Former Baltimore Raven, Ray Rice, was originally suspended two games for knocking his fiancé (now wife) completely unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Any NFL sports fan knows that Ray Rice is no small time athlete. Coming into his 6th year in the NFL, Rice has made it to three Pro Bowls and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season three times in his career. As a main building block into the Baltimore Ravens franchise, Rice was arguably approaching the prime of his career. With these type of accolades, Rice was prime for the big media spotlight. Rice was indicted for third-degree aggravated assault with the possibility of three to five years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.
The oh so “beloved” NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, played his deck of cards in the absolute worst way possible during this crucial situation. Goodell deemed that a two game suspension was fitting for the man who knocked his fiancé out in the elevator. This means that Rice was scheduled to miss only 120 minutes of action on the field. After Goodell smacked the gavel on the case, social media went ballistic. NFL players, coaches, fans, females, and non-sports fans across the world voiced their disapproval towards the commissioner’s decision. This is the same commissioner who granted Denver Broncos kicker, Matt Prater, a four-game suspension for drinking a few beers at his house during the offseason. FOUR games for LEGALLY enjoying his time away from football. This decision represented the NFL very negatively.
The NFL tried to even the score by setting a new domestic violence standard into play. First offenders will receive a six game suspension while second offenders receive banishment from the league. The ban can be appealed after one year. This was the very least the NFL could do to get their reputation back on the right track. Weeks following the incident, Goodell admitted to the error in judgment by saying only suspending Rice for two games was a mistake.
On September 8, 2014, TMZ released a video to the public showing what actually happened inside the elevator. The video shows Rice meeting up with his fiancé, Janay Palmer, outside of the hotels’ elevator. Rice then proceeds to spit in his fiancé’s face prior to entering the elevator. Once inside the elevator, an argument seems to ensue which ends with Rice throwing a right hook at his fiancée.
Ray Rice then proceeds to drag her out of the elevator as if he was dragging a suitcase around the airport. Palmer stays unconscious for a minute or two until finally waking up on the floor outside of the elevator. After the release of the video, social media again went ballistic. NFL players, coaches, fans, females, and non-sports fans across the world voiced their disapproval towards the commissioner’s decision for a mere two game suspension.
Terrance Knighton, a Denver Bronco, had this to say, “That man should be thrown out the the nfl and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment. Smh (shaking my head).”
Knighton continued, “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 u are or how much money you make. No place for this.”
Knighton received his wish. The Baltimore Ravens cut him from their team, and shortly after the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
Zach Rosenberg, Writer, KMSA
Brenden Fatchett, Editor, KMSA
All opinions expressed by Zach Rosenberg on this website are solely Rosenberg’s opinions and do not reflect the opinions of KMSA 91.3 or their affiliates.