltimore Ravens running back knocking her out, many felt a two-game suspension was far too light.

Palmer, who was Rice’s fiancee at the time of the incident, has been nothing supportive of Rice since his indictment. In fact, Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback reports that Palmer pleaded with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to go easy on Rice.

Rice’s wife, a source said, made a moving and apparently convincing case to Goodell during a June 16 hearing at Goodell’s office in Manhattan — attended by Rice, GM Ozzie Newsome, club president Dick Cass of Baltimore; and Goodell, Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch of the league — that the incident in the hotel elevator was a one-time event, and nothing physical had happened in their relationship before or since. She urged Goodell, the source said, to not ruin Rice’s image and career with his sanctions.

Plenty of people feel that Rice should have been suspended for at least four games, as evidenced by the change that was made to his Wikipedia page last week. Was Palmer the reason Rice got off with what seems like a slap on the wrist?

Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post confirmed that Palmer met with Goodell and company, noting that her “impassioned plea” was “instrumental in limiting the length of Rice’s league suspension.”

If there was no video of the incident, I could understand Goodell being influenced by Palmer’s apparently convincing speech. But there is footage of some of the assault, and it makes Rice look really, really bad. There’s no question he is fortunate to have escaped with a two-game ban.

H/T Black Sports Online

Ray Rice’s Wikipedia changed to ‘Hall of Fame wife beater’

Ray Rice Wikipedia wife beater

Ray Rice was suspended two games by the NFL on Thursday for his role in a domestic violence incident with his wife at an Atlantic City casino in February.

Rice was indicted on aggravated assault charges, and a video emerged showing Rice dragging his unconscious wife (then girlfriend) Janay Palmer out of an elevator. Police also reportedly had video of Rice knocking out Palmer.

Many were outraged over the seemingly light punishment for the harsh charges, and someone decided to take things out on Rice’s Wikipedia page. As you can see in the screenshot above, Rice’s Wikipedia page was edited to call him a “Hall of Fame wife beater.”

Rice is still awaiting word on his punishment from the legal system.

H/T Black Sports Online

Ray Rice, Ravens use poor ‘knocked down’ analogy in apology

Ray Rice apologyRay Rice and the Baltimore Ravens are being criticized by the overly-critical Internet crowd for a poor choice of words used during his apology on Friday for the assault he committed on his wife in February.

In his public apology, Rice used an analogy about bouncing back from being knocked down when issuing a statement.

“I won’t call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down. It’s not getting up,” he said.

Then the Ravens Twitter account chose to tweet that quote, too, which left them open to criticism:

Given that police reportedly had video of Rice knocking out his wife, Janay Palmer, talking about “not getting knocked down” and “not getting up” is just a poor choice of words. But that’s all it is — a poor choice of words. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it to come off as badly as it did. And the person running the Ravens’ Twitter account probably should have used better judgment and not chosen to highlight that specific quote. I mean that part was definitely pretty dumb.