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Ray Rice suspended indefinitely by NFL

ray-riceShortly after the Baltimore Ravens released Ray Rice, the NFL announced that commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Rice indefinitely. According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the decision to suspend Rice is based on “new video evidence.”

After footage emerged of Rice hitting hit wife Janay Palmer on a hotel elevator and knocking her unconscious, the NFL and the Ravens claimed they had never seen the video prior to TMZ releasing it. Jason La Canfora reports that Ravens officials did not see the video but that Rice described what happened in detail and “did not sugarcoat it.”

[WATCH: Ray Rice hit wife Janay Palmer, knocked her unconscious]

A separate report indicated that Rice did plenty of sugarcoating, as one former teammate reportedly said Rice gave the Ravens the impression that Palmer attacked him and he was protecting himself from her.

I’d be surprised if Rice, who will have to apply for reinstatement into the league, does not file some sort of grievance or explore legal action. The important question will be how much the Ravens and the NFL knew. If Rice told them he hit his wife and knocked her unconscious, how can the Ravens release him and league suspend him just because the video got out? League officials must be confident they can prove they did not see the video and were not aware of what was on it.

Ray Rice cut by Ravens

Ray Rice girlfriend fiancee Janay Palmer

The Baltimore Ravens announced on Monday afternoon that they have released Ray Rice.

The move hardly came as a shock after a video was released on Monday morning showing Rice hitting his now-wife Janay Palmer in the face and knocking her unconscious. The Ravens and the NFL both claimed to have not seen the video prior to TMZ releasing it. The NFL said they requested that authorities allow them to view the footage but that their request was never fulfilled.

It’s impossible to know who knew what and when they knew it. The Ravens basically had no choice but to release Rice. If they saw the video before and assumed it would never go public, well, that’s just stupid. If they didn’t see the video and they really believed that Rice had to defend himself against a small woman in a way that resulted in him dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator, that might be even stupider.

Rice’s release leaves Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Bernard Pierce to handle Baltimore’s backfield.

Report: Ray Rice losing support from teammates, who were told he was defending himself

Ray Rice apologyThere has already been a significant amount of backlash against Ray Rice on social media from current and former NFL players, but the Baltimore Ravens have yet to publicly address the video of Rice knocking out his wife Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. However, one report indicates Rice is losing — or has lost — the support of his teammates.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report says he had a text conversation with a Ravens player who said Rice’s teammates were behind him until they saw the footage that TMZ released on Monday. The player reportedly said Rice gave off the impression that he was defending himself from Palmer.

“I don’t think he has very much support now at all,” the player said. “I think it’s gone.”

[WATCH: Ray Rice punches wife Janay Palmer, knocks her out]

How TMZ somehow got its hands on the elevator footage but the Ravens nor the NFL could not do the same is beyond me. My gut instinct tells me they didn’t try very hard, for obvious reasons. Deadspin put together a solid roundup of reporters who claimed to have been told exactly what was on the video back in July, so it sounds like anyone who believed Rice was being incredibly naive.

Deadspin was also told months ago that the video proves why Rice only got a two-game suspension. In other words, an NFL player was supposedly defending himself against a small woman who was attacking him. While Monday’s video shows Palmer giving Rice a half-hearted tap in the face and going after him in the elevator, he has absolutely no excuse for reacting the way he did. Watch Jay-Z getting booted by Beyonce’s sister in an elevator and tell me the force Rice used was necessary.

Terrance Knighton, others want Ray Rice out of NFL and in jail

Ray Rice RavensA video of Ray Rice hitting his wife Janay Palmer and knocking her out surfaced on Monday, and his co-workers are not standing up for him. In a league that prides itself on being a brotherhood, NFL players have been known to forgive each other for some pretty idiotic acts. Rice crossed the line.

A number of NFL players have already spoken out against Rice. Denver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton took one of the stronger stances.

“That man should be thrown out the the (NFL) and thrown into jail,” Knighton wrote on Twitter. “Shame on those deciding his punishment. Smh. If there’s anyway to open that case up and give this guy the punishment he deserves, it NEEDS to be done.

“As players we must speak up. Stand up for what’s right. I don’t give a damn who (you) are or how much money you make. No place for this. This video makes me sick to my stomach. As players we always speak on how we are unfairly treated. Well, now what?”

[WATCH: Ray Rice punches wife Janay Palmer on elevator, knocks her out]

That last point from Knighton is a great one. How much have we heard about the NFL not educating players on head injuries and owners using them as mere investments to make money? Rice got off as easy as he possibly could have, and now the NFL is scrambling to find a way to correct its mistake.

Other current and former players shared an opinion similar to that of Knighton.

[Read more...]

NFL, Ravens say they did not see Ray Rice elevator video before public

Ray Rice apologyThe NFL announced on Monday that no league officials had seen the video of Ray Rice knocking out his now-wife Janay Palmer prior to TMZ releasing it to the public.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including video from inside the elevator,” the league said in a statement, via NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

The Ravens, who have basically supported Rice throughout the entire process, also said they did not see the video of him punching Palmer but that he described his actions in detail and did not “sugarcoat” anything.

[WATCH: Ray Rice knocks out his wife in an elevator]

This obviously raises a ton of new questions. For starters, can Rice’s punishment be amended now that the NFL and the Ravens have supposedly been introduced to “new” evidence? We already know that Roger Goodell would love to be able to take a mulligan and punish Rice beyond the two-game suspension he handed down. Does this give him an avenue to do that?

If the new video gives the NFL an opportunity to save face, expect the league to jump all over it. However, you have to wonder how much of an effort the league made to obtain the video. You mean to tell me TMZ could get the footage but the NFL couldn’t? We knew police had the video back in February. It’s hard to believe they kept it from the NFL. What purpose would that serve?

In order for the NFL to be able to punish Rice further, they will likely have to prove that he omitted details or gave an inaccurate account of what happened that night. If he said he punched Palmer in the face and knocked her out, how can the league change its mind now that what he described is out there for the world to see?

Again, Goodell is going to try his best to use the new video to correct his mistake. But don’t let the PR spin fool you. How did the league think Palmer ended up on the ground in the first place? They knew exactly what happened.

Ray Rice knocked wife Janay Palmer out with punch (Video)

Ray Rice fiancee elevatorThe original video we saw of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancee Janay Palmer out of a casino elevator over the winter left plenty of questions unanswered. While witnesses said they saw Rice and Palmer fighting, Rice’s attorney urged the public to wait for the entire story and all of the footage before passing judgment. We now have the entire elevator video, and it is worse than many expected.

Surveillance footage obtained by TMZ shows Rice striking Palmer in the face multiple times with his left hand and landing a knockout blow. This is obviously the video police reportedly had in their possession shortly after both Rice and Palmer were arrested for domestic assault.

[Related: NFL says it did not see Ray Rice elevator video before the public]

The video also shows that Rice and Palmer were arguing and got physical with one another before getting on the elevator. Palmer came storming over to Rice, who appeared to yell something in her face, and then swatted him in the head with her left hand.

Regardless of who started the argument, the punch Rice threw is sickening. Even if Palmer was the aggressor initially, he could have easily defended himself without knocking her out.

[Related: Ray Rice gets standing ovation from Ravens fans after returning to team]

TMZ also reports that the NFL saw the footage of Rice knocking Palmer out before settling on just a two-game suspension for the Baltimore Ravens star. The league must have known the video would get out, which probably explains why Roger Goodell admitted he made a mistake and has since amended the NFL’s policy on domestic violence.

Rice and Palmer got married a day after the incident took place.

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.