Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice got a two-game suspension from the NFL on Thursday following his arrest for domestic violence. Rice will sit out 2 games, the season opener on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game.
Rice was arrested Feb. 15 after an altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with his fiancee Janay Palmer who he allegedly struck. Rice was accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged.
Despite the court’s decision not to impose criminal punishment, “the NFL Commissioner Goodell determined that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action.”
In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote: “As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.”
Rice said, “It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault. As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously.”
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement: “We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice. The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league’s decision and believe it is fair. We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.”