To put this in context, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon was suspended this entire season after testing positive for a banned substance (aka: Tha Chronic). Sure, Gordon's suspension was extreme because was a repeat offender (what is it with pro athletes and weed?) but still, the message conveyed didn't look great optically. I mean, come on, NFL players have literally killed people and gotten the same suspension! But going MMA on your wife means you can be back by Week 3? Come on.
In any event, Rice's suspension was the end soon, but TMZ just released additional footage of the elevator incident and many are now calling for Goodell to drop the hammer on Rice.
Shocking new video shows Ravens running back Ray Rice delivering a ferocious punch to his fiancée, which knocked her out cold and landed him a two-game NFL suspension.I won't be embedding the video here for very obvious reasons. If you feel the need to see this, you'll need to find it on your own.
In video obtained by TMZ, Rice can be seen lunging at his fiancée several times as he tries to intimidate her outside the elevator at the Revel casino in Atlantic City. She angrily gives him a backhand slap before they make their way towards the open doors.
Once they get on, Janay Palmer — who is now Rice’s wife — keeps her head down and doesn’t say a word, but the New Rochelle native’s intimidation tactics continue. The elevator doors don’t even get a chance to close before Rice jumps in his future wife’s face two more times and follows up with a quick swipe with his left hand, but it doesn’t appear to fully connect. When Palmer appears to stand up to him, Rice throws a pulverizing left punch which drops her head on the elevator hand rail — knocking her out cold.
The Pro Bowler looks down at her unconscious body as the elevator stops at a floor. When it finally arrives at their destination, Rice drags her body out of the elevator before cruelly dropping her on her face. Previous footage had shown Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of the elevator, but these are the first shots of the incident.
The NFL suspended Rice for Baltimore’s first two games of this season, a decision that has earned Commissioner Roger Goodell much criticism and ultimately led to the league adding harsher domestic violence policies. It was believed Goodell had access to this new footage before his ruling came down, but the NFL said differently on Monday.
I don't believe for one moment that the NFL didn't have this footage when they issued their initial suspension. I mean, come on, it's the freakin' NFL. With all the resources they have at their disposal, I find it hard to believe that they got outworked by TMZ. They obviously knew about this, and didn't care. Rice is a marquee player and the Ravens are a marquee team. They knew better, but really just didn't give a sh*t.
Even if you bought their story that they didn't have the elevator video, what's undeniable is the hallway footage, which they most certainly did have. It's indisputable that Rice cold cocked his wife. Seeing him in the process of cold cocking her doesn't change that. The outcome's the same. He knocked his now-wife unconscious. Period.
In any event, the league's now got a fullblown PR disaster on their hands, one that's neatly timed to overshadow the one the NBA is experiencing.
Good luck with that, Mr. Goodell.
Question: What should the proper suspension be for Ray Rice?!? Did the NFL really have the footage beforehand?