For the many who believe Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t go nearly far enough by suspending Ravens running back Ray Rice only two games for knocking out the woman who would later become his wife, Rice got another piece of favorable treatment.
Via ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the one-game fine attached to the two-game suspension will be calculated based on Rice’s 2013 base salary of $1 million, not his 2014 base salary of $4 million — even though the incident happened in 2014 and the suspension was imposed in 2014.
It reduces the fine from $235,529 to $58,823, a savings to Rice of $176,706.
That wrinkle wasn’t mentioned in the press release announcing the punishment, creating the reasonable impression that the money was coming from 2014: “[H]e will be suspended without pay for the first two 2014 regular season games and fined an additional game check.”
Meanwhile, some have defended the league’s wrist-slap for Rice’s chin-punch by pointing to other language from the release: “In May, Rice resolved the charges by entering into a pretrial intervention program. Under this program, he will not be prosecuted and is not required to serve jail time or pay any fine. After one year, the charges will be expunged and will not be part of Rice’s record.”
If the punishment from the league was truly intended to simulate the punishment imposed by the criminal justice system, why was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suspended four games for a civil lawsuit in 2009 and allegations that never culminated in an arrest in 2010? The obvious explanation is that the NFL did its own investigation and concluded that unacceptable behavior occurred, and that Roethlisberger had become a repeat offender. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that the contents of the still-unleaked video of Rice punching the woman who became his wife supports the notion that Janay had crossed the line repeatedly before Ray reacted.
Maybe it’s time for that video to be released, since it happened in a public place and has become a matter of public concern.