Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended for two games for knocking his wife out in an Atlantic City casino in February. In addition to the very lenient suspension, the league has also fined Rice an additional game check for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. The total salary lost for Rice totals $705,082.
The NFL’s PR machine is really trying to spin this slap on the wrist as a firm act of discipline. Here’s some of the language I’m referring to:
In the press release issued by the NFL on the discipline-
“Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.”
From Roger Goodell’s letter to Rice-
“As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”
At the end of the day (the day before most training camps open and all NFL news machines focus on all that news), the NFL wants the public to think it really takes exception to violence against women, but please don’t focus on the fact that we don’t punish those perpetrators as much as say…someone who misses a scheduled drug test.
Here is a graphic illustrating what offenses get the most severe punishments from the league. Made by SportsonEarth.
Here’s what Rice had to say about the suspension: “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault,” Rice said in a statement. “As I said earlier, I failed in many ways.
“But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”
Rice will be allowed to participate with the Ravens through all of training camp and throughout preseason, as his suspension doesn’t technically begin until August 30th.