Maine’s governor threatens NFL boycott over Ray Rice suspension


Either Maine’s governor moves really slowly, or the Ray Rice suspension really continues to resonate.

According to the Associated Press, Republican Paul LePage sent a “scathing” letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.  The letter accuses the NFL of sending the message via the two-game Rice suspension that it’s permissible “for professional athletes to beat women, just for the sake of ratings.”

“Taking thugs and wife-beaters off the field may be bad for business, but you are playing games with people’s lives,” LePage wrote, threatening a boycott of the league.

Per the AP, LePage argued last week in a radio interview that Rice should have been suspended for three years.  LePage also believes that the Ravens should have responded to his violence with violence of their own.

“As a matter of fact, the team should have taken him out in the back shed and taken care of him,” LePage said.

While few will disagree with the idea that the two-game suspension was too light, no one has suggested that a multi-year suspension or a visit to the woodshed would have been appropriate.

But LePage currently faces a three-way re-election battle involving both a Democratic candidate and an independent.  He apparently believes that three-year suspensions and/or punishment inflicted via woodsheds will motivate the base and/or appeal to the fence-sitters.Regardless, it would be hard to accuse LePage of being rash with his irrational positions, given that he sent his letter nearly a month after the suspension was imposed.

157 responses to “Maine’s governor threatens NFL boycott over Ray Rice suspension

  1. What is not going to allow Maines football team not to play?

    Sheesh… We know Rice should have been punished more, but don’t you have better things to do?

    Maybe you should be more concerned with unemployment and the turmoil in the Middle East

  2. As a politician, perhaps he should send a scathing letter to the US justice department, sice Ray Rice was not found guilty of any crime by the legal system. I find it interesting that politicians have gotten involved in this case asking for harsher punishements. Basically, what they are saying is, I don’t believe in the US legal system or the Constitution. I believe that each person is guilty without due process and that even though our legal system had not convicted this person of any crime, he is guilty and should be punished.

  3. Turns out he isn’t really the Governor, but an interning page named Paul. Or “Paul Le Page” as they sometimes say in the tiny state with it’s Francophone heritage.

  4. Gee, this isn’t coming from a “knee-jerk liberal”….oh dear, what will the usual commenters on this board think!

  5. Wow the state of Maine is in great hands. Top priority is focusing on football team discipline even though the law has done its part. Bravo

  6. On the East coast, I think that the phrase “and taken care of him” has a bit more of a violent connotation than the average southern-style woodshed punishment…

  7. Also in the news– Wyoming governor threatens a boycott of the International Surfing Association.

    Political grandstand much, LePage?

    While I totally agree with his outrage over the way the NFL has handled things, you cannot chalk this up to anything more than an attempt to grab headlines in an election year. Pathetic.

  8. way to present yourself Mr. Governor. I too believe Rice should’ve been suspended for more than two games, but three years is a little much. also the way u responded to this a month later and how u wrote it I’m not too sure u should even be a governor

  9. I’m sure this is all about his re-election. They dont care about anything besides getting the edge over their opponent. After the election i guarantee he starts watchign football again.

  10. So he’s a republican who wants to tell a business how to operate. A quick Google search says he’s also against gay marriage. I wish these idiots that want “small government” actually wanted small government.

  11. What politicians don’t understand is that we just need the same laws, simple and clear, for 150 years.

    Then the rest of the time, we just need them to enforce them.

    Other than that, we just need them to shut up and stay away from the populace. They fail to understand they are mostly unwanted. Not really needed at all.

  12. what exactly would people in Maine boycott? even if they all did not watch would it affect ratings?

    and, why this? Maine is closer to the Pats, by far the least classy org in the NFL!

    this seems like more political crap.. though I understand the sentiment and think Rice should of gotten much more

  13. “I hate politicians.”

    I hate girlfriend/wife beaters!

    I also love old school adults who speak their minds without the politically correct cowardice of today’s sports and news media.

