Goodell based second Rice suspension on facts the league already had

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When the NFL moved swiftly to suspend running back Ray Rice indefinitely, many assumed that the league imposed separate discipline on Rice because the league concluded Rice had lied about the incident that occurred in an Atlantic City casino elevator.  In an interview with Norah O’Donnell of CBS, however, Commissioner Roger Goodell said nothing about Rice being punished for the equivalent of obstructing justice in an official NFL investigation.

“[W]hat we saw [Monday] was extremely clear, extremely graphic, and it was sickening,” Goodell said.  “And that’s why we took the action that we took yesterday.”

But what did Goodell or anyone else expect the video to show?  The original criminal complaint accused Rice of “striking [Janay] with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”  And that’s what we saw in the video.

If the NFL is going to rely only upon the evidence generated by law enforcement and not by less reliable sources, why didn’t the NFL accept the contents of the criminal complaint from law enforcement as accurate and truthful?  Rice struck Janay with his hand and knocked her out.  The video showed what we already knew it would show.

So how does the video make the situation any different?

This isn’t about defending Ray Rice.  This is about getting to the truth of how the Ravens and the NFL so badly botched and bungled the Rice case.  Already, Goodell has admitted that the league got it wrong by suspending Rice for only two games.  Now, with the case already closed and the video of Rice striking Janay with his hand and rendering her unconscious finally available to everyone, the thing that he already was punished for merits fresh discipline?

If Rice lied, that changes things.  But Goodell had a chance to say Rice lied, and Goodell didn’t.  Goodell said that the video was “extremely clear, extremely graphic, and it was sickening.”

What’s not clear, graphic, or sickening about a criminal complaint signed by a police officer that accuses Rice of doing precisely what the video showed him doing?

At a time when many still believe the league saw the video before suspending Rice, the contents of the criminal complaint suggest that maybe the league didn’t need to see the video, after all.  The league already was on notice that Rice delivered a one-handed knockout blow to Janay Rice.  Why is anyone surprised or shocked by the fact that the video shows a one-handed knockout blow to Janay Rice?

Ultimately, Ray Rice has rights.  Already punished once by the league for his actions, he’s now apparently being punished again for those same actions, simply because the visual evidence of the information that already was available to the team and the league looks as bad as they should have expected it to look.

243 responses to “Goodell based second Rice suspension on facts the league already had

  1. This domestic violence situation is driving me crazy is one aspect. There is a video of Ray Rice and people are getting rightfully upset. However there is no video of Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy who may be worse and no one seems to be that upset. Do we really want to determine punishment based on emotional response?

  2. If he really cares he’ll take his punishment. Josh Gordon on the other hand, there’s no Joshstice! Free Josh.


    My Two Dynasty Leagues

  3. Everything about this case has been stupendously mishandled from day one, and these latest developments only compound the embarrassment. If Ray Rice can lose his job over this, then Goodell should too.

  4. Gotta agree with the last paragraph. As much as I dislike Rice, it isn’t right that he is being tried twice for the same crime by the nfl just because Godell is trying to save face

  5. One hundred percent spot on. Everyone knows what he did to her was deplorable. However, what else did they expect it to look like ?? They failed initially in not taking it seriously. Now are covering they’re on backs … Gone w Goodell

  6. Thank you for making this point.

    As I’ve been saying, nothing has changed in this case, except the low information crowd can now see what we already knew happened.

    Not every crime or revolting act can be caught on tape, so we shouldn’t rely on that to render punishment.

  7. There had been questions as to whether the policy implemented would change the suspension for Rice. The video made it possible to retroactively increase the suspension.

  8. Great point! I was wondering yesterday why no one had brought that up immediately. The NFL knew the media ‘lynch mob’ would be out for blood if they didn’t do something. The NFL overreacted after underreacting to the exact same thing. What I can’t understand is when does this lynch mob mentality in A-ME-rica stop? It is guilty until proven guilty, but we don’t really need to prove you’re really guilty so you’re guilty.

  9. We don’t know if he lied to the Commissioner. Maybe Commissioner Goodell didn’t want to address the lying at that point? Your argument suggest the video shouldn’t hold any influence over punishment? Maybe Ray Rice didn’t remember hitting her and couldn’t say how hard he hit her? I don’t think Janay remembered it, I might be wrong. That video is violent and extremely disturbing. It should influence anyone that watches it. Hail!

  10. I have been wondering this as well. The video even somewhat confirms the story rice gave with showing the altercation between he and his wife before they got into the elevator.

    It seems most likely that the league just knew that this video meant this story would be in the news cycle again this whole week following their first week of the regular season. They knew the story would be how they failed in their disciplining of Rice. By issuing this new discipline they hoped to just change how the story was framed.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with new evidence being presented or seen in the video. Just the NFL trying to control their image during a very hurtful PR blitz.

  11. Resign before it all comes collapsing….

    Also the nfl today is in grave danger with folks like this heading it… Wonder if Mark Cuban has predicted it correctly…

  12. Though I don’t agree with his actions, I do agree that it’s not fair to punish him twice for the same action. In addition, the punishment is harsher than even the REVISED penalty. Isn’t is supposed to be 6 games for the 1st offense and lifetime for the second? Clearly an abuse of power and Goodell trying to save face for his screw up.

  13. I love this paragraph:

    “But what did Goodell or anyone else expect the video to show? The original criminal complaint accused Rice of “striking [Janay] with his hand, rendering her unconscious.” And that’s what we saw in the video.”

    Thats why i wasnt unchanged or sickened by the video. And why i dont understand why the public uproar after the video.

    In the other hand it proves my theory and point that the majority of people lack common sense and deduction skills in America.

    But in all honesty, all i see in comment sections in most threads and blogs is people just hating on other people. Nuttin more than people just hating on people no matter what. SAD SAD SAD Society we all have become.

  14. goodell hires former NSA CIA FBI investigators to crucify the Saints but fails to get a hotel tape to make a proper judgement in domestic violence case. Like this states though. he was already informed by law enforcement with facts. #Firegoodell

  15. As much as Goodell and the NFL have been raked over the coals for their handling of the situation, DeMaurice and the NFLPA must be wetting their pants trying to figure out if they should intervene… As far as I’m concerned this piece of garbage got what he deserved.

  16. Without giving the NFL or the Ravens any slack for their gross incompetence, shouldn’t there be more of a backlash toward the police department and the prosecuting attorney for originally classifying this as a “simple assault”? I would speculate that the casualness of the manner in which the police handled the matter set the tone for the lazy vetting of the facts.

  17. Without giving the NFL or the Ravens any slack for their gross incompetence, shouldn’t there be more of a backlash toward the police department and the prosecuting attorney for originally classifying this as a “simple assault”? I would speculate that the casualness of the manner in which the police handled the matter set the tone for the lazy vetting of the facts.

  18. Mark Schlereth said it right:

    “There had been some discussion on Monday that people shouldn’t have been surprised by the TMZ video. Since the original video of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator clearly had been the end result of a violent, unseen act, we shouldn’t have needed a video to fill in the gaps. But Schlereth says that he did. Without seeing the actual punch, the “shocking” and “frightening” act was conceptual only. Actually witnessing it showed him “how vicious in nature [domestic] violence is.””

  19. See these are the questions writers should have been asking the league after the 2 game suspension was rendered.

  20. Goodell bungled the Bountygate situation, so much so that his predecessor had to step in and clean up the mess. Then the Rice suspension came up, a big fat meatball over the center of the plate, for Goodell to knock out of the park. And what do you know, he completely bungled that situation too. It’s plain as day that Goodell is simply INCOMPETENT. He doesn’t know what he is doing and everything he touches turns into a fiasco. It’s ironic that Goodell himself has done more damage to is precious “shield” that anyone else.

  21. We’re ALL talking differently about it now that we’ve seen the video. This is proof of the human condition that we cannot conceptualize such a thing until we first see it for ourselves.

  22. Perfectly said. I wonder if they viewed the police tape of Irsay’s DUI arrest. I’m sure Indy has cameras on their cars but I doubt Roger would know. calling TMZ,,,,

    Ray got what he deserved but For 6 years Ray stood up for kids who couldn’t stand up for themselves maybe someone needs to step up for him. It would be interesting if his wife led that charge.

