It was a bad day for Ray Rice, but his punishment is long past due. The NFL star was accused months ago of beating his fiancée unconscious, but very little was done to punish him.
Rice and the victim later married and he was allowed to stay in the NFL (he was only given a two-game suspension). But it wasn’t until Monday, Sept. 8, when TMZ somehow found the video of the attack, that anything serious was done. The video showed Rice punching the woman more than once as they stood in an elevator together. After he hit her the second time, she fell to the floor unconscious. When the doors opened, he dragged her out.
“The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon,” a statement from the Ravens read on Monday.
But the Ravens knew about the attack soon after it happened and did nothing to punish the player. They even tweeted a message that seemed to blame the victim.
“Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident,” the Ravens’ official Twitter account posted on May 23, 2014.
The tweet from the team was only deleted on Monday, after the video surfaced.
Only a few minutes after the announcement by the Ravens, the NFL announced they would be suspending Rice indefinitely.
Ravens coach, John Harbaugh, held a news conference Monday afternoon and, although he said the dismissal of Rice was necessary, he didn’t seem to apologize for waiting until now to get rid of him.
“It’s something we saw for the first time today. It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different,” he said. “Everything I said in terms of what I believe I stand by. I believe that still. I’ll always believe those things. And we’ll always stand in support of them as a couple. That’s not going to change.”
Back in August, the NFL had announced they would be changing their rules for domestic violence offenses by their players. The new rules give an automatic six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense.
Rice entered a plea in the case where he will enter into a pretrial intervention program, but will not be prosecuted. After a year, the charges will be completely expunged from his record. Due to the deal, Rice was to receive very little punishment, but thankfully, the video has caused him to face some consequences in the case.