  14. You sir are part of the worlds biggest circus. You and your peers have corrupted the system and should be taken to the woodshed.
    I laugh you are offended by Mr rice’s 2 game suspension. I guess his court sentence does not please you, maybe like the supreme court you wish all courts were corrupt and giving sentences based on what people want.

  15. Yep, don’t worry about unemployment. Tax rates. Maine’s competitive stance versus neighboring states. Education.

    One word: Tool

    Politicians are ruining this great country…

  16. I would not know where to turn or what on earth to do if the state of Maine follows through with this deadly idea. Curses!

  17. Why is all the hate directed at the NFL? Most agree that the suspension was too short, but the NFL has no responsibility to enforce the law and police morality. The legal system let Rice off with barely a slap on the wrist, yet no anger directed towards the courts.

  18. slugbaitspace says:
    Aug 13, 2014 4:09 PM
    On the East coast, I think that the phrase “and taken care of him” has a bit more of a violent connotation than the average southern-style woodshed punishment…


    Are you serious? Lol. He’s from Maine. That’s not exactly the five Boroughs or Jersey.

  19. Mr Governor, I appreciate the fact that you too believe the Ray Rice punishment was light, and just like the rest of us that believe the same you have expressed your opinion.
    Did you have to do this through the media though ? Is this a re election blurb hoping to get additional votes ? Really ?? That’s all this is, isn’t it ?

  20. While I am not a fan of LePage, Domestic violence has been one of his big issues from the first time he has stepped into office. He is being true to his policies with this. He is a big fan of stricter sentences and has instituted several programs against domestic violence.

  21. This politician is just posturing because he knows there is no team in his state. He is right but he’s using this as a grand stand to create positive feedback for himself.

  22. Should have him talk to PFT poet and then the great state of Minnesota will join him…you know, the same state that has the greatest team, best receivers..and of course Teddy whats his name who moves a bit slow mentally.

    Then, lets switch to Washington…and he can talk w/politicallyincorrect…the regional expert there. Those 2, will help him lobby

  23. Sports and politics do not mix – period! I watch and involve myself with sports to escape idiots like this. I am an equal opportunity hater – I hate all politicians. Go away!

  24. Can someone seriously explain how he would do this? What would he do, try to keep tv channels in Maine from showing NFL games?

    I know it’s too much to ask PFT to do so.

  25. That’s fine, but he’ll have to boycott the other 21 teams for their players who have had similar offenses.

  26. The punishment for Baltimore’s pillar of the community was so lame, the entire nation is still talking about it, and will continue to do so for years. Ozzie Gruesome, and even the coach think he’s a “great guy.” The owner should have stepped up and fired all of them, could have made a very strong statement that domestic violence has to be stopped, and will not be tolerated, but the team and the league missed this opportunity.

    Raven’s fans still think rice did nothing wrong, that there is no “proof” that he beat her…they think she tripped on something in the elevator, fell backward, and kept hitting her own head by herself, until she knocked herself out. They’re delusional, some of them even think that maybe it was his wife’s own fault that he hit her.

    She gave a battered woman’s excuse, and even apologized for getting knocked out. What will the punishment for Rice be the next time? There will absolutely be a next time…wife beaters don’t stop.

    That said, “taking him to the woodshed” probably isn’t the answer…perhaps, though, some opposing players will dole out some answers when his 2-game suspension is over.

  27. I agree with him, however, I’m not sure what a boycott from the State of Maine would do except maybe give us less Patriots fan.

  28. Nothing good has ever come out of Baltimore. I’d rather sleep on a Detroit street than eat at Baltimore’s “finest” restaurant. That place makes me sick.


  29. I don’t get this. If you want to see Rice punished, where better than on an NFL field where he gets gang tackled by 350 lb linemen while Flacco bounces balls off the back of his helmet? No, let’s enrage him, impoverish him, and then make him spend every waking moment with his wife.

  30. This is an election year for LePage, and it’s low-hanging fruit to take up a mini-campaign about not beating your spouse, especially given the NFL basically does not exist in his state. I’m a Republican like him, but still calling it like I see it. Oh, by the way…Ray Rice should have gotten more…but I’d not boycott the whole American sport. Weak!