  23. I think another investigation needs to be done on whether our not Goodell is being honest. I think he and the NFL investigator saw the video and swept in under the rug. Goodell needs to resign. You can’t have a commissioner who tries to protect women beaters.

  24. I think Florio is the first to say it. The league saw the tape. They saw that Jannay provoked it for lack of a better term. They though the fact that his record WAS impeccable AND that she instigated the contact, two games was sufficient. They of course came to this conclusion behind closed doors drinking Johnny Blue smoking cigars.
    Then people (women and normal, level head humans with a sense of compassion and genuine feelings) saw the tape and lost their mind. Everyone immediately dropped their cigars and went I to panic mode.

    Nothing else. Could. Have. Happened.

  25. Yep.

    Not sure why anyone would be surprised by what is on the new video.

    It was pretty apparent from the video of him carrying her unconscious body what happened on that elevator.

  26. Why don’t they just admit the mob mentality of non football regulars forced their hand…

    NFL is still going to be the most popular sport in the US, the league has had murders, druggies, women beaters. An this whole concussion issue on top of all that.

    No matter what happen with Ray Rice the NFL would have still been fine imo.

  27. The act of striking her is not disputed. But the context of knocking her out with a hand, and the fact he got a pretrial intervention led me to believe it was a scuffle and he slapped her. Still not okay, but its a far cry from being angry and punching her in the face twice while she didnt lay a finger on him.

  28. The punishment and suspension is well-deserved, however I can’t help but think that this incident has become a bit of a headhunt on behalf of news and social media. When looking at the tirades of Keith Olbermann and company, it’s almost become a pissing contest of who can proclaim to be the most offended and a lot of the outrage seems very theatrical. The vitriol and eagerness to condemn in this country has gotten to the point where it is a little alarming, almost like mob rule.

    That’s not to let Rice, Goodell or others off the hook or deny the severity of domestic violence, but just an observation.

  29. Ray Rice made the worst mistake of his life on camera. Maybe this was the first time he acted in a violent way like this or maybe it wasn’t – either way it resulted in such a devastating outcome not only to Janay but to Ray Rice himself, his career and his entire reputation. As a Ravens fan I’m glad he’s been released. I could’t in good conscious root for a man who committed such a brutal act against a woman like that, especially growing up in a household where i’ve witnessed domestic violence against my mother first hand. However – the condemnation of Ray Rice has been exceptionally harsh and rightfully so but he, his wife, his child and his family are going through a lot right now. The constant piling on is not going to take away from what has already happened. At some point the scrutiny needs to come to an end. We need to respect their privacy and let him and his wife move forward so they can hopefully salvage whatever is left of their relationship and marriage. It has to feel both immensely invasive and incredibly humiliating for this couple to have everyone constantly weigh in with their opinion and criticize them in such an open spotlight like this. Ray Rice committed a cowardly act and deserves what he gets but at some point we need to move the hell on and let this man and his family be.

  30. First, I do think Goodell and the Ravens screwed up months ago by not digging deeper.

    That said…to be objective, it’s entirely possible that Rice explained things differently to the NFL. Perhaps he said she attacked him and in trying to bob and weave his way out of harm’s way, he accidentally struck her and she collapsed. Perhaps he claimed that she came at him and as he side-stepped her she fell, struck something and got knocked out.

    Point is, the criminal complaint can’t be taken as proven fact…and apparently, the NFL didn’t. Of course, they should’ve launched a real investigation, but we all know how that went.

  31. What changes things is the video surfaced.

    Hit a woman, 6 games.
    Hit a woman twice, lifetime ban.

    Hit a woman on video, suspended indefinitely and no team will ever sign you again anyway because the images in whatever video you see will never leave your brain. Video = Lifetime ban essentially.

  32. Like a lot of people on here, I’ve been disgusted with the way Roger Goodell and the league have handled this situation. Unfortunately, they don’t care about how disgusted I am unless it impacts their profit margins.

    As most of the revenues in the NFL come from their television deals, if you are truly upset with Goodell and the NFL, stop watching the games. If ratings plummet, they will get the hint. If ratings remain strong, they’ll keep on acting in a tone deaf manner.

    I’m not planning on watching football until I see changes in this league. It’s just too morally repugnant and I’ve hit my breaking point. I realize most fans who claim to be disgusted won’t take this strong of a stand, but even if they all just cut back their television consumption of the NFL, it would send a message.

  33. Why did the league draft a new policy about domestic violence then completely ignore it?

    I would imagine most domestic violence is far worse than what is shown in that video.

    Just think what the video of Christy Mack would look like.

  34. “Pics or it didn’t happen.” A phrase not just for Internet comment sections but apparently the NFL, too, especially since convicted domestic abuser, Greg Hardy, is still allowed to play in no small part because there was no video of his violence.

  35. “But what did Goodell or anyone else expect the video to show?”

    Thank you, this is the fundamental question. Your opinion of Ray Rice shouldn’t have changed with the release of this video.

    Images are strong, understood. But I didn’t see anything in that video that I didn’t expect to see. A dude knocking out a chick isn’t pretty and I don’t need a video to say that.

  36. Everybody knows that he hit her in the face. Why seeing video of it changes anything is beyond me. Nothing changed. Commish want to plant his flag on higher ground now. Way too late and too transparent.

  37. “Ultimately, Ray Rice has rights…” against criminal prosecution twice for the same crime. That doesn’t give him safe harbor from Goodell. The NFLPA isn’t about to stick their neck out for him.

    Ultimately, ultimately, he can spend the last of his pennies trying to sue the NFL. And lose. Or he can limp away with his tail between his legs.

  38. Def. not condoning the act but you would have thought that he killed someone by the way he lost everything. I wondered also how someone can get suspended for an action and while on that suspension, get suspended for the same exact act?

  39. So your either a liar, negligent or incompetent… all 3 normally get you fired in the real world hopefully his equally horrifying bosses realises this and give him a tap on the shoulder before the noose drops.

  40. Goodell has lost all credibility. Between this botched investigations, the spygate tapes, the Saints investigation, and the Josh Gordon BS, he has repeatedly demonstrated a complete inability to carry out a critical function of his job. He needs to be fired.

  41. He just proved to me that he punished a guy for the same offense.

    A 2-game suspension and 1-Game check fine for knocking out his wife. Then an indefinite suspension for the same knockout of his wife after TMZ reveals the worst that we could’ve seen.

    That is punishing a player twice for the same offense.

    He’s not allowed to do that. Rice should sue the league because this suspension is preventing him to get work and he is a victim of the league violating its own rules. Not to mention the NFLPA should get in on this because even if a player is clearly penalized for wrongdoing his situation in the NFL should not be exacerbated given the fact that he has already been punished.

  42. What is this article saying, nothing. Rice worked at the privilege of the NFL. We are not talking about a court of law within these United States. He works for a private corporation and they can fire at well especially for conduct. There is no such thing as double jeopardy. I

  43. Everybody else also had the same information, and nobody did anything, not just Goodell and the NFL. For starters, the Raven’s organization, including owner, GM, and coach, knew what was in the report, and they stood behind Rice. Everybody is pointing their fingers at Goodell, but why is no-one pointing at Bisciotti? (pardon the spelling) He signs the checks. Rice works for him. Why didn’t he do anything?

  44. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Now…can someone check with TMC and see if they have the videos Bilicheat took during Spygate. The Rams have been in a spiral ever since.

  45. Didn’t the league just change the domestic violence suspension rules to 6 games for first timers? So, if Rice is a first time violater, doesn’t he only get 6 games, the rule Roger just made?

  46. Didn’t they just establish a domestic incident like this was a 6 game suspension? A second is indefinite?

    Why skip the step because the video shows what we all knew was there?

  47. Pretty sure double jeopardy doesn’t apply in the NFL. Are you suggesting it should Florio? Because I’m okay with Rice being suspended forever now.

  48. Many good points in that article.

    The NFL and Goodell HAVE bungled this from the get go so far.

    We hear so much about protecting the Shield.

    Goodell and the league punish those who do not protect the Shield.

    It’s definitely fair to say that the commissioner did not protect the Shield with the way they have handled this from the get go.

    Others do things and receive punishment, fines and/or suspensions.

    Even owners as Irsay has been punished. Many front office executives have, recently some of the Broncos and of course scores of players have been punished.

