NFL Defends Two-Game Suspension for Ray Rice
Roger Goodell and the NFL are fighting criticism that they were too soft on Ravens running back Ray Rice, slapping him with just a two game suspension for a domestic violence incident. Adolpho Birch, the league’s senior vice president of labor policy, went on ESPN radio Monday morning defending the decision to suspend Rice for the first two games of the season – he was also fined an additional game check – and claimed the ruling was harsh enough to act as a deterrent.
“Listen, I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that,” Birch said. “So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline; we can talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.
“But if it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.”
Rice’s suspension comes after video surfaced of him dragging his unconscious fiancé, now wife, out of an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel last February. Rice will not be prosecuted, fined, or serve any jail time. After one year the charge of third-degree assault will be dropped from his record.
Fox News’s Outnumbered panel discussed the NFL’s defense of the suspension. Katie Pavlich opinioned that the league has had a larger cultural problem for decades involving violence by players off the field. Mr. Goodell it is time for a serious punishment for Mr. Rice, if you assault a woman period, you need to be held accountable. I believe Rice should have been suspended for a year at the least and docked pay.
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