  31. Its too bad Ray Rice wasn’t named “Raimondo Arroz”

    Because then he’d be calling for leniency


  32. I would like to hear him say the same thing about the Bankers and other Politicians that get free rides on our backs and cheat and steal with no punishment at all.

  33. Good to see the man likes to push for what’s “fair”…that is…this guy…the one who appointed his own daughter of 22 years old, who lives at home with him, as his deputy chief of staff (a job worth $55K I compensation).

  34. The fact that he thinks an eye for an eye is the answer, I don’t really care what else he has to say

  35. Boycott? This is financially devastating to the NFL…could mean $29.50 in T-shirts, eight NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions, and on Johnny Manziel jersey.

  36. The Steelers had two players assault three women over the offseason. Where is the outrage?

  37. This is the idiot that had 8 meetings with the Sovereign Citizen group which advocates murdering police and judges. He also has two relatives on the payroll. He also wants to sue the town of Millinocket. The list is amazing!

    Google the guy and have a huge laugh.

    The only reason he’s commenting now he finally figured out how to log on to internet, using AOL CD he got in the mail on dial up…………

  38. See where all this liberal kookiness is leading?

    I happen to agree with the governor on principle, but boycotting the NFL isn’t realistic for most American sports fans.

  39. Shameless political maneuvering. Republicans are reputed as having views unfavorable to women. And often times for good reason.
    So you can pretty much imagine the brainstorm session where he and his cronies came up with this idea.

  40. The suspension is light but Roger Goodell doesn’t have time to make decisions based on what PFT commenters or Governors that are up for re-election think.

  41. In an odd way you can compare Orlando Scandrink suspension to this. Ray Rice 2 games for knocking out his fiance and doing a poor job dragging out her unconscious body from elevator. Orlando Scandrink suspended 4 games for celebrating with his wife, making her smile, and enhancing their time together with a recreational drug. Guess he would have been better off beating her and making her apologize in public.

  42. Ray Rice (assault on wife) should be banned but Incognito(sexual assault on woman at golf charity event, shirtless racist rampage at a bar, bullying teammates, and kicked off every team he’s been on since college) needs to be left alone and deserves another chance? He just needs help right? lol Just misunderstood right? lol

    HAHA Its so obvious its funny..

  43. nyyjetsknicks says:
    Aug 13, 2014 4:18 PM

    slugbaitspace says:
    Aug 13, 2014 4:09 PM
    On the East coast, I think that the phrase “and taken care of him” has a bit more of a violent connotation than the average southern-style woodshed punishment…

    Are you serious? Lol. He’s from Maine. That’s not exactly the five Boroughs or Jersey.

    Well…he ran away from home when he was 11, lived at a strip joint while homeless, started shining shoes, and later worked as a bartender and at a meat-packing plant.

    Sounds a little like the average goodfella upbringing to me…

  44. And I thought Minnesota had the dumbest politicians (a b-level comedian for a Senator and a pro Wrestler for a ex-Gov) Minnesota was hoping for the boycott, a win by default is still a win until they discovered Maine doesn’t have a team. Neither do they but they have figured that out yet.

  45. I’m calling for a boycott on government intrusions and for all politicians responsible for the gridlock in Congress and for giving handouts to their friends and campaign contributors to be taken out to the woodshed.

  46. I know that there will be a bunch of backlash from both sides based upon this statement, but I thought it was really neat how he said “he should have taken him to the back of the shed”.

    With that in mind, he should have more important matters on his plate that he should address, not Ray Rice.

  47. We can’t lose Maine!!!

    Still don’t have all of the information in the case. The Rice family is going to try and get their personal life straight. Best thing to do is hope they get their personal life back to some kind of normal and will be able to become positive educators in helping to prevent these actions among others.

  48. The Gov is hoping the Gorton’s of Gloucester fisherman will boycott by halting all deliveries of fish sticks to the Baltimore.