    I don’t condone what Ray Rice did in anyway, shape or form… but as the article said, the league KNEW what he did to her… they just didn’t see it.

    Goodell is ADMITTING via his actions that he did not handle the punishment of Ray properly by now doing what he did.

    I think, at a minimum, the commissioner should be fined or suspended for a bit by the owners as I really don’t see them firing him. While they most likely are not going to fire him, they should levy some sort of punishment for butchering this very badly.

  49. NFL put Ravens in an impossible situation by enacting a 2 game ban (was obviously too light even before vid #2) and THEN creating a 6 game policy. teams by CBA cannot do more than what the league has already done. All they could have done in June was release him (in hindsight should have). Vid #2 made that a no brainer. The league is the one who really screwed up here.

    The sad thing is that while this goes on and the Ravens take extreme heat for their part in it, the 49ers and Panthers are going scot free for their recalcitrance to do a goddamn thing about Hardy or McDonald. No video? No problem. P.S. Hardy had a nice game Sunday! Awesome job, NFL.

  50. The league said they got it wrong. Goodell said he got it wrong. We know they got it wrong. Why are we still talking about this? They upped his suspension…cause they got it wrong….which they admitted. Really, sometimes “journalism” mystifies me when people write articles like the just uncovered something, but what they uncovered is a fact that’s already been copped to. They got it wrong….we know. We got it. Sheesh……

  51. You’re missing the most obvious point. The fact that his partner was willing to forgive him and move on. THAT is what made the team and the league act as leniently and hopefully towards Rice. If a couple is willing to make up and move towards a better future together, the last thing you want to do is throw roadblocks in the way of that.

    It makes total sense to me. They reacted to the situation AT THE TIME. Which is all you can do.

  52. People keep asking what difference does the video really make–a lot. The way it was downplayed by Rice, Janay, his attorney, the Ravens and the NFL does not match the violence and force displayed in the video. In legal terms, it “shocked the conscience” of everyone who saw it and there was no way anyone could cheer for him or the ravens after seeing what actually happened. It did make a difference.

  53. One important, critical new fact emerged that drove Goodell’s decision. The fact that as of Monday morning, the public could now view the evidence for themselves, making his original decision look even worse than it already did.

  54. Exactly!

    Visual evidence does not excuse the league from knowing what had happened in the elevator. The league made a mistake and Rice made a mistake, and they both deserve a chance at redemption.

  55. If the NFL Players Union can’t win the case for re-instatement they are incompetent. If the facts laid out in the story are correct, it’s apparent Goodell is only trying to save face for his original “punishment”.
    Not sure if any team would dare claim him, but I think the Raiders are still around.

  56. Yeah, exactly. The story about what happened in the elevator was admitted to by Ray Rice months ago. The new video inside the elevator shows exactly what Rice previously admitted to doing. But the media has treated it like a huge revelation. For that matter, so has the team and the league.

  57. FINALLY!!!! i’ve been waiting for this hugantic point to be made. peer pressure is what has gotten him suspended indefinitely. if the video hadn’t gotten released he would have been playing football in two weeks. the NFL and the Ravens are starting to look worse than Ray Rice, IMO.

  58. As much backpedaling as Goodell is doing, he should be able to do some impressive bicycle tricks by now.

    Goodell needs to go. Talk about a blatant cover-up. You mean to tell me with the security mafia that the NFL (along with each individual team) had NO access to this video until TMZ made it public?


  59. She was knocked out cold and being dragged from the elevator, with a police report that stated he hit her. What else can you deduce from that ? Could never understand from the beginning why this is not felony assault. This guy is a low life coward that kept getting the benefit of the doubt for whatever reason. Agree that somebody should get to the truth because NFL and Ravens apparently didn’t want to.

  60. that is my problem with the entire event. they punished rice….when they faced a mountain of backlash…i believe the league scoured the sources for another bit of evidence so they can look like they did the right thing with “new evidence” and some how save face.

    She was knocked out…. everyone saw that the first time…it was admitted he hit her…and seeing the actual event now changes things?

    when you run a business and use progressive discipline, you have an order of severity of infraction. If you miss it or bungle it, you cant write up or punish someone again for the same thing because , you, the employer, got it wrong the first time.
    You count it as a strike and in future occurances you use that to progress the level of discipline.

    its just weak..and a sham…

    I would like to see a Rice appeal on this action. I am sure he is being told to take the year off and come back by everyone tho.

  61. Why didn’t he just give him the suspension under their policy that they just instituted a week ago? So now the policy is meaningless. Apparently they’ll suspend you for six games, unless there’s a video seen by the public, in which case you’re gone indefinitely.

  62. All because of public backlash and protecting the brand.
    While I detest what Rice did, this new punishment is not right.

  63. What the hell does anyone expect from big business, its all about making money, doing the right thing has nothing to do with it, its the money, and its the money, this will not go away any time soon, Ray will be back in the NFL next year, count on it, if not, he will sue the hell out of them and win. Would I want him on my team, no way in hell. Bill

  64. Get off your soapbox. 1. This was collectively bargained so hands were tied. 2. The video was the proof. Before that there was no proof. Just accusations. This league has employees accused all the time. Can’t always rule with gut feelings. No commissioner has done more to clean out the garbage than Goodell. Remember that the crime was heinous. Not the punishment. Rice got what he deserved. Who cares how long it took. Must be nice to live in a world of 20-20 hindsight. Never wrong. Somehow though you are here. Good riddance ray rice.

  65. So under their new policy for domestic violence a first offense is 6 games unless they actual SEE IT, then it’s indefinite??? The NFL is chasing their own tail trying to correct their blunders.

  66. Correct… He should have already been suspended indefinitely and cut from the Ravens. The league has to be ready to take similar action for domestic violence that occurs off camera too.

  67. Ummmm this is EXACTLY what I envisioned and the only thing I am surprised about is; there are no other suspensions, etc. What precedents is the NFL trying to set? Have they even though about it?

    I’m not even shocked by the video, but I am shocked at the hypocracy. The NFL made Ray Rice the victim now for the way they handled it and some lawyer somewhere knows this is a case because now, unfortunately; it is and I’m sure @mikeflorio or @profootballtalk will back me up on this.

    Furthermore…These guys are just clueless. Across the board. The PR and Planning department at the NFL are just flat out fools without the foresight or memory of a goldfish.

  68. I do not support hitting a woman, but I have a problem with this whole Ray Rice thing. Rodger Goodell just made a domestic violence policy that is a six game suspension for the first offense and a life time ban for a second. Now Ray is banned on his first offense? Ray Lewis was involved in a double murder, but he was allowed to play for years. Donte Stallworth killed someone during a DUI, served 30 days and was allowed to play. Michael Vick killed countless dogs and funded a drug ring, served 23 months and is still playing today. Rice didn’t do anything near as bad as these other guys, but now he has been banned from football and so publicly crucified that he can’t get a job. These guys are all garbage, but slapping your wife is not worse than killing people and animals.

  69. These things are always worse when you actually see them. It’s unfortunate that Goodell and the Ravens didn’t know that, but that’s the truth. The picture really is worth 1,000 words.

  70. Finally something is written that states when most of us already thought. What did people think happened when he was dragging an unconscious woman out of the elevator? All of it is posturing and BS by the Ravens and the NFL to try make themselves look better.

    I’m certainly no Ray Rice fan and it should be stated that he deserved what happened in the end. But it is slimy, and both the NFL and Ravens organization are playing their customers for idiots…and those idiots will be watching games this weekend because we are all drunk on football.

    Something to ponder

  71. Hats off to Mike Florio. I agree with every word. All day I’ve been yelling at self-righteous media who were applauding The NFL’s revised Domestic Abuse policy a week ago now suddenly think 6 games wasn’t enough for Ray Rice. And when an owner with the influence of Bob Kraft makes statements like “he’ll never play in this league again,” that’s prima facie collusive behavior.

    I think the only reason the NFLPA is silent is because of the pending election. This is supposed to be why unions exist, to assure
    Equitable treatment for its members by management. A professional death sentence when the stated revised policy is 6 games for a first offense, and the fact that a sentence had already been rendered makes Goddell’s (and the Ravens’) actions arbitrary and capricious.

    I had what Ray Rice did. I don’t understand it and I don’t sympathize for him. But at what point do we replace mob mentality with reasonable structures reflective of the crimes?

