League isn’t saying whether Ray Rice would be a second-time offender

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With the NFL introducing a new domestic violence policy that includes the possibility of a lifetime ban for a second offense, an obvious question arises regarding Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Does Rice’s first offense, which was handled so badly that the NFL had to tear up the entire policy, count as a “first offense” under the new policy, putting him in line for the far more serious penalties that apply to a second offense?

Via Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com, the league has declined to respond to that question.

We are not going to address that,” an NFL spokesman told Brown.  “Each case will be addressed individually on its merits.”

The NFL spokesman also declined to address whether Rice’s suspension could be increased from two games to six under the new policy.

The notion that each case will be addressed on its merits represents another way of saying, “We’ll decide what we want to do in each given case.”  And that’s a subtle but real difference from the adherence to “precedent” that the NFL cited in initially defending the decision to suspend Rice for only two games.

23 responses to “League isn’t saying whether Ray Rice would be a second-time offender

  1. Nah. He can still knock out his wife on camera at least one more time before we actually have to start thinking about doing something about it. – yet another faceless, clueless, powerless, gutless, unidentified NFL “source”

  2. If each case is going to be addressed on its merits anyhow, then why bother including specificity about the number of games and the banishment terms? They could choose either of those options, or something different with any given case, since each one has the overriding directive of looking at its merits and not what’s in the language. That language is a waste of ink to print, it can’t circumvent merit, and all merit is thoroughly reviewed. I think those “punishment standards” should be titled as “typical tendencies” of what you would most likely expect for when they think it’s cool to categorically equalize one circumstance with another.

  3. So a guy passes 70 drug tests and gets caught with a level in only one sample that barely counts and gets a year.

    Another guy smacks his wife around on film and the NFL won’t say strike one.

    What a load of crap!!!!!!

  4. Not only did Ray Rice get away with battery now he gets away with a light penalty from the hypocrisy league. And they won’t discuss whether the next time he hits his wife/GF/kids if he’ll be a 1st or 2nd time offender.

    Meanwhile players smoking marijuana can get a full year suspension.

    Makes No Sense League

  5. God-del and his boys in New York are an absolute joke. They continue to take NFL to a new low. Every player ever fined should sue the living crap out of the league if they get fined for second offense.

  6. Rice can not be considered a second offender due to constitutional law. We are protected from ex post facto legislation which means that he can’t be punished under a rule that was passed after his violation. He was suspended under the leagues personal conduct policy so his discipline has to stay in that realm of violations. The only way to supersede that would be if the players union and the league agreed to it through collective bargaining and I can’t see the players agreeing to that

  7. Maybe if he was stoned he’d be more mellow and not hit his wife. Oh wait then he’d be out for a year. Safer to beat your wife then to take a bong hit.

  8. A late CYA move by Goodell…

    Goodell got caught doing a favor for the Ravens and women everywhere came down on Goodell for giving Ray Rice just a two game suspension.

    Now that Goodell looks completely out of touch with reality, suspending Josh Gordon for a year for testing over the NFL’s marijuana limit by 1 nanogram/ml (for the A sample) and under the NFL’s limit by 1.4 nanograms/ml for the B sample.

    Rather than try explain either the Ray Rice 2 game suspension or Gordon’s 1 year suspension, Goodell does his best to change the subject by coming up with a new domestic violence program.

    …but if Goodell is not willing to add 4 more games to Ray Rice’s penalty, this new policy can be seen only as Goodell doing his best to Cover His Ass.

  9. If it weren’t for Rice’s current contract the Ravens would have cut Rice in a heartbeat. Money talks.

    But if Rice gets in a domestic issue again, it better be considered his second offense.

    Also I heard a conflicting report that a second offense is a 1 year ban. Which is correct?

  10. The NFL can do what it wants. Courts need to be held accountable, though Rice, a first time offender, didn’t get preferential treatment. Most workplaces would ask you to relate any legal issues you have and then make a decision as to what, if any discipline will be taken.

    The NFL is a private league that represents a tiny minority of work places in America, it’s just funny to see people so wrapped up in the decisions the NFL makes as if those decisions are reflective of society.

    Also, Josh Gordon’s suspension is ridiculous, but his union signed him up for the CBA which he implicitly agreed to, and the NFL is sticking to the letter of the law of that agreement.

    If you’re really mad, stop watching.

  11. Does anyone here at PFT do any research at all?

    When the commissioner stated he was acting on precedent, he was not lying to you.

    Over the past 3 years there have been 19 cases of domestic violence/sexual offenses against women where players were ARRESTED. Not just accused.

    Of those 19 (including Rice), only 4 (including Rice) got suspensions. 1 player got 4 games, 2 players got 2 games, and 1 player got 1 game. The rest got nothing. Almost 80% of the players arrested for these offenses got a free pass from the NFL.

    What do you have to say about that?

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