  49. Just like most politicians that don’t really care but will use the issue to their benefit. Just act like you are outraged or care. Whatever gets them re-elected. Sounds alot like the Redskins name controversy re: politicians.

  50. I’d support a one years suspension. A three yr would end his career and I don’t thing you should crucify anyone for making an error in life. If it happened again though – banned for life.

  51. If he isn’t taken seriously, Paul has threatened to cecede from The Union. Planting explosives along the NH border, and riding his rock all the way to the coast of France.

  52. I’m a native Mainer and live in NC now. Most of my family is still in Maine and don’t really have anything good to say about LePage. He’s pretty much an embarrassment to the state, though he’s right about Ray Rice’s suspension.

  53. “playing games with people lives” ….hearing that…from a Governor…all I can do is shake my head.. The hypocrisy is incredible.

  54. Did Maine’s governor threaten to boycott over spy gate over his Pats hell no! what a joke!

  55. I missed his announcement about not allowing the broadcast in Maine of any Patriots games due to assault and domestic abuse charges against some Pats players, like Alfonzo Dennard and Chad Johnson.

  56. Wow, the economic impact of the boycott to the US economy will be exactly ….. zero point zero.

    The Governor may go ahead and threaten that Maine will secede from the union, eh?

    The Country of…..wait for it…..Maine Land.

  57. Did the Governor threaten to impose economic sanctions on the New England region over Hernandez’s off the field issues?

    What is all this aboot?

  58. I’m a Mainer and our Governor is an embarrassment. Yesterday, he held hands with Chris Cristie at a $1000 a plate fundraiser if that tells you where his priorities lie.

  59. I will promise you this: this letter was written by one of the campaign consultants, knowing it would generate a ton of publicity – and target potential female swing voters. The problem is that the suggestions are so outlandish, it makes him look bafoonish. And I were him, I’d fire the consultant immediately. Brutal.

  60. Agreed.

    Nigel Bradham gets 1 game for some weed over a year ago…and Ray Rice gets 2 games for beating the snot out of his wife?

    Roger Goodell’s ruining the NFL, it’s a joke.

  61. As a steelers fan, this is clearly the case of a NE fan crying about the suspension…..a franchise that has never legitimately won a SB, unlike the steelers and ravens.

  62. Without Steven King we wouldn’t even know about Maine.
    And maybe the Hawkeye character on M*A*S*H.

  63. how about a lifetime ban for the first offense? most high paying jobs would fire you for this. the NFL should be no different

  64. While I do not condone what Ray Rice did,I am not understanding why people want to point the finger at the NFL for his punishment when the state of NJ gave him a slap on the wrist to begin with.

  65. Laws mingle and dance with the net worth of the guilty party. An everyday Joe would be in jail for most of the crap people of money buy their way out of…don’t commit the crime if you can’t pay the fine. God bless America.

  66. No doubt, LePage is a dope who was elected on <40% of Maine's vote. However, for the geographically challenged, Maine is in New England. Therefore, their team is the Patriots.

  67. Way to make your point by threatening Rice with physical violence that includes racial undertones

  68. yea i bet the patriots season ticket holders in maine are going to give up one of the most coveted tickets in sports because of some clown on the baltimore ravens.

  69. Maine?? I thought that place floated away or sank or got traded. Now I hear they have a Governor and he is going to boycott the NFL. What will all those great players who came from Maine do?

  70. What I find fascinating is that now multiple politicians have sent letters to Goodell (Rice’s employer’s disciplinary agent) about his handling of the situation. I wonder if any of them have been in contact with the New Jersey prosecutor (you know, the government’s disciplinary agent) about their handling of the criminal case. Why does this make sense to them??

  71. People’s you can boycott the NFL and whoever else you want to boycott but after the season is over, because my team need to win this 2014 super Bowl you know what I mean.

  72. I hate politicians, all flavors. With every fiber of my being.

    But I have to say, the woodshed idea has merit. If it was my daughter, I’d cheerfully beat the crap out of him.