  72. Thanks!! Finally someone who doesn’t beat around the bush on this story. He hit her, He knocked her out and now that the tape comes out he is a awful human. He was that before.
    This is the environment of football. It is all about the violence so for anyone who thinks that this hasn’t happened before just because we have no video is lying to themselves.

  73. This whole thing is getting ridiculous. Domestic violence is serious, no one is saying it isn’t, but the NFL was thrice allowed people who have KILLED OTHER PEOPLE back into the league without this kind of punishment or receiving this kind of media scrutiny.

    This is tabloid level exploitation of a horrible event and the only reason we are getting 12 articles a day about it is because the media has decided that domestic violence is just sexy enough to pump up their page clicks. Calling for Goodell’s job for punishing someone and then increasing that punishment upon receipt of more evidence? Yea this is sound logic.

    Keep in mind this Ray Rice’s employer that has essentially fined him millions of dollars, yet the local authorities didn’t even see fit to press charges. No outrage mind you about how that was handled.

    Stay classy.

  74. I couldn’t agree more. It’s not only Goodell and the Raven’s but the nation and media as well. Visual evidence of a crime that has already been admitted to and tried in a court of law doesn’t make it more illegal or wrong. Whether or not you agree with the punishment levied by the NFL and law is irrelevant. You can’t keep rewriting the rules as you go along or whenever you feel fit – you made your bed – now sleep in it. Remake it the next day but don’t put a person through double jeopardy because of your incompetency.

  75. This is the exact same question I’ve been asking since the second suspension was handed down. How can the league punish Rice a second time for the same offense?

    And less anyone think I’m defending him I’m not. I am questioning the integrity of a league that is seemingly breaking it’s own bylaws for punishment and more specifically the integrity of the commissioner and team. They did no one any favors by trying to implement a two game suspension… Not the league, Rice, or the Ravens. If they would have issued an 8 game suspension everyone involved may have survived the outcry when this video came out. The league could have pointed out that 8 games was one of the harshest penalties the commissioner has issued. But since this didn’t happen the league was in full CYA mode and decided to be swayed by public outrage to a suspension that violated the new 6 game suspension for domestic violence rule the league just rolled out.

    Not only did the league look clueless base in the first suspension. They now look weak and keystone copish.

  76. Can’t say it any better. This is right on point. NFL should have suspended Rice for the whole season or perhaps indefinitely, instead of two games, but now is increasing punishment from 2 games to indefinitely because the video actually shows Rice knocking his now wife unconscious with a single blow. They already knew these facts. This video is exactly what they already knew.

    It’s just an excuse to make things right with the public but the wrong was done with 2 game suspension and now the NFL looks like a Kangaroo court. Well, it already did with Saints bounty gate but most of the world didn’t care about that except for Saints fans (like myself). It’s a silly kangaroo court with Goodell the judge, jury and appeals court, and he wanted this system and it has failed so its his responsibility and liability. He has to go.

  77. Exactly what I have been saying all along. He got 2 games even though they had video of him dragging her unconscious out of an elevator, and him admitting he knocked her out. Did they think he accomplished that in a non-violent way? Was that not enough???Perhaps there was a little “she brought it on herself” in the backs of their minds. Or perhaps they just thought it would go away (with her help apparently) and they were on that road, with Ravens fans giving him standing ovations. Comes down to one thing. Reality replacing imagination, and it being ugly. Imagining her being knocked out is one thing, seeing it is entirely different. And the reaction to that is the ONLY reason they moved on it.

    PR, PR, PR…

  78. For once I agree with Florio.

    Seriously! Hasn’t this gone a little to far?

    An indefinite suspension is a little to much, it is after all his first offense.

    Cut by his team? Thats up to the Ravens, but think about the fact that there have been players allowed back in the league after drinking and driving and KILLING SOMEBODY!

    In no way am I saying Ray Rice shouldn’t be punished and 2 games is way to light, but he has become the victim of the NFL trying to save face.

  79. What’s bothering me about this is similar to Donald Sterling– what precedent is being set? What exactly is not allowed– domestic/Las Vegas violence? assault? Or is it just that you’re not allowed to make a high profile mistake?

    Is the NFL now going to “suspend indefinitely” every guy in the NFL proven to beat a girl? If so there will be a flood of jilted groupies wanting a payday from TMZ.

    Now too we are entertaining sexism– beating a woman = out of the NFL. Beat a dude at a bar = oh well. What about when more gay players come out and they fight? Is the rule that it’s only wrong to beat people weaker than you?

    If pro athletes are held to a higher standard than other people (which I think they should) then it needs to be applicable to all wrong doing and not just ones that “go viral” and receive public outcry.

    I’m glad we are starting to talk about this but I hope we start talking about the real issue of the conduct of celebrities and not just that Ray Rice, Donald Sterling, Lance Armstrong, Jose Canseco, Pete Rose, etc are bad people because they got caught.

  80. Oh, come on. Facts aren’t important in disciplinary decisions. Goodell based Roethlisberger’s suspension on facts nobody on the planet had. He kind of imagines this all as he goes.

  81. Roger seems to be digging his grave a little deeper as time goes on. He failed in regards to this situation and is attempting to regain the credit he lost when he imposed the initial 2 game suspension. The problem is that it is only shedding more light and ridicule for his initial suspension decision. Roger dropped the ball big time and should suffer the consequences just the same as players suffer the consequences for getting DUI’s, dirty UA’s, illegal hits, etc..

    How can players be held accountable and for us fans expect such accountability only to see the leader of the shield himself become exempt?

  82. I’ve been saying this same thing since the video came out. Definite abuse of power going on in the NFL front offices and Goodell and company need to be on the unemployment line right with Ray Rice. I’ll give the Ravens organization a pass since this was probably the owner stepping in and going over Harbaugh and Newsomes heads with releasing the guy but the NFL has no excuse for punishing a guy twice for the same issue. The guy should have been suspended for the season from day 1…not 7 months after the fact.

    By the way, when is the NFL going to suspend Aaron Hernandez for murdering people? I figure double homicide without TMZ video is a 4 game suspension right?

  83. The only difference now is that sponsors saw the video. It is no different than the Donald Sterling case; the NBA knew he was a racist, but it didn’t cost them money. The NFL knew what Rice did, but didn’t think anyone else would find out. Once the video became public they had to take a hard stance, otherwise risk losing hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorship money.

  84. The 2nd action the league & the nfl took was after the court of public opinion saw the tape. The nfl is an old boys club run by rich guys who tried to cover the issue up. As Florio said, what did they think happened in the elevator?! There are a LOT of domestic violence incidents in the nfl every year and they always get buried. This domestic issue happened to take place in a public place & it put a visible scene to the crime now. And that’s what put such a huge light on the situation.

  85. I’d really like to know why this video JUST came out, why TMZ JUST posted it, less than a week after that casino closed?

    Sounds like someone had it, maybe tried to extort Rice or the NFL, then leaked it.

    Doesn’t excuse what the scumbag did, but something doesn’t seem kosher…

  86. What i think is Roger fell for the old song and pony show that his wife attacked him and he knocked her out. But what you see if the video is her standing there and getting knock the %$@# out. And the fact that he didn’t grab her or anything just went from standing there calm then ding ding ding!

  87. Everyone knew there was a video taken inside the elevator; it was all over the news back when they were showing the video of Rice dragging and dumping his fiancee’s body.

    That the NFL punished Rice without seeing the video is unconscionable and it smells like they worked with the Ravens to “deal with it quickly and move on.”

    The uproar over the NFL’s pathetic 2 game suspension and the release of the video now catches Goodell and the Ravens with their pants down.

    There’s no excuse for how the NFL/Goodell and the Ravens handled this. They didn’t take domestic violence seriously and they KNEW that Ray Rice knocked her out.

    They protect the shield by treating players like crap and talk about player safety when everyone knows they’re trying to minimize their $ losses from concussion lawsuits while making the game more and more like flag football.

    All this from a league that wears pink in October just to, once again, make everyone FEEL like the NFL cares.

    It’s all about the Benjamins. It’s time the government take away their blackout rules and their monopoly.

  88. Beat a woman unconscious: 2 games.

    Beat a woman unconscious on camera: Suspended indefinitely.

    Good work, Goodell. I didn’t think it was possible to make yourself look worse in this whole ordeal, but you’re somehow pulling it off. You should run for President, you seem fit for the job.

