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- Ray Rice
- February, 2014
- Domestic Violence
- Fired by His Team, Indefinite Suspension by NFL
The arrest of Ray Rice:
Ray Rice is another of the National Football League stars who came under legal review in the past few years. He's a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, drafted after playing his college football for Rutgers University. After the 2013 season, he's ranked as the Ravens' second all-time winning rusher.
But in February 2014, Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer…
…were arrested and charged with assault after they had a physical altercation at Ravel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
A video was posted by TMZ of Rice dragging Janay out of an elevator after an incident on that Friday evening
The Ravens issued a statement following the video's release, saying the team regarded Rice's domestic violence as a serious matter.
It was handled by Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. On March 27, 2014, a grand jury indicted Rice on third-degree aggravated assault, carrying a possible jail sentence of 3 to 5 years and a fine of up to $15,000.
He and his girlfriend married the next day on March 28, 2014
They are pictured here with their daughter, Rayven.
In May, 2014, Rice cut a deal with prosecutors in which he'll serve no jail time in exchange for a set of rehabilitation conditions. As long as he stays out of trouble for a year and he fulfills the conditions of the program, the domestic assault charges against him will be dropped.
The NFL suspended Rice for two games for violating the league's personal conduct policy and Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the decision after critics complained it was not harsh enough. Rice addressed the media in late July, 2014 and called the incident "totally inexcusable" and dismissed the idea that he had been provoked.
There was a great deal of criticism over Rice's two game suspension.
In fact, in late August 2014, Goodell changed the league's policy to make it at least six games suspension for any instances of domestic abuse and a lifetime ban on the second instance.
So Rice missed the opening game if the NFL season was supposed to sit on Week 2 also.
Then, all hell broke loose for Rice when on September 8, 2014 a surveillance camera video was released showing that he decked his then-fiancé-now-wife in an elevator and dragged her body out.
It created such an uproar that the Ravens suspended his contract and Rice was fired and thrown off the team.
The NFL also issued an indefinite suspension and many questioned whether any team would even consider picking him up again.
By now beleaguered-commissioner Goodell insisted the league hadn't seen the video from inside the elevator
And the woman who received the knockout punch, Janay Rice, spoke out in defense of her husband, as reported on CNN
Meantime, Ray Rice told ESPN that he was trying to stay strong for his wife and that he was in "good spirits."
The controversy grew new legs on September 16th, when the NFL Players Association appealed Rice's indefinite suspension and demanded the appeal be taken out of Commissioner Goodell's hands. The union said, while the video is "disturbing", it was nevertheless acting to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.
Rice appealed on the basis he was the victim of double jeopardy, first drawing a two game suspension and then seeing it extended indefinitely after the damning elevator video surfaced. Rice insisted everyone involved knew all of the facts for months.
And he won his case. Former Federal Judge Barbara Jones concluded that Ray did not mislead or lie to Goodell when he disciplined Rice the first time, and that the Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in the way that he imposed discipline.
The NFL said it respected Judge Jones' decision, although the decision was viewed by some as a blow to the Commissioner.
Rice issued a statement thanking the judge, the NFL Players Association, his advisors and his wife Janay, saying he made an inexcusable mistake and that he accepted full responsibility for his actions.
And his victim-wife Janay and her mother told The Today Show:
But since Baltimore fired him, who would pick up the now eligible free-agent Rice? Denver and Indianapolis, two playoff possible teams, were mentioned early as possibilities - but the negative publicity swirling around Rice still left open questions over who would want him on their team.
To be continued….