  73. Not sure what’s worse: Turning Roger Goodell into a martyr or people voting for this clown. Focus on the economy, Governor.

  74. Maine. Now there’s a fan base that’s going to scare the financial crap out of the NFL if i ever saw one.

  75. Shouldnt we kick everything Philly and north out of the country? All they do is complain about something all of the time.

    Go ahead and boycott!!

    Everyone, let’s all boycott Maine!! Oh wait, we never go there anyway.

    Dude, just shut up.

  76. You know, I think the good people of Maine are gonna be angry when they find out they can’t watch football anymore.


    Stupid politicians need to step off.

  77. What about all of the women mot married/engaged to an NFL player? Like it or not a lot of these guys were raised in a culture where domestic violence is the norm and consequences of your actions of any kind are an afterthought at best. That needs to be addressed before any real progress is made. Like it or not.

  78. Anything that puts a bad light on Baltimore, the players and the Ravens organization is a good thing.

  79. Maine boycotting the NFL would be like Manti Te’o withholding relations from his girlfriemd


  81. Although I believe that the 2 game suspension is not enough, a 3 year ban? Removed from the sport entirely? Come on you guys that is not very intelligent. I do not condone domestic abuse and think it should have been more of a 6 game ban for 1st time instances, 12 game ban for 2nd time, full season ban for 3rd and if there is a 4th time then banned from the league. To me this is fair. Regardless if they face legal consequences or not.

  82. Maine doesnt even know what football is….this is a non story…politicians should not have an opinion in sports…they would ruin it too

  83. I guess any chance of the 2019 Super Bowl at Harold Alfond Sports Stadium is out the window.

    (Note: this is the largest stadium in Maine, capacity 11,000, home for the U of Maine Black Bears.)

  84. I can’t help but to be a cynical of this story and the person involved in it. It is election time. Politicians are doing what they always do, trying to draw attention to themselves.

    Where was Paul LePage’s outrage earlier this year when other players were accused of and arrested for the same things? Where was he when over the past three years when players arrested for the same acts or WORSE got off with no suspensions?

    If a two game suspension is “too light” for what Ray Rice did (and believe me, I do agree with that), then what do you say to players who got the same penalty or much less than that? There have been 19 NFL players arrested for charges of violence against women. Only 4 of them received penalties. Only 1 harsher than Ray Rice and only 1 other player got the same punishment as Rice.

    Did you know that an NFL player battered and bruised his girlfriend, blackening her eye, perforated her ear drum, cracked some of her ribs, and was arrested in his house while a boatload of drugs were found at the scene and he walked with no suspension from the NFL? I am not making this up.

    Did you know that players that have been accused of engaging in prostitution walked with no suspensions? What about groping women under their clothing? What about choking your mother or headbutting your wife? All of these players got no punishment from the NFL.

    And what of Greg Hardy? Not only was he accused of beating his wife, but also threatening her life. The Panthers have not acted on this at all and the NFL is adopting a wait and see policy while he waits for his jury trial? Where’s the outrage? Where is the call for boycotting the Panthers?

    If you want to boycott something, boycott the entire NFL. They have set a precedent for soft punishment on players arrested on charges of violence against women dating back YEARS.

  85. It could be worse. Ray’s last name could be Lewis. And he might be allowed to skate away from a murder charge, AGAIN.

  86. no one knows what happened inside the elavator.
    As for Maine who cares if they watch or not.they don’t even have a team and the TV share is not enogh to worry about.hope he looses election.

  87. Oh I see…Patriots fan still upset over Ravens drubbing Patriots in Boston during the playoffs. Didn’t Rice put the game out of reach in the first quarter of one of those games?

    What were his comments about Patriots cheating?

  88. “As a matter of fact, the team should have taken him out in the back shed and taken care of him,”. Right, because responding to violence with violence is always such an intelligent thing to do. Except, this is exactly what got Rice in the situation in the first place – his fiancee hit him and he hit back. Evidently, the good governor is no better than Mr. Rice.

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