  89. I used to give Goodell the benefit of the doubt, but not anymore. A major fail in his “leadership.” Time for the NFL owners to stop the bleeding at the top.

  90. Amending punishment based on the public’s perception of leniency is something that federal judges cannot do — even when dealing with rapists and child-killers. Criminals have rights in this country — like it or not, that includes men like Rice.

    Private businesses like the NFL may not be bound by the laws of our justice system, but when Goodell changes the punishment and breaks his agreed upon deal with Rice he’s inferring (intentionally or not) that new information has detailed a more serious offense.

    But this hasn’t happened because even though the punch was horrible, it is not made worse soley for existing on video.

    Instead, what Goodell seems to be saying is: “Guys, if I had known how terrifying this video would look I would have suspended Rice indefinately the first time.”

    Is anyone so naive to the ugliness of violence in this age of knockout-game Youtube vids and ICIS beheadings?

    What’s more likely true is that Goodell knew Rice punched the woman and (regardless of whether he did or didn’t see the video) never imagined a video of the incident would be made public.

    The video demonstrates Goodell’s idiotic justicing standards for a very violent assault but it does nothing to escalate Rice’s crime and therefore shouldn’t result in a new punishment — even if that new punishment helps get Roger off the hook for this PR nightmare.

  91. So Rice was given a 2 game suspension and that becomes his official punishment in spite of the public outcry. Goodell and the Ravens were OK with that and held to their guns until we get a visualization of what happened.

    Then they go from a 2 games suspension to having your contract terminated. Is there a rule in the CBA that says you can punish twice for the same infraction. Funny how this is not mentioned here. I see a lawsuit coming which may have something to do with the commissioner rethinking a possible return in the future. It’s a one massive screw up after another.

  92. Its because people in this country bury their heads in the sand and don’t get involved unless it affects them personally. their are so many kids being abused and nothing is being done about it by any agency in this country. what we should be extremely upset with is the police and the lawyers that turned a blind eye after seeing that video. why was he allowed to walk. that is our society. then it gets blown up in the media this shock and awe when this stuff gets over looked how many times a day. how many guys are let off. we here domestic violence and think nothing of it. until you place a video showing what it is actually people mind their own business. I would like the media outlets to go after the district attorney that did nothing. how can Goodell assume to have a bad feeling about this when he was left off basically Scot free to attend anger management classes. I am not defending Goodell but If the Law did nothing he is basically saying it must not have been that bad. and he talked to his wife and what she stated. I hope these people continue there anger towards these cowardice acts and put an end to it. we need to hold the Law accountable here.

  93. I don’t agree with you–seeing the violent act is much more powerful than just knowing about it through deductive reasoning. We are visually-oriented and it grabs us. It’s not a surprise that elicits more punishment, exactly as it should.

    Now about Goodell saying that he had never seen the video from inside the elevator, that brings up two issues.
    1. If Goodell is lying about not having seen it, then he needs to be fired for lying.
    2. If he is telling the truth about not having seen it, then he needs to be fired for incompetence.

  94. I think I’ve agreed with you about 3 times in the past 5 years. But, you hit the nail on the head and this conundrum is the first thought I had after this all happened this week.

  95. While the video did not reveal any new details of the incident that were not already known or presumed, it substantially increased the PR problem for both the team and the league and that PR impact was unacceptable. The video is much more visceral and more accessible to the masses. Rice is being punished more now because the video made more people come to know what happened, and that triggered a PR tornado.

  96. It kinda sorta looks like the NFL, Ravens, and the District Attorney, all acted in concert to sweep this under the rug. Rice’s pre-trial plea agreement turns this into a slap on the wrist.

    It could be argued that the NFL and the Ravens followed the lead of the prosecutor’s office. But, there’s also room for concern that the NFL and the Ravens were able to help arrange the plea agreement.

  97. Not a Ravens fan, but Ray Rice is one of the best to ever play the position, his stats alone, whether H.S., College, or Pro, speak for themself. After all of this dies down, his suspension from the league should only be the 6 games Goodell came up with a couple of weeks ago, there can’t be a double standard. Whether another team picks him up or not is not the point. Without the video, Ray was coming back next week, with the video, he basically lost his career. He should sue the league if its longer then a 6 game suspension.

  98. Goodell is looking less and less capable of being Commisioner. His pathological need to be “judge, jury and executioner” distracts him from his duty of running the NFL.

    1. Arbitrary and capricious punishments for everything from illegal hits to “Bounty Gate”
    2. His ridiculous miss-management of “Spygate”
    3. His refusal to acquiesce to 3rd party arbitration in regards to hGH, leading to a 3 year stalemate with the NFLPA
    4. Ray Rice

    How can he he see a video, pass judgement, enact a policy, see a new video, and completely violate his own policy based on that?

    His judgement has been proven to be miserable, and he’s no longer fit to lead the NFL.

  99. Roger Goodell shows over and over again he is in over his head as Commissioner.

    Time for the owners to fire him and bring in Condi Rice.

  100. One can not defend Ray Rice’s actions. I will not try, because I feel so strongly that what he did was dead wrong. That said, the author makes an interesting point. There is nothing new on the video. We expected to see Ray Rice knock out his wife and that is what we saw. It seems like now the league what’s to punish him twice to save face. Even by the new guidelines, shouldn’t this only be a six game suspension. Again, not defending his actions, but I think the pendulum may have just swung to far in the opposite direction of the original 2 game suspension.

    As far as the Ravens are concerned, one has to wonder if he would have been released if this happened 4 years ago when he was one of the best RBs in the game. Also, what new information do the Ravens now have, that made them go from standing by “their guy” to cutting him? Again, everyone already knew that he punched his wife and knocked her out. The tape just confirms it, nothing more.

    It appears that the video confirmation was more than the Ravens and the league could handle, so they have decided to punish him again. That feels wrong to me….even though I think what Ray Rice did was despicable.

  101. Yup, I was waiting for this to be asked. The video does not change the facts, and it’s clear Rice got off easy with the two games. He should have been given at least 8 the first time, with mandatory counseling and demonstration of progress along the way. Goodell appears to have responded to public outrage here, putting Rice in what is really double jeopardy. Rice got what he had coming, but after his punishment had already been meted out the first time. While you can’t expect Goodell to supplant what the justice system should do, you also can’t let him run around double tapping discipline. Big black eye for the NFL. In Goodell’s defense though, he does work for the owners, and it would be interesting to know how, if offered, the Ravens owner wanted Goodell to handle the Rice situation. I wonder if that had any bearing on the initial 2-game light suspension. Time will tell.

  102. This is about getting to the truth of how the Ravens and the NFL so badly botched and bungled the Rice case.
    That’s a simple answer. He doesn’t give a care about any of these issues, he cares about making sure as little damage as possible is done to the NFL. Drugs, domestic violence, dog fighting, bounties…he doesn’t care. It’s making the money poor in, and THAT’S what he cares about.

    He flat thought he could just let everyone get mad but get distracted by week one. Once football started again, he figured he could sweep it all under the rug and be done with it.

    Yet another scandal fans complain about briefly and then forget all about it. Maybe it says more about our short attention spans and willingness to turn a blind eye if given half an excuse to because we’re too wrapped up in the outcome of a bunch of games. But, it’s not the fans that have been doing the lying. It’s not the fans who’ve invented evidence, destroyed evidence and lied about what kind of evidence it had whenever a scandal like this breaks.

    That’s all on the guy who demanded full authority and a free hand for his “protect the shield,” farce. Instead of stepping down, like anyone with a shred of ethics would do, he’s probably out intimidating his “broadcast partners,” to show him with wings and a halo, truth be damned. He’s sick, he’s twisted, he’s egomaniacal and now, he’s hurt the brand more than any player or any scandal short of the concussion lies (oh which, surprise, he was in the center of it by lying to Congress about it.)

    Everything he’s touched is tainted and it won’t be long until people start wondering if there’s something that stinks about how often refs blow calls. Whether it’s true or not isn’t the point. The point is we take the NFL’s word that these games are professionally and fairly called…and we now know the NFL’s word is worthless.

    He’s got to go. If the owners want anyone to trust them (and with all the demands of corporate welfare for stadiums under threats of moving, they’re word is shaky to start with,) they can’t afford to keep a guy who lies about things like this.

    I was already down to watching only my team and only if the game was playing in my area. Now, I’m done with even that so long as the NFL keeps going how it’s going. Thank God for college football.

  103. I gotta say that’s a fair point BUT this isn’t Double Jeopardy since like it or not the NFL isnt the Law and Order type law, just the Law of Football. Rice deserves all of this except for the lady who thinks he’s being persecuted. Unless its just that she’s worried he won’t be able to pay the alimony. He’d deserve that too.

    It certainly does make a good case for making at least one high-profile head roll at NFL HQ though…at the moment nothing indicates that it would be Goodell.

    Hey, remember how that one Superbowl hinged on a terrible call need on an atrocious rule but instead of ever admitting fault the League just stopped calling on it then claimed the rule had become absolute? Yeah. I’m predicting something along those lines.

    Sometime next year, after the Superbowl Goodell will be forced out, I mean retire gracefully, and the NFL will give him a big viking funeral and maybe put his name on some foundation to fight domestic violence in pro football.

  104. But now everyone can see it so the NFL has to cover it’s butt. Without video it remains 2 games and Rice goes on making money for the Ravens and NFL as if nothing ever happened.

  105. The crazy part is if this is the narrative Roger wants to go with then the union may get involved on Rays behalf. Roger is saying he just punished a guy twice for the same thing.

  106. Rice should be banned from the NFL for life! It’s about time that violence against women/partners is ended and also about time that those of privilege are treated the same as any other person that is abusive! All those who assisted in the covering up of this horrific incident should also be charged as accessories after the fact! It’s about time a victim in this country sees real justice instead of having to either try to survive the abuse or dye trying. This young woman deserves to really know without a doubt that she will be safe and able to move on with her life knowing SHE DESERVES BETTER!!

  107. This may be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. I doubt that the CBA permits a player to be punished twice for the same offense but that is exactly what Goodell has done.

    Given the amount of money that Rice was due to earn this year (and all of the guaranteed money for the remainder of this contract), it may be worth launching legal action based on this theory of “double sanctioning” by the league.

    If nothing else, the league and the Ravens would settle the dispute because the prospect of all of them being compelled to give day-long depositions is not what they’re looking for.

    It could lead to a million dollar payday for Rice and a way to take a swipe at Goodell on his way out the NFL door. The most dangerous man is a man who has nothing to lose. And Ray Rice now has nothing to lose.

  108. Believe it or not,

    Thanks Mike Florio, this is the article I’ve been waiting for.

    This video told us nothing new.

    If Rice was to be suspended indefinitely, it should at been done at the time of original suspension, not now that the video has been exposed to the world.

    Was this a cover-up and no one actually thought that this video would see the light of day?

    BTW – even though he was provoked, Rice crossed the line with striking his wife. He requires some sort stiff punishment while making ammends for this event if he ever wants to be an NFL player again.

  109. Now that the league has effectively ended Ray Rice’s career, does this mean if Ray McDonald punched his wife/SO once that his NFL career is over too? And when are they going to get around to that? Rice’s case was adjudicated before the first suspension and yet in light of a video, he has been ruined. Does that mean you get suspended indefinitely only if TMZ gets hold of a video, but if you just banged her around with no cellphones present, you get 6 games? This has been mishandled so thoroughly that it seems that the league has no choice but to bring the same kind of kangaroo court down on McDonald.

  110. Roger, you’re making decisions via polling numbers, just like the politician you are. Your failure to act was “extremely clear, extremely graphic, and it was sickening.”

  111. Sounds like double jeopardy to me. You can’t punish a man twice for the same crime to cover your own mistake and to appease the public. The first video with the police report was enough to suspend him indefinitely. This whole thing has turned into a witch hunt and ray rice is being made an example of.

  112. Amazing the effect of the elevator video to stir commitment against domestic assault from Baltimore and the NFL. Chicago’s Brandon Marshall has an extremely long history involving police of multiple assaults on his partners going back to college (nothing recent), but a blind eye has always been turned because he has a mental health issue and he’s such a great player. In contrast this was Rice’s first reported incident.

  113. I agree with the severe punishment that Rice has received because what he did was so heinous. It’s not like he pushed her or slapped her, causing her to fall and hit her head of something. He PUNCHED her, hard, with a closed fist and knocked her out. But Florio (and some previous posters) makes a good point. The way the league and Goodell has dealt with this makes them look like a bunch of amateurs that aren’t fit to manage a Burger King, much less a $10 billion a year business.

  114. It’s because we all just saw the video. Goodell hasn’t a moral bone in his lawyer body and the Rice suspension is nothing more than damage control PR. It was too little before and too much now.

  115. PFT your spot on. Why didn’t the NFL except the police reports to suspend with Rice. Goodell wanted his own investigation that for some reason omitted this video tape of the actual battery.
    When the original tape showed Rice dragging an unconscious woman from the elevator, it should have been common sense that would lead Goodell to believe Ms Rice was either knocked out from a Rice punch or was knocked out from a comma induced drugs or alcohol. (tongue in cheek).
    Common sense is a virtue not enhanced by power or influence. See Obama.

  116. During Bountygate Goodell suspended the Saints coaches and told them that if they didn’t know, they should have known. Well Mr. Goodell, same standards apply. If you didn’t know about the whole Rice video, then you should have know!

  117. The thing I found most disturbing in the video was not the knockout hit itself but the way he handles her unconscious body as if it’s a lifeless rag doll.
    The second thing I find most disturbing that I have yet to see the media bring up is why is she still with him? Why is she or Ray getting a free pass from those types of questions?

  118. Totally agree with this. Nothing changed with the release of the video and this is why I think Rice has a case if he wants to appeal the indefinite suspension. How did a video that supported the facts the league already knew warrant a longer and second suspension? Goodell has to go….

  119. You complain that he didn’t get it right, and he fixes it and gets it right.
    And you…complain that he didn’t get it right the first time.
    Obvious what your priorities, your real concerns, are and aren’t.
    Exploitatation of spousal abuse, by a money-grubbing lawyer. What a surprise.

  120. Nice of you to join the rest of us. We’ve pretty much all been saying just that for the past two days.

  121. After seeing the 1st video, in which Rice was dragging this woman out of the elevator like a piece of luggage, Roger Goodell gave him a 2 game suspension (With the backing of the Ravens organization). My question is this…. What did they think happened in the elevator that they needed actual video to show? Everything from the last few days have been nothing but a stunt by the NFL, The Ravens, and The Media by acting shocked and surprised. You knew what happened before, in both the description of the Police report as well as witness to the “Missing” video that you claim you did not get. The whole incident should prove one thing…. The NFL is about making money, they don’t give a crap about destroying and building up anyone who stands in the way, or provides them with an opportunity to do so. NFL, Ravens, Media…. You had a chance to do the right thing months ago… The fact that you chose not to shows your true character.

  122. What does it matter? The Ravens never took their own discipline until Monday and were within their rights to cut him. Unless Rice can show another team would have picked him up (doubtful – no team will go on record as saying they would), he’s got no case. About the only real complaint he has is that the CFL said they’d honor the NFL’s suspension. Now that’s restraint of trade.

  123. Actually, Ray Rice was partially through his punishment. He has not “been punished” yet.

    Also, defending the shield is a continual process. The video release raised a new furor with the public, so it was appropriate to revise the punishment to indefinite suspension.

    The NFL was careful to issue the suspension after his release so he is no longer in the league and not serving a punishment. He is merely unemployed.

  124. The entire NFL is full of hypocrites…..and BTW firing Ray Rice does NOT Help him one bit….how can the Ravens on one hand call him family and then kick him to the curb at the time when he NEEDS serious help the most….yes he needs to be disciplined BUT firing him and suspending him indefinitely is NOT what you do to FAMILY and Roger is another hypocrite and a liar as well as has been proven time and time again….I recall when he handed down Ben’s sentence….he claimed to have based that on what he learned from talking to Ben’s teammates and yet NOT one Steeler said that Roger EVER asked them about Ben……I don’t believe ONE thing that comes out of that dude’s mouth…..Confidence in the NFL is at an all time low…..thanks a LOT Roger!!!

  125. That is why he did not say ray rice will
    Never play in the NFL again.
    They keep making mistakes

  126. Look at it this way …. League had no standard for domestic violence offenses …. Rice has stellar record …. Rice and fiancee show up and tell a convincing story …. tape not immediately available …. Rice was not prosecuted ….. Rice and fiancee already participating in rehab program ….. is it that difficult to see how commish was just lazy and not initializing Ricegate?

  127. Videos always make the situation more real. As someone said on here the other day, if there was a video of Vick doing what he did would his punishment have been more severe? Probably. Goodell fixed his mistake, get off his back.

  128. Of course he knew Rice knocked her out with a punch to the face. Everybody knew. Now he is playing dumb because everyone saw the video?
    Free Josh Gordon then resign scumbag.

  129. I thought it was just me that noticed the inconsistency from Goodell on the Ray Rice issue.

    First he is suspended for 2 weeks. Later on the commissioner says the first offense for domestic violence is now6 weeks, and now Ray Rice is suspended indefinitely. Make up your mind commish, or are you just making the rules as you go.

    Fact is, if Ray Rice fights this, he should win if the case was been judged on merits and not emotions, but then the next question is, will any team pick him up.

    But seriously, the NFL needs to get off its high horse. The QB for my team has been accused of rape twice, the cardinals just signed Chris Rainey who has also been accused of domestic violence. I believe the 49ers and Panthers have players currently playing who have been accused of domestic violence. But since we don’t have any videos of those incidents, Ray Rice becomes the guy everyone wants to serve as the sacrificial lamb. Typical.

  130. This is very simple. Goodell planned on the public never seeing the video, so he threw a 2 game suspension on Rice and figured time would eventually heal this disaster.

    Nothing changed in this entire scenario besides the general public seeing the actual video. He knew Rice punched her, and he was fine with a 2 game suspension. This is damage control on Goodell’s reputation.

    While this is much more serious than the Patriots video tape incident – I believe Goodell is done. If the public had seen those spygate tapes, Goodell’s image wouldve been destroyed – because he also attempted to lightly punish the Patriots (and got away with it).

  131. Either way hes completely wrong for doing it and this is the punishment he was suppose to get from the beginning . If it took the video having to be leaked to the public in order for it to happen then so be it . At least it was done and hes not just serving a 2 game ban. Goodell sucks . We all know this . Its nothing new . But he aint going anywhere. He will continue to ruin football for years to come

  132. Goodell is such a corrupt, phony peice of garbage. He should easily loose his job over this but the owners will never let it happen in a million years. At least this makes it clear to everybody that despite the charade of him caring about what’s in the best interest of the sport or “protecting the shield”, he will only do what’s in the best interest of the Jerry Jones’, Dan Snyders, and Bob Krafts of the worlds wallets. This is what happens when you give too much power and authority to somebody who clearly isn’t that bright.

  133. Good points….

    The NFL had a knee jerk reaction to something many of us already visualized based on the evidence given…that said Ray Rice struck his girlfriend inside the elevator, knocking her out.

    So ask yourself, why the knee jerk reaction by the NFL?

    IMO, I believe the NFL did see that video and they took measures to see that the tape would never be viewed by the public…in other words, the NFL orchestrated a cover up from the beginning, to justify a two game suspension.

    I could be wrong, but I can’t think of another reason why the NFL has acted in the crazy way they have.

  134. So RR will file a lawsuit against the NFL and win for wrongful termination.
    The NFL has screwed this up from the very beginning and now they thought their strong action would make them look good. What a bunch of fools.

  135. I can’t believe that I’m siding with Florio on anything, but he is spot on about this. All Goodell is trying to do is make up for his bad decision earlier and cave to public opinion. He should step down because of it. He is hurting Janay Rice all over again by taking away her husband’s livelihood. While not condoning what Ray Rice did, he is being punished more severely than Ray Lewis was for being an accomplice to murder. Something is terribly wrong here and must be fixed.

  136. Goodell made his bed, now he has to face the consequences. Up to now, I truly gave Roger the benefit of the doubt but no longer. He is one arrogant dude to actually think his comments yesterday ends the discussion. And his arrogance will likely cost him his job.

  137. Mr. Florio,

    I may not agree with your viewpoints very often but you are 100% correct in this case.

    By the way… what happened to the NFL’s new domestic violence policy? You know, the one where a first offense is an automatic 6 game suspension? The one that was instituted AFTER Rice’s suspension was handed down?

    Just saying…

  138. Good point…lawsuit? Will the players union go to bat for him? Rice has now been punished 2x for the same offense.

  139. Let’s not pretend the NFL didn’t take this video’s release as an opportunity to correct a PR disaster.

    Goodell is, in all things, a reactionary leader.

  140. Ray Rice created this mess, Goodell perpetuated it and now Goodell is relying on the machine of the NFL to ultimately hide behind.

    Goodell must realize The People created the machine n now we are on his ass.

  141. It appears to me that Ray spit on her going into elevator, spit on her again in elevator, she came toward him as a result, he hit her and then hit her again. Never saw any remorse for what he did during the video.

    The police report that he struck her with his “hand” seems to sanitize it. Also, if the attorney and she were acting like she was dead drunk and was taunting Ray, I can see how the league and others were mislead. The video exposed the truth.

    The NFL investigators should be fired or Goodell should be for not getting the facts when they were available or at least calling out the prosecutor for withholding the video from within the elevator. Let people know you are operating with only partial knowledge in handing down the punishment and name the parties who are withholding the info. That would have documented the problem.

    Still think a large suspension should have been given initially since Ray’s attorney was not providing the video. Say “Ray, we are giving you a year’s suspension but if you have your attorney give us the tape and it somehow exonerates or mitigates your actions we will consider lowering the suspension”.

    Why were they soft on a non-cooperating culprit?

  142. Ok NFL……so let’s see your logic applied across the board. I would then expect to see suspensions all over league announced shortly for others busted for domestic violence……past, present and future

  143. the video means everything, as a lawyer you know all about reasonable doubt. lawyers spend their time convincing us that reasonable doubt exists, and the video doesn’t allow that to happen.

    the NFL bases their punishment and convinces the public they have reasonable doubt what occurred in the elevator and when the video surfaces they no longer have that defense and have to issue a stiff punishment and you are shocked?

  144. EXACTLY! He was already punished twice for the very same thing. I have no problem with the Ravens releasing him because it’s their football team & they can do anything they want, but Ray Rice should still have a chance to work. He’s far from the first athlete to have a domestic violence charge. I just don’t like this… We’ll make the rules as we go along when we just put a new policy in LAST week.

  145. Just an opinion, but it seems Goodell rushed to his original punishment based on pressure from advocates for Rice and the Ravens organization expressing the perspective that the incident was blown out of proportion. When the comparisons between substance abuse and domestic assault began, so did Goodell’s backstepping. When he saw the video and knew the world would see the same video, he claims he was misled. Two things. First when a male professional athlete assaults a female (or anyone) rendering her unconscious, a COMPLETE investigation is needed BEFORE determining discipline. Second, Goodell and the decision makers atop the NFL may want to consider sensitivity training before they roll out their new domestic abuse policy.

  146. Easy call to criticize now, but what if Ray AND his wife lied and said that she instigated / provoked the entire incident on the elevator?

  147. Again….these are things I and probably many have said when this started… He was already punished! Weather or not it was a good punishment is irrelevant. If he was suspended 6 or 8 games off the bat this would not have been an issue.

  148. Here is something nobody talks about; Rice hit his then fiancée Janay, TWICE in the elevator. Once by the button panel, and the second when he knocked her out. Now we have heard the story that Ray hit Janay because Janay hit Ray (which is NO excuse to hit a woman). However, it is clear that once in the elevator, Ray escalated the initial argument by hitting Janay without provocation at that time.

    The video displays the result of what we all knew. Conversely, the video is also a display of what we did not know. Maybe Rice contradicted himself with his account of that night when speaking with the NFL, maybe he didn’t. Maybe the NFL doesn’t want to tarnish Rice’s character further by stating he lied, which might mean they are stating Janay lied also. Either way, no matter how wrong it may seem, I agree with the Ravens and the NFL.

  149. It is possible Janay Rice told Goodell she struck first or something to that effect. Or that while Rice did not lie per se, he did not convey anything close to what actually happened. And Janay seems to have backed that up.

  150. Whether you SEE or HEAR about DV its wrong and should be punished then! And all these so called people who NOW are saying something what was you saying then? Because this topic was on the February boards for just alittle while and NO ONE in the NFL was saying nothing bad about this guy. The tape showed EXACTLY what we already knew and the NFL and Ravens botched this whole thing and now are trying to save face just like everybody else!

  151. Perhaps Janay apologizing for her role made Goodell believe she did enough on the elevator to “justify” a self-defense blow from Ray.

    If the video had shown her throwing punches & kicking Ray and he was clearly not an aggressor but hit her as a reflex….maybe. Kinda like the Jay Z elevator incident.

    Goodell should’ve viewed the tape….I don’t want to hear they couldn’t get it. The NFL can get everything they want to see. (like concussion research)

  152. Goodell’s knack for botching cases:

    Spygate: Burned the evidence

    Bountygate: Orchestrated propaganda

    Ricegate: Worthless 2 game suspension

  153. Nothing like changing a player’s punishment after the fact based upon information that was known at the time but willfully ignored until it became public.

    That sets a great precedent for future disciplinary action.

  154. Nobody will hire him anyway… What’s the point. He alone killed his career, luckily he didn’t kiss the future misses… Adios

  155. Interesting, how when a player “tarnishes the shield” Goodell comes down on them like a ton of bricks.
    But when Goodell himself does it, a cover-up ensues.

  156. People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones.

    If you are without sin, cast the first stone dude.

  157. What did they expect the video to show? He admitted to hitting her and the video shows exactly that. What changed other than the world got to see it? Why are they punishing him a second time? If I find out that my son stole a candy bar and I punish him and then 5 months later the store sends me the video of him stealing the candy bar I don’t punish him again. Something smells here.

  158. Appears that there are others who now that they have new information are casting dispersions. Why wasn’t the media clamoring for the evidence to be shown through the FOIA?

    Where was the media four months ago? Did the media do a poor job of investigative journalism?

    Seems like lots of people messed up with this.

    I am not condoning Goodell’s, the Ravens’, the law or anyone else’s actions but come on….let’s fix the problem and not point fingers!

  159. A very good lawyer taking on the NFL on Ray’s behalf to regain his employment opportunities would run circles around the league’s legal team. It may not be a popluar move but it’s a thought. IJS…

  160. “What’s not clear, graphic, or sickening about a criminal complaint signed by a police officer that accuses Rice of doing precisely what the video showed him doing?”

    Just a thought- the report said he struck her rendering her unconscious. The video showed 2 separate swings, then a complete lack of remorse or compassion while standing still ignoring her presence in the elevator. That to me does make a huge difference. There was question before about whether or not he was a one time offender and this was a slip up but seeing RR host a blank stare after knocking her out really does change things. If the video showed one hit and then he immediately dropped down to try and pick her up or showed any sense of remorse or panic I don’t think the reaction to the video would be so loud. But that was flat out obscene and no police report could prepare anybody for that.

    There’s the difference in my opinion.

  161. Let me say this first: I think what Ray Rice did was sickening and I’m glad the Ravens released him.

    But, I’m loving how this incident has made Goodell look like a complete idiot throughout this whole process.

  162. This is double jeopardy plain and simple. Doesn’t Goodell have a law background? He must have had someone else take his take his test for him. Ray has a lawsuit against the NFL coming.

  163. True about Vick. I like Vick now, but if we saw grainy video of him training dogs against our helpless pets stolen from backyards and video showing dogs tearing each other up in rings, Vick would not be here right now.

  164. I knew what happened in that elevator. I think we all knew. I think even Roger Goodell knew, but there is a difference between intellectual knowledge and having your face rubbed in that depravity.

    That video was worse than anything I could have possibly imagined having actually happened, and there is no way that testimony, police reports, etc., could have possibly prepared anyone for that.

  165. Goodell states the NFL assumed the elevator video existed and requested it, but never got it. Are you telling me if the NFL really wanted it, they couldn’t get it????

    Rice admitted knocking his wife out. It was in the police report. Goodell gave Rice his initial punishment knowing what happened – and he thought it was fair at the time. What Goodell didn’t expect was how the public would react.

    He completely mishandled this from the beginning and is now trying to cover his own stupidity.

  166. “I’d really like to know why this video JUST came out, why TMZ JUST posted it, less than a week after that casino closed?”


    TMZ will pay for a story. Most news outlets won’t. Someone at the casino had the tape, and once unemployed and no longer fearful of reprisals from the company, sold it.

  167. This is why the players keep resisting Goodell being the sole judge, jury, and executioner of disciplinary matters. No consistency, no adherence to precedence, and reactions to publicity rather than facts.

  168. Here’s the thing. The casino could not give out the video to anyone other than law enforcement. However, the NFL has highly paid lawyers. How is it they can go back years to find texts from players like they did with Richie Incognito but they couldn’t obtain a video that was in an elevator of a casino? Really? Did they not know the elevator had a camera? If that is the case, maybe I should go work for the NFL since I probably could have done a better investigation than they did.

  169. For me, seeing the video cemented the notion that Rice retaliated without any real provocation. If someone hit me (regardless of who it was), if sufficient force was behind it, I might “snap” and retaliate without thinking (yes, I realize it is still wrong). After seeing the video, the amount of force his wife applied is insufficient to warrant any such response, hence the change in some peoples thinking?

  170. The NFL has gotten it wrong twice. The only thing that the Ravens are guilty of is believing the version for events told to them by Ray and Janay. Ray had never been in trouble before and did outstanding work in the community. They heard a story from Rice and they waited for the prosecutor and the NFL to do the punishing. I am sure that the Ravens organization felt like the fans. As fans we were expecting at least a four if not six game suspension, they felt that the league had investigated and determined that a two game suspension was sufficient. They may have thought it should have been more, but the NFL had already punished him so they could not. Then the video came out and they found out that things were not quite what Ray had told them. They are too smart to risk any legal action by out and out saying that Rice lied to them. But that is the reason that they fired him.

  171. Rice is being treated totally unfairly. His wife has forgiven him, so why can’t everybody else? When did punching someone become the cause for taking away someone’s livelihood?

    The fact that she was drunk and fell when he hit her, causing her to hit her head on the railing in the elevator, which is what rendered her unconscious. Yes, he is ultimately responsible for the result, but their are two parties at fault here. And if she had not come at him she wouldn’t have gotten punched.

    People are acting as if Rice just walked in the house and started beating his wife down for the hell of it or because he was having a bad day. He was frustrated with her, she was being a pain and then she hit him on the face. He pursued her and got more crap and then hit her. Something he should have never done. Now he’s being ostracized.

  172. keeley2 says: Sep 10, 2014 10:53 AM

    No, people are just stupid. Theres not very many people that see or thinking outside of the hit. All they see is him hit her forcefully and her go down. Nuttin else matters in most minds. Thats asking to much

  173. lethylg says: Sep 10, 2014 1:39 PM

    Well said. In No way am i saying its right to hit a woman, but seriously the people have blown this way outta proportion.

    I mean if you read peoples comments and never knew the story or saw the video you’d think Ray was an abusive drunk woman beater.

    People say its about sending a message. WHAT MESSAGE?? that any ACTUAL man that abuses women on a routine bases sees all this and thinks how he’s getting away with it and laughs about it. You think them abusers are shaking? They aren’t, they are most likely laughing. The only message all this sends is how pathetic our society has become and how bad social media can be.

  174. Not trying to defend Ray Rice here. But the legal documents you link to also show that Janay Palmer was accused of assault on Ray Rice by striking him with her hand. So what you have is two people hitting each other, and Ray knocking Janay out with his hit.

    Without any video evidence (if we are assuming the Ravens and Roger Goodell didn’t see) you only have Ray Rice and Janay Palmer to give you details of what actually happened.

    Janay was in the commissioner’s office with Ray Rice while the suspension was being determined. I have to think whether she was coerced or not, that their version of the story was different than what the video showed.

    We also have a bit of conflicting reports. Ozzie Newsome said Ray Rice didn’t like to him. Dick Cass says essentially he was told one thing, and while it wasn’t factually wrong, the video does show a bit of a different story.

    Something is fishy here and I don’t like it. I was trying to give Rice some benefit of the doubt until I knew ALL of the facts. Now that I have them, there is no benefit of the doubt. He deserves the suspension he got now…and so does any player that does something similar